Oxford's Health

Our communities

The health of people in Oxford is varied compared with the England average. In terms of overall deprivation, 11% of Oxford's usual residents live in deprived areas, compared to 20% in England. However about 20% (5,000) children live in poverty, a figure that is significantly higher than the England average, and even higher once monthly housing costs are subtracted. Whilst in Oxford the percentage of physically active adults is high and the percentage of obese adults is low, mental health problems and substance misuse are prevalent within the population.

Indicators of health and well-being

Life expectancy and causes of death

  • Life expectancy for Oxford residents is 80.6 years for men and 84.3 years for women. This is significantly better than the national average.
  • Inequalities in life expectancy at birth for men from the least to most deprived areas of Oxford are estimated be around 8.8 years. For women, there is a smaller gap of around 6.2 years.
  • The city’s roads account for the largest number of Oxfordshire’s pedal cycle casualties and the number of cyclist casualties has risen in recent years.

Disease and poor health

  • In 2011, 3% of working age people declared themselves being permanently sick or disabled – just over 3,000 people. 12% of the population declared a limiting long-term illness. Both of these figures are below the England and Wales average.
  • Oxford has a high rate of emergency hospital admissions for intentional self-harm (estimated 266.2 per 100,000), which is significantly worse than the national average.
  • At 3.8%, the percentage of recorded diabetes of those aged 17 and over in Oxford is amongst the lowest in England (3.3% being the lowest)

Adults' health and lifestyle

  • Overall, adults in Oxford are healthier than the England average, with a significantly higher percentage of physically active adults (78% vs 65%) and one of the lowest percentages of excess weight in adults (52% vs 65%).

Children's and young people's health

  • Breastfeeding initiation is significantly higher in Oxford, with 84% of mothers nursing during the first week of life
  • In Year 6 (at the end of Primary School) 20% of schoolchildren are classified as obese, which is similar to the national average.
  • Alcohol-specific hospital stays is significantly worse than the England average, with a rate of 77.1 per 100,000 in Oxford compared to 37.4 per 100,000 in England.
  • There was a high rate of under-18 conceptions in Oxford in the early 2000's, but the rate has dropped to levels similar to, or below, the England average. There are still high rates in some areas of the city. 

Oxford Public Health Profile

from Public Health England 


Health in Oxford Chart (July 2015)

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Oxford (August 2014)

Inequalities in Life Expectancy

Local Health profiles - health indicators for small areas within the city

Oxfordshire Director of Public Health report

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment