Key statistics and trends - Our Strategy

The following data reflects key underlying trends under each of the Council’s four priority areas, some of which may have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the short - and potentially longer - term.

Visit our Statistics pages for more information.


Oxford’s population is 154,300. Between 2001 and 2011 it rose by 11% (15,000 residents). By 2021 it is forecast to increase by another 15,000.

There are 42,000 students in Oxford and with a median age of 29 years we are one of the UK’s youngest cities.

Oxford is the tourism gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire. Approximately 8 million visitors arrive per year, generating £780 million of income for local Oxford businesses. In terms of overseas visitors to the UK, Oxford is the eighth most visited city for staying visits.

The hospitals, theatres and museums of Oxford aren’t just used by residents of the city. These public access facilities have a far greater reach, serving much of the county and beyond.

Latest figures show the average attainment 8 (equivalent to GCSE level) score per pupil in Oxford is 45.9 which is below the national and Oxfordshire averages of 46.9 and 47.7 respectively. 

11 areas in Oxford are in the most deprived decile nationally for educational attainment among children and young people.

Enable an Inclusive Economy

In 2018 Oxford contributed 6.75bn to the economy. There are 122,300 jobs in the city, 14% more than in 2013, a growth rate stronger than the national level of 10%.

Key job sectors in Oxford Education, health, public admin, technology, hospitality, leisure & recreation and manufacturing. 

46,000 people commute into Oxford for work. About a quarter travels into the city by foot, bicycle or public transport. Those commuting within the city are even more likely to use these modes of transport with two thirds doing so.

Map of Oxfordshire showing the location of usual residence of people who travelled to work in OxfordUsual residence of people who travelled to work in Oxford - This map of Oxfordshire shows the location of usual residence of people who travelled to work in Oxford. Around 70% of people whose workplace was in Oxford lived in the areas coloured in blue, mauve, pink, or orange.

Oxford is home to around 6,000 businesses. This has grown by 12% since 2014, slightly lower than the national average of 18%.

In the first half of 2019, there were 65 days – half of all weekdays - when speeds on at least one major road into Oxford fell to under 5mph during the morning rush hour. Bus speeds in the centre of Oxford are 38% slower than in 2006. 

According to the Gini Coefficient, Oxford is the second least equal city in the UK for income equality.

Deliver more affordable housing

There are over 57,000 dwellings in Oxford. Over the next 15 years 28,000 more homes are needed with 11,000 of these being built in the city.

Average house prices are 17 times average salary making Oxford the least affordable city in the UK.

The City Council has social housing stock of 7,800 properties, which is set to increase by more than 1,100 over the next 10 years. There are currently 2,340 households on our housing register.

A third of properties in Oxford are private rentals compared to 20% nationally. On average over 40% of monthly salaries are spent on rent.

Support Thriving Communities

Oxford is one of the UK’s most diverse cities. 22% of Oxford residents are from a black or minority ethnic group and 14% are from a white but non-British background. 33% were born outside the UK.

Nearly a fifth of children in Oxford are estimated to be living in poverty after housing costs. This rises to over a third in some of the city’s most deprived wards.

Life expectancy in Oxford is above average at 80 years for men and 85 years for women, however this can vary by up to 10 years for women and 16 for men depending on where in the city you live.

Adults in Oxford are more physically active (73% vs 63%) than the national average and are more likely to have walked or cycled somewhere in the last week (84% vs 72%).

In November 2019 street count 43 people were rough sleeping. This represents a 16% percent decrease from the 51 counted during the street count in September and a 4% decrease from the 45 people counted in November 2018

Pursue a zero Carbon Oxford

Between 2005 and 2017 overall carbon emissions in Oxford city fell by 35%. The City Council accounts for 1% of the city’s total carbon emissions and this has been reduced by 40% in the last four years.

Oxford has seen a significant reduction in air pollution levels over recent years with a fall of 29% in levels of toxic NO2 between 2014 and 2018. Latest levels are at 46 μg/m³ annual mean average, taking us nearer to the Government’s target of below 40 µg/m3.

Oxford’s urban forest contains around 248,200 trees which is nearly two trees per person, double the ratio for London. They filter an estimated 65 tonnes of airborne pollutants and remove 2,500 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

Over the last four years residents in Oxford have reduced their average residual waste per household from 430kg to 340kg.

Over the same period rates of reuse, recycling or composting of household waste have increased from 45% to 52%.

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