Oxfordshire has a population of around 683,400 residents and is a popular place to live, study and work.

The district councils’ plans for new housing set out an ambition for 81,500 new homes in the next 15 years. Oxfordshire County Council forecasts an increase in the county’s residents of +187,500 people by 2031.

The number of people aged 85 and over is expected to have increased by 55 per cent in Oxfordshire by 2031, with the highest growth predicted in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

As a whole, people living in Oxfordshire enjoy a relatively good quality of life with higher than average earnings and low rates of unemployment, compared with many other parts of the UK. They they tend to be relatively healthy with life expectancy for both men and women higher than the national average.

We also have world-class medical research and development on our doorstep and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest providers of specialist healthcare in the UK. 

The challenges ahead

The increase in the older population in Oxfordshire will bring more demand for services from people with complex conditions and frailty.

And although overall levels of deprivation are low, compared with the rest of the country, there are pockets of deprivation in Oxford city, Banbury and in rural areas, which mean some residents experience poorer health as a result. Life expectancy is six years lower for men and three years lower for women in the most deprived areas. Some 11 per cent of children in the county live in low income families

Oxfordshire’s health commissioners, providers, local authorities and voluntary organisations are working and engaging with local communities on changes to local health and care services so they can be better planned and delivered in the future.

Work is being done with GP practices to improve access to services and improve the quality of and range of services in primary care. Patients living with long term conditions can expect to be better supported with more care provided closer to home and the risk of emergency admission to hospital reduced.