SOME Oxford men can expect to live up to 15 years less than people living just six miles away, statistics show.

The vast disparities across the city show men in North ward, in North Oxford, can expect to live until they are 90.

But men living in Northfield Brook, on the southern edges of the city, have a live expectancy of just 74.6 years – below the national average.

Office for National Statistics figures show the gap in life expectancies between the wards has increased over recent years.

Figures from 2007 show the gap was only four years in North ward’s favour. But while men’s life expectancy in Northfield Brook has remained the same, it has soared in North ward.

City councillor Sian Taylor, who represents Northfield Brook, said: “I think it’s probably because there is a significant number of people who have got difficulties with their health, with housing, with money.

"If you look at the determinants of health it’s things like that [that affect people’s life expectancy].”

She added: “It’s complicated – but it’s pretty disgraceful we have those differences. It’s something the city council is working to address.”

An expert said the life expectancy for people in North ward was high because in such an affluent area, people tended to see out the rest of their lives in their homes or to be able pay for a place in a nursing home in another ward.

Female life expectancy has remained stable – with girls living in North ward being able to expect to live to 87 and Northfield Brook to 78 on current trends.

But shocking figures show men and women in Blackbird Leys can only expect to live a disability-free life until they are just 59, the worst ward for those figures in the whole of Oxfordshire.

Other figures for North ward show men could expect to get to 74 before expecting to be troubled by any sort of persistent illness or disability and 73 if they are women.

Danny Dorling, professor of geography at St Peter's College, Oxford, said of the high life expectancy in North ward: “The same thing is found in the most wealthy wards of London. Today they contain hardly any normal housing. Almost all former social housing has been sold off under right to buy years ago. The only people who can afford to live there either pay very high rent or are very rich.

“If those paying very high rent become so ill they can no longer pay the rent and they move elsewhere before they die, so their residential address changes.”

According to figures online yesterday, a nine-bedroom mansion in Charlbury Road, in North ward, is priced at £7.75m. A four-bedroom end of terrace property in Park Town is on the market for £1.9m.

Conversely, in Northfield Brook, a one-bedroom terraced house in Marigold Close, Greater Leys, is up for sale for £225,000. A two-bedroom terrace house is being sold in Appletree Close for £275,000.

Paul Smith, Oxfordshire County Council spokesman, said: “The increased gap in male life expectancy is entirely due to an increase in life expectancy in North ward.

“Life expectancy in Northfield Brook has remained stable. It is not possible to exactly determine the reason why the life expectancy has improved over this time period in the North ward, however the impact of deprivation on health inequalities is well documented and this is a likely factor for the gap between the two areas.

“Oxford City contains 10 of the 15 most deprived small areas in Oxfordshire; this includes Northfield Brook. North ward is among the most affluent areas in Oxfordshire. Deprivation impacts on various health inequalities, for example, deprivation has a clear link to both childhood obesity and smoking.

“Obesity and smoking can both be linked to coronary heart disease and data shows that the mortality rate in under 75 years for this health problem is significantly better in North ward.”

According to the most recent figures, just over 6,000 people live in North ward and 7,050 in Northfield Brook.

Both are more ethnically diverse than the British average. In North ward, 63.5 per cent are white British and 36.5 per cent are from a black or ethnic minority background.

In Northfield Brook, 68.4 per cent are white British and 31.6 per cent are from a black or ethnic minority background. The British average in wards is 20.2 per cent.

According to the ONS, the average life expectancy for a boy born today across the UK is 79 and 82 for girls.

Best men and women's life expectancies across Oxfordshire:


North (Oxford) – 90.1 years

Ducklington (West Oxfordshire) – 89.1

Abingdon Peachcroft – 86.2

St Margaret's (Oxford) – 86.1

Benson and Crowmarsh (South Oxfordshire) – 85.7

Marston (Oxford) – 84.6


Charlbury and Finstock (West Oxfordshire) – 90.2

Witney West – 88.9

St Margaret's – 88.8

Thames (Vale of White Horse) – 88.6

Abingdon Peachcroft (Vale of White Horse) – 88.5

Watchfield and Shrivenham (Vale of White Horse)

Lowest life expectancies across Oxfordshire


Northfield Brook* (Oxford) – 74.6 years

Banbury Ruscote (Cherwell) – 75.5

Headington (Oxford) – 75.5

Churchill (Oxford) – 75.9

Blackbird Leys – 77

Sandford and the Wittenhams (South Oxfordshire) – 77


Banbury Ruscote (Cherwell) – 78.3

Goring (South Oxfordshire) – 78.4

Headington (Oxford) – 78.7

Northfield Brook – 78.7

Carterton North East – 79.2

Blackbird Leys – 79.8

*While life expectancies for other wards in Oxford are below than Northfield Brook's, their highest estimate for life expectancy or 'upper confidence limit' according to the ONS are higher. Although Carfax has a low life expectancy – just 73.2 years – it is skewed by having a large population of students and young people.

St Mary's ward has a life expectancy of 74.1 years, less than Northfield Brook, but its 'upper confidence limit' is higher, at 76.5.