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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Oxford


Oxford’s economic landscape is marked by a vibrant mix of sectors, with a significant presence in professional, scientific, technical activities, and information and communication sectors. The city’s employment ecosystem is dynamic, evidenced by a considerable number of employees (78,842) and a notable growth in employment (10.58%). The gender diversity in company leadership shows a tilt towards male dominance, both in the realms of founders and directors.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 78,842. This number indicates a robust workforce, integral to Oxford’s economic vitality.
  • Employee Growth: The employee growth percentage of 10.58% suggests a thriving job market, likely driven by the city’s strong sectors.
  • Raising Sectors: Key sectors showing growth include Pharmaceuticals, Software, and Research Tools, indicating a tilt towards high-tech and research-intensive industries.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors: Professional and technical activities lead with 1,798 companies, followed by information and communication (1,159 companies), and retail trade/repair (933 companies). This diversity underpins a balanced and resilient economy.
  • Sector Growth Drivers: Pharmaceuticals and software sectors are among the top raisers, aligning with global trends towards technology and health sectors.
  • Total Companies: 9,203, reflecting a diverse and vibrant business environment.
  • New Companies (2 Years): 1,146, showing a healthy rate of new business creation.
  • SMEs: 6,609, indicating that small and medium enterprises form the backbone of Oxford’s economy.
  • Exporters: 203, highlighting international business engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 217, showing global connections.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 910, which is a natural part of the business cycle, reflecting both market dynamics and sectoral shifts.

Leadership and Innovation

  • Founders Gender: 12.05% female, 85.71% male, indicating a need for greater gender balance in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors Gender: 26.12% female, 62.35% male, reflecting similar trends in leadership roles.
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: 406, suggesting a vibrant startup culture with young leadership.
  • Patent Owners and Grantees: 654 patent owners and 40 grantees, indicating a strong innovation ecosystem.


Oxford’s economy is marked by a strong employment base, a diverse set of thriving sectors, and a dynamic entrepreneurial and innovation landscape. The growth in high-tech and health sectors aligns with global economic trends, offering opportunities for future growth. However, there is a noticeable gender disparity in business leadership, highlighting an area for potential development.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.