Bedford Borough is mostly urban, containing the towns of Bedford, Kempston and the Wixams new town development, surrounded by a rural area with many villages.
There are significant ethnic minority communities and you’ll hear more than 100 languages being spoken in Bedford. The borough has seen large scale migration over recent years, particular from Eastern Europe, as well as Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Life expectancy in Bedford Borough is increasing and, when last recorded in 2015, was 80.2 years for men and 83.9 years for women.
However, there are some areas of deprivation and the life expectancy gap between Bedford’s most and least deprived areas is 10 years for women and 4.2 years for men. In the most deprived areas, two thirds of children are living in poverty. The rate of stillbirths in Bedford Borough is also high.
Central Bedfordshire is a mix of rural villages and small market towns and is the least ethnically diverse of the BLMK areas. Life expectancy is better than the national average, at 81.4 years for males and 84.4 years for females, but there are some pockets of deprivation, mainly around Sandy, Houghton Regis and Dunstable.
Comparing the most and least deprived areas of Central Bedfordshire, there is a life expectancy gap of 6.7 years for men and 5.8 years for women.
Health in Bedfordshire
In deprived areas of Bedfordshire, early death is mainly due to cancer, circulatory and respiratory diseases.
Compared to similar areas, more people die early from heart disease in Bedford Borough and from breast cancer in Central Bedfordshire. In Bedford Borough, preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease are particularly high.
Hospital admissions for cardio-pulmonary disease, and admissions for asthma in under 19s, are both high in Bedfordshire.