The Oxford COVID-19 Impact monitor has found that men in the UK have moved more than their female counterparts in every age group, both before and during the lockdown – perhaps providing an explanation for their higher cases and mortality rates during the pandemic.

The analysis showed that men travelled 48% more than women in May.

Published on May 27th, the research used “anonymised, aggregated, and GDPR-compliant” mobile phone location data provided by CKDelta.

After the initial first week of lockdown, mobility began to rise again for men and women and across all age groups. While those over 65, have moved the least, by May 15th, men in this group moved 30% further than women the same age and the gap in this age group is widening. 

Co-leader of the Oxford COVID-19 Impact Monitor inter-disciplinary project, Dr Adam Saunders, said: “To our knowledge, this is the first study which shows differences in population movement, not only between men and women but also across age groups during the UK’s lockdown. It clearly shows that men have tended to travel further from home – potentially coming into contact with the virus with greater frequency.”

Co-leader of the project, Dr Matthias Qian, added: “The extent of differences in movement between men and women offers potential insight into why, in addition to the prevalence of underlying health conditions, men in the UK may have been most at risk from COVID-19. This is highlighted by evidence that many older men have been moving more than women of all age groups.”

In a statement released on the 27th, they stated that their research shows: ”Men in their mid-20s to early 30s have moved the most, according to the data. By 15 May, this group moved 54% further than women of a similar age. Even more striking, men in their 50s have moved 28% further than the most active women, those aged between 23 and 24. Men in their 60s also moved 39% further than women of the same age.”

Image credit to Felipe Esquivel Reed/ Wikimedia Commons.


For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!