The bed of the vale is largely made up of clay that was formed at the end of the ice age. Also at this time the vast underground reserves of water that make the water table in the Vale of Aylesbury higher than average, were created. In the 2011 UK census the population of Aylesbury Vale was 174,900. In the 2001 UK census the population of Aylesbury Vale was 165,748, representing an increase since 1991 of 18,600 people. About half of those live in the county town Aylesbury.
Aylesbury Vale is a local government district of northern Buckinghamshire, administered by a district council. The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the boroughs of Aylesbury and Buckingham, Aylesbury Rural District, Buckingham Rural District, Wing Rural District and part of Winslow Rural District. The district offices are based in Aylesbury. The district council's logo includes the historical figure of John Hampden.
There are 111 civil parishes: 84 with a parish council, including three town councils (Aylesbury, Buckingham and Winslow), and a further 27 operating with a Parish meeting, see list of civil parishes in Aylesbury Vale.
Elections to the district council take place every 4 years, with 59 councillors being elected from 36 wards. Since winning a majority at the 2003 election the Conservative party has held control of the council. Following the latest election in 2015, and subsequent vacancies, by-elections and defections as of the 3rd May 2018, party strengths are as follows: