Population size and age structure:

In 2005 the Ryedale District area had a population of 51,500 and this is expected to increase to 53,900 by 2020. The age structure of the Ryedale local authority area had a greater proportion of people aged =65 years (20.4% including 2.6% =85 years) than the English average (15.8% and 1.9% respectively). It has a smaller proportion of people aged 15-24 years (9.3%) and 25-44 years (24.9%) than average in England (12.2% and 29.3% respectively).

Ethnic minority populations:

99.3% of the population in the Ryedale District area were white (white British 98%, white Irish 0.39%, and other white 0.87%) which was higher than the English average (91%). There were no particular black and minority ethnic groups that accounted for a higher proportion than another in Ryedale.

Population distribution:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines rurality as having a population of 1.5 people/hectare or less; Ryedale local authority area has 0.34 persons/hectare and is ranked as having the 7th lowest population density (of 375 local authorities).

Marital status:

59.0% of people aged 16 years or more living in the Ryedale locality were married or remarried (England 50.9%). 35.8% of Ryedale locality households had dependent children, 21.1% having two or more children (England 43.4% and 25.0% respectively). 3.9% of Ryedale locality households had lone parents with dependent children (England 9.5%). The large majority (87.8%) of lone parents were female (England 90.5%).


Public health indicators show that the health of Ryedale District population is better than the average for England. Life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rates are regarded as good indicators of population health. Life expectancies of baby boys and girls born in the area have risen between 1.5-2.5 years between 1991/1993 and 2002/2004, see appendix. In 2002/2004 life expectancies in baby boys and girls were 77.8 years and 82.0 years respectively; these are 1-2 years more than the English average but 2-3 years less than local authority areas with the highest life expectancies. Infant mortality rates in the Scarborough, Whitby & Ryedale area were 2.7/1,000 live births (2002-2004) which is significantly lower than the national average of 5.2/1000 live births.

Self-reported health:

Health in the Ryedale District area was reported as generally good (92.3% reported that their health was ‘good’ or ‘fairly good’). The proportion of population reporting a limiting long term condition was 16.9% in the Ryedale area (England 17.9%). The proportion of people aged 65+ reporting a limiting long term illness in Ryedale was 42.7% for males and 45.7% for females (England 49.5% and 53.1% respectively). There were concentrations of limiting long term illness reported in excess of 60% of the population aged 65+ in Norton East electoral wards.

The main causes of death:

Death rates from circulatory diseases (those that affect the heart and the body’s blood vessels) in Ryedale remain significantly below the average for England (74.2/100,000 vs 96.7/100,000 ). Deaths from cancer are also below the average for England (113/100,000 vs 121.6/100,000). The risk of getting cancers and heart disease can be significantly reduced in variety of ways including eating a balanced diet, maintaining a normal weight, taking regular exercise, and not smoking. Early diagnosis and treatment for these conditions prolongs life.


A slightly lower proportion of households in the Ryedale area were rented compared to the English average, 30.8% vs 31.3%. In the Ryedale area 41.1% of households were detached houses or bungalows (England 22.5%). The proportion of high density housing (terraced houses/bungalows and flats/maisonettes/apartments) was 26.3% in Ryedale, lower than the national average of 45.5%. The average household size in the Ryedale District was 2.31 persons (England 2.36). The average household in the Ryedale District lived in comparatively larger accommodation with 5.88 rooms (England 5.33 rooms). The prevalence of overcrowded households is 2.8% in the Ryedale area (England 7.1%). 89.9% of households had central heating (England 91.5%), and 99.7% had sole use of a bath/shower and toilet (England 99.5%). 2.8% of dwellings were vacant in the Ryedale area (excluding vacant households that are second /holiday homes) compared to the national average of 3.2%.

Unpaid care:

The proportion of the population providing unpaid care was the similar to the national average with 10.0% of the Ryedale population reporting that they provided unpaid care (England 9.9%). 27.1% of these people provided care for more than 19 hours per week in the Ryedale area which was significantly lower than the English average (31.4%).


68.4% of Ryedale District residents aged 16-74 years were economically active (England 66.9%). Conversely 3.1% of Ryedale residents reported that they were unemployed (England 5.0%). 22.7% of Ryedale locality residents were self-employed (England 12.4%); this is likely to be attributable to the farming industry. There was a long hours culture in males in the Ryedale area where 82.1% of employed males worked fulltime for 38 hours a week or more (England 75.6%), including 32.8% working for 49 hours or more (England 24.2%). 35.1% of employed females in the Ryedale area worked fulltime for 38 hours a week or more (England 35.4%); this includes 9.2% working for 49 hours or more (England 6.9%).


The majority of working people got to work by car with 60.0% of people in Ryedale District who drove or were driven to work (England 61.0%). 3.3% of people in Ryedale went to work using public transport (England 15.4%). Less than a fifth (17.2%) of the population in Ryedale got to work by walking or cycling (England 12.8%). In the Ryedale District 17.2% of households did not own a car or van, whereas 36.2% of households owned 2 cars or more (England 26.8% and 29.5% respectively). The average numbers of cars/vans per household were 1.29 in Ryedale (England 1.11).


In 2005/06 Ryedale was ranked 365th highest of the 377 Crime and Disorder Partnerships (CDRPs) in England and Wales on the basis of (British Crime Survey - BCS) all crimes per 1000 people (26) (source: Home Office – crime in England and Wales). The highest volume crimes were criminal damage (10.1) and woundings (5.1). Within the County it is ranked 2nd lowest for crimes per 1000 persons. Common Assault, Wounding and Personal Robbery were especially low in Ryedale. Overall crime in Ryedale fell by 5% between 2004/05 and 2005/06. Burglary from a Dwelling, though still low, showed an increase, as did Theft From and Theft Of Motor Vehicles.


Ryedale District is very sparsely populated relative to the rest of England and its rurality has implications around access to services with 57% of the population living in villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings. The population of Ryedale District suffered lower rates of crime, was generally older, healthier and living in larger accommodation than the English average. The relatively lower proportion of the population who are young and the long hours culture in Ryedale District might explain the lower total number of hours of unpaid care (suggested by the Census data). Similar to the English average, the majority of the population are reliant on cars to get them to work and basic services, although a higher proportion of people walked or cycled to work. Very few people in relation to the English average use public transport to travel to work in Ryedale. Local work is in place to address many of the determinants which impact on people’s health and well-being and health improvement issues such as smoking, obesity, physical activity and healthy eating are key priorities within the Local Strategic Partnership.

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