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Gender

Women slightly outnumber men in Bedfordshire with census information indicating 284,661.00 women and 281,280.00 men reside in Bedfordshire.   

Age

Bedfordshire’s most populated age group was between 35-39 standing at 8.5%.  We can see that between the ages of 0-19 years; men out numbered women.  This trend continued until the age 34, after this and up to the age of 64 men out numbered women by a small percentage.   Between the ages of 70-90+ there appeared a sharp decline in the number of men.  Within this age group it was reported that 15,689 were men and 22,272 were women.  These numbers showed that 9.4% of the population in Bedfordshire (excluding Luton) was aged 70+ and of that 9.4% around 65% were women.  

Luton; in terms of age indicated that 23.5% of the local population were aged between 0-15 years, 71.4% between the ages of 16-74, and 5.1% aged 75 and over.  

Ethinicity

In relation to ethnicity; census information  indicated that within Bedfordshire 88% of those providing information regarded themselves as British, 3% described themselves as other white, with just over 4% of people identifying themselves as of Asian origin and 2% identifying themselves as Black origin.   

Of the local community living in Luton who provided information for the 2001 census 71.9% declared themselves as White, 2.6% as Mixed, 18.3% as Asian or Asian British, 6.3% as Black or Black British and 0.9% as Chinese or Other.  

Gypsy and Traveller Families

Locally, as recorded in 2002, Bedfordshire is home to some 200 Gypsy and Traveller families, using just under 400 caravans.  These figures increased from the year 2000 when it was reported that between 100 and 125 families were resident using between 200 and 250 caravans.  Although the amount of caravans and families has increased; local provision remains static at 5 sites each providing 20 plots.  

Religion and Beliefs

Those declaring religious belief in the Bedfordshire area categorised themselves as; Christian (72%), Buddhist ((0.2%), Hindu ((0.9%), Jewish (0.2%), Muslim (1.4%), Sikh (0.8%), Other (0.2%) and those who declared that they did not identify with a religion or did not state (23.7%).  

Census information for Luton showed that 59.6% described themselves as Christian, 0.2% as Buddhist, 2.7% as Hindu, 0.3% as Jewish, 14.6% as Muslim, and 0.8% as Sikh.  Those that described themselves as having a religion not listed in the categories stood at 0.3%, 14.1 declared themselves as not having a religion and 7.2% elected not to state whether or not they followed a particular religion.   

Disability

In relation to disability; statistics provided by Bedfordshire County Council indicates that 65,491 households within the county have at least one person residing with limiting long term illness.  However, it is important to note that disability is not always accompanied by illness.  People are affected by disability or health conditions in different ways for example as a result of an accident, or stroke, or gradually as a result of a condition such as arthritis.  Statistical evidence indicates that around 17% of those classified as disabled are born with a particular condition.  Most people who have a disability or health condition develop it in later life.  

It is important to note that the definition of disability has been developed more recently and now includes many people who were not previously covered by the Act.  Many of those covered may not be aware that they come within the definition of disability as used in the Disability Discrimination Act.  

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