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This article is about the region of England. For the breed of cattle, see North Devon cattle.

North Devon District

Shown within Devonmarker
Status District
Admin. County Devonmarker

- Total

1,085.90 km²
Region South West England
Admin. HQ Barnstaplemarker
ONS code 18UE

- Total ( )

- Density

/ km²
Ethnicity 99.0% White
North Devon District Council
Leadership Leader and Cabinet
Executive Conservative
MP Nick Harvey

North Devon is a local government district in Devonmarker, Englandmarker. Its council is based in Barnstaplemarker. Other towns and villages in the North Devon district include Brauntonmarker, Fremingtonmarker, Ilfracombemarker, Instowmarker, South Moltonmarker, Lyntonmarker and Lynmouthmarker.

The district was formed on April 1, 1974 as a merger of the Barnstaple municipal borough, the Ilfracombe and Lynton urban districts, and Barnstaple Rural District and South Molton Rural District.


North Devon is popular with retired people, but not overwhelmingly so. The 2001 census showed 15 454 (18%) people aged 14 years and under, 54 413 (62%) aged 15-64 and 17 651 (20%) aged 65 and over. For comparison, the same age distributions across England are 19%, 65% and 16% respectively. People over 65 helped to live at home is below the national average. Life expectancy for men, at 76.9, is close to the national average, and increasing more slowly than throughout England. Female life expectancy is good at 82.1; and rising in line with England. There is a gap of 6 years in the life expectancy of people in the highest fifth of wards and the lowest fifth.


The area is well served by transport in relation to its neighbours to the east and west, Torridgemarker and West Somerset. The rump of the post-Beeching railway network has left a branch line to Exetermarker. The region is linked by three A roads. The primary link is the A361 (known locally as the Link Road) which was constructed between 1986 and 1989. It heads north-west from the M5 motorway, past South Moltonmarker, to Barnstaple, with the classification continuing then northwards along older roads to Ilfracombemarker. The modern Link Road continues westwards from Barnstaple as the A39 where it is designated the Atlantic Highway. The eastern section of the A39 links Barnstaple to Lyntonmarker, then traverses the northern coastal hills of Exmoormarker into Somersetmarker.

The other two A roads are the A399, a minor local route between Ilfracombe and South Molton (used as a de facto Barnstaple-bypass to Woolacombemarker), and the A377, which is the main road between Barnstaple and the county town of Devonmarker, Exetermarker.

Due to significant peak time traffic delays in Barnstaple, coupled with severe congestion at both peak and non-peak times in the summer when tourist traffic is at its busiest, the Barnstaple Western Bypass has been opened.


Due to the historically agricultural nature of the economy, many areas of North Devon were considered deprived. The average income for the district is 73% of the average for the United Kingdommarker as a whole.

The largest employers in the area are the National Health Service, mainly through North Devon District Hospitalmarker in Barnstaplemarker, and the Ministry of Defence, at Royal Marines Base Chivenormarker, Fremingtonmarker Camp and Arromanches Camp, Instowmarker.

Ilfracombe, seen from 447 feet (136 metres) above.
The viewpoint (Hillsborough) is part of the South West Coastal Path


Barnstaple is on the River Tawmarker estuary, and functions both as the main service centre and the administrative centre for North Devon District Council. The population of 34,000 excludes the exurbs of Bickingtonmarker, Landkeymarker, Ashfordmarker and Sherwell, suburban villages outside of the main urban area of Barnstaple itself but that are dependent on the main settlement for services and employment.


The region is one of the most homogenous in England, with 99.0% of the population putting their race on the 2001 census as White. This means North Devon is ranked 318 out of 354 where rank 1 has the lowest percentage of white people and rank 354 has the highest percentage of white people.

See also

External links

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