As a community and ward Ystrad contains the neighbouring district of Gelli. Ystrad is a former coal mining village which was once housed the most profitable collieries belonging to the Cory brothers.
Ystrad is long and narrow, a main road where most amenities can be found, and a series of smaller residential streets lined with the terraces associated with the area. The majority of housing stock is the classic South Wales valleys terrace with infills of new build.
The Rhondda Fawr River runs through the village, separating it from Gelli on the southern bank.
Like most former coal mining communities in the South Wales Coalfield, Ystrad is remarkably self-contained. There is a very strong community in Ystrad Rhondda - a common feature of these mining towns. The Ystrad Rhondda railway station is on the Rhondda Line opened by British Rail.
The Church of St Stephen is part of the Church in Wales Parish of Trealaw with Ystrad Rhondda with Ynyscynon in the Diocese of Llandaff. The church was built in 1895-1896.
The Ystrad electoral ward is coterminous with the borders of the Ystrad community and elects two county councillors to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. From 1995 to 2004 it was represented by Plaid Cymru. Between 2004 and 2017 it was represented by the Labour Party though at the May 2017 election Plaid Cymru re-took the ward.
Sport and leisure
Residents of note
- Jill Evans, Plaid Cymru MEP
- Ben Bowen Thomas, civil servant and educationalist
- Mel Hopkins, Wales international football player
- Rex Willis, Wales rugby union captain and British Lion
- Ernest Zobole, artist
- Michael Griffiths, Wales rugby union and British Lion
- Nathan Jones, Welsh footballer and manager
- Slaters Commercial Directory: Treherbert and Ystrad-Rhondda
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Ystrad and surrounding area
- Welsh Coal Mines website - check out the histories of the local pits
- "Community population 2011". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Pillars of Faith website". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Election maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Rhondda Cyon Taff County Borough Council Election Results 1995-2012, The Election Centre. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- County Borough Council Elections 2017, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Retrieved 27 October 2018.