Demographics of Wales

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Map of population density in Wales at the 2011 census.

Demographics of Wales include the numbers in population, place of birth, age, ethnicity, religion, and number of marriages.

Population[edit]

The resident population of Wales in 2011 increased by 5% since 2001 to 3,063,456, of whom 1,504,228 are men and 1,559,228 women, according to the 2011 census results. Wales accounted for 4.8% of the UK population in 2011.[1]

The population in 1972 stood at 2.74 million and remained broadly static for the rest of the decade. However, in the early 1980s, the population fell due to net migration out of Wales. Since the 1980s, net migration has generally been positive, and has contributed more to population growth than natural change.[2]

Place of birth[edit]

According to the 2011 census 2.2 million (73%) of the usual residents were born in Wales, a reduction of two percent since 2001, attributable to both international and internal migration. In 2001, 590,000 (20%) of the population of Wales was born in England. In 2011, this had increased by one percent.

Map showing the percentage of the population born in England according to the 2011 census.
Country of birth2001[3]2011[4]
Number%Number%
Wales2,188,75475.39%2,226,00572.66%
England589,82820.32%636,26620.77%
Scotland24,3890.84%24,3460.79%
Northern Ireland7,8510.27%8,2530.27%
UK not otherwise specified7150.02%
Republic of Ireland12,7180.44%12,1750.40%
Other EU Member Countries23,6940.82%
Other EU Member Countries (joined pre 2001)26,3430.86%
Other EU Member Countries (joined post 2001)29,0170.95%
Other countries55,8511.92%100,3363.28%
Total2,903,085100.00%3,063,456100.00%

Age[edit]

According to the 2011 census, some 563,000 of the population were aged 65 and over, an increase of 56,700 or one percent since 2001. As in 2001, six per cent (178,000) of the population in Wales were children under five, an increase of 11,300.[4]

Population pyramid for Wales as at the 2011 census.
Ages attained
(years)
Population % of total
0–4178,3015.82
5–9163,0795.32
10–14177,7485.80
15–19199,1206.50
20–24211,9246.92
25–29185,7286.06
30–34174,6945.70
35–39183,0455.98
40–44213,1556.96
45–49213,1557.20
50–54201,5996.58
55–59186,9236.10
60–64204,8856.69
65–69166,0075.42
70–74134,5434.39
75–79108,2023.53
80–8479,2322.59
85–8949,3601.61
90+25,2000.82
Source: 2011 Census: Usual resident population by five-year age group and sex, local authorities in the United Kingdom, Accessed 23 December 2012

Ethnicity[edit]

According to the 2011 census, 2.2 million (73%) of usual residents of Wales were born there, two percent less than in 2001. The change can be attributed to both international and internal migration. In 2001, 590,000 (20%) of the population of Wales was born in England. In 2011, this had increased by one percent.[4] Nearly 418,000 people identified themselves as Welsh in 2001.

The 2001 and 2011 census estimated the following ethnic groups:

Ethnic group2001 population2001 percentage2011 population2011 percentage
White: British2,786,60596.02,855,45093.2
White: Irish17,6890.614,0860.5
White: Irish Traveller/White Gypsy2,7850.1
White: Other37,2111.355,9321.8
White: Total2,841,50597.92,928,253

95.6

Asian or Asian British: Indian8,2610.317,2560.6
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani8,2870.312,2290.4
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi5,4360.210,6870.3
Asian or Asian British: Chinese6,2670.213,6380.4
Asian or Asian British: Asian Other3,4640.116,3180.5
Asian or Asian British: Total31,7151.170,128

2.3

Black or Black British: Caribbean2,5970.111,8870.4
Black or Black British: African3,7270.13,8090.1
Black or Black British: Other745<0.12,5800.1
Black or Black British: Total7,0690.218,276

0.6

Mixed: White and Caribbean5,9960.211,0990.4
Mixed: White and African2,4130.14,4240.1
Mixed: White and Asian5,0010.29,0190.3
Mixed: Other Mixed4,2510.26,9790.2
British Mixed: Total17,6610.731,521

1.0

Other: Arab[ethnicity3 1]9,6150.3
Other: Any other ethnic group5,1350.25,6630.2
Other: Total5,1350.215,278

0.5

Total2,903,0851003,063,456

100

Notes for table above

  1. ^ In 2001 part of the 'Other' category. New category created for the 2011 census


Source: Census 2001 Key Statistics - Urban area summary results for local authorities KS06 Ethnic group, Retrieved 18 June 2013
Source: Census 2011: Ethnic group, unitary authorities in Wales, Accessed 23 December 2012

Religion[edit]

According to the 2011 census, there has been a 14 percent decrease since 2001, when 2.1 million (72% of usual residents) stated their religion as Christian. It is the only group to have experienced a decrease in numbers between 2001 and 2011 despite population growth. The second largest response group for this question in 2011 was no religion. This increased from 538,000 (19%) of residents in 2001 to 983,000 (32%) in 2011, a larger rise than in any region of England.[4]

Religion2001[5][6]2011[5][7]
Number%Number%
Christianity2,087,24271.91,763,29957.6
Islam21,7390.745,9501.5
Hinduism5,4390.210,4340.3
Buddhism5,4070.29,1170.3
Sikhism2,0150.12,9620.1
Judaism2,2560.12,0640.1
Other religion6,9090.212,7050.4
No religion537,93518.5982,99732.1
Religion not stated234,1438.1233,9287.6
Total population2,903,085100.03,063,456100.0

Language[edit]

The 2011 census collected information about English and Welsh language proficiency. In 2011, 2.9 million (97%) of residents, age three and over, spoke English or Welsh. In a further 18,000 households, at least one adult spoke English or Welsh. In 22,000 households, no resident spoke either language. There were 562,000 (19%) residents, over age three, proficient in at least speaking the Welsh language. This was a reduction of approximately 2 per cent compared to 2001, though the method of analysis differed between the two censuses. There was also a 2% increase in those, over three years of age, who had no Welsh language skills.[4]

The proportion of respondents in the 2011 census who said they could speak Welsh.
Welsh language skills2001 number (,000)2001 %2011 number (,000)2011 %change (,000)change %
No skills in Welsh2,00871.62,16873.31601.7
Can speak, read and write Welsh45816.343114.6-27-1.7
Can understand spoken Welsh only1384.91585.3190.4
Can speak but cannot read or write Welsh792.8802.71-0.1
Other combination of skills in Welsh843.0732.5-10-0.5
Can speak and read but cannot write Welsh381.4461.570.1
Source: 2011 Census: KS207WA Welsh language skills, unitary authorities in Wales, Accessed 23 December 2012

The most common main languages spoken in Wales according to the 2011 census are shown below.[8]

LanguageUsual residents aged 3+Proportion
English or Welsh2,871,40597.14%
Polish17,0010.58%
Arabic6,8000.23%
Bengali (with Sylheti and Chatgaya)5,2070.18%
Tagalog/Filipino2,7490.09%
Portuguese2,4510.08%
Urdu2,3500.08%
French2,0730.07%
German2,0500.07%
Italian1,6940.06%
Other42,0611.42%

Marriage and civil partnership[edit]

In 2011 those who were married were still the largest marriage / civil partnership status group in Wales for residents aged 16 and over though since 2001 this group has decreased by 37,000 (over 5%). In contrast, single people (i.e. those who have never married or been part of a same sex partnership), have increased by 190,000 (6%) in the ten-year period. Civil partnerships, which were given legal status in 2005, appear for the first time in the census results. The number of widows, widowers and surviving partners is 20,000 lower than in 2001. The final groups, relating to separation and divorce / legal dissolution of civil partnerships, have both seen an increase in both numerical and relative terms since 2001.[4]

Status2001 number (,000)2001 %2011 number (,000)2011 %
Married1,20452.01,16746.6
Single65028.184033.5
Divorced / legally dissolved2018.72429.7
Widowed or surviving partner2189.41987.9
Separated441.9552.2
Civil partnershipn/an/a50.2

Table key

Source: 2011 Census: KS103EW Marital and civil partnership status, unitary authorities in Wales, Accessed 23 December 2012

Miscellaneous data[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]