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 birth 2001[3] 2011[4]
Number % Number %
Wales 2,188,754 75.39% 2,226,005 72.66%
England 589,828 20.32% 636,266 20.77%
Scotland 24,389 0.84% 24,346 0.79%
Northern Ireland 7,851 0.27% 8,253 0.27%
UK not otherwise specified 715 0.02%
Republic of Ireland 12,718 0.44% 12,175 0.40%
Other EU Member Countries 23,694 0.82%
Other EU Member Countries (joined pre 2001) 26,343 0.86%
Other EU Member Countries (joined post 2001) 29,017 0.95%
Other countries 55,851 1.92% 100,336 3.28%
Total 2,903,085 100.00% 3,063,456 100.00%

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
0–4 178,301 5.82
5–9 163,079 5.32
10–14 177,748 5.80
15–19 199,120 6.50
20–24 211,924 6.92
25–29 185,728 6.06
30–34 174,694 5.70
35–39 183,045 5.98
40–44 213,155 6.96
45–49 213,155 7.20
50–54 201,599 6.58
55–59 186,923 6.10
60–64 204,885 6.69
65–69 166,007 5.42
70–74 134,543 4.39
75–79 108,202 3.53
80–84 79,232 2.59
85–89 49,360 1.61
90+ 25,200 0.82
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 group 2001 population 2001 percentage 2011 population 2011 percentage
White: British 2,786,605 96.0 2,855,450 93.2
White: Irish 17,689 0.6 14,086 0.5
White: Irish Traveller/White Gypsy 2,785 0.1
White: Other 37,211 1.3 55,932 1.8
White: Total 2,841,505 97.9 2,928,253

95.6

Asian or Asian British: Indian 8,261 0.3 17,256 0.6
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 8,287 0.3 12,229 0.4
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 5,436 0.2 10,687 0.3
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 6,267 0.2 13,638 0.4
Asian or Asian British: Asian Other 3,464 0.1 16,318 0.5
Asian or Asian British: Total 31,715 1.1 70,128

2.3

Black or Black British: Caribbean 2,597 0.1 11,887 0.4
Black or Black British: African 3,727 0.1 3,809 0.1
Black or Black British: Other 745 <0.1 2,580 0.1
Black or Black British: Total 7,069 0.2 18,276

0.6

Mixed: White and Caribbean 5,996 0.2 11,099 0.4
Mixed: White and African 2,413 0.1 4,424 0.1
Mixed: White and Asian 5,001 0.2 9,019 0.3
Mixed: Other Mixed 4,251 0.2 6,979 0.2
British Mixed: Total 17,661 0.7 31,521

1.0

Other: Arab[ethnicity3 1] 9,615 0.3
Other: Any other ethnic group 5,135 0.2 5,663 0.2
Other: Total 5,135 0.2 15,278

0.5

Total 2,903,085 100 3,063,456

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]

Religion 2001[5][6] 2011[5][7]
Number % Number %
Christianity 2,087,242 71.9 1,763,299 57.6
Islam 21,739 0.7 45,950 1.5
Hinduism 5,439 0.2 10,434 0.3
Buddhism 5,407 0.2 9,117 0.3
Sikhism 2,015 0.1 2,962 0.1
Judaism 2,256 0.1 2,064 0.1
Other religion 6,909 0.2 12,705 0.4
No religion 537,935 18.5 982,997 32.1
Religion not stated 234,143 8.1 233,928 7.6
Total population 2,903,085 100.0 3,063,456 100.0

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 skills 2001 number (,000) 2001 % 2011 number (,000) 2011 % change (,000) change %
No skills in Welsh 2,008 71.6 2,168 73.3 160 1.7
Can speak, read and write Welsh 458 16.3 431 14.6 -27 -1.7
Can understand spoken Welsh only 138 4.9 158 5.3 19 0.4
Can speak but cannot read or write Welsh 79 2.8 80 2.7 1 -0.1
Other combination of skills in Welsh 84 3.0 73 2.5 -10 -0.5
Can speak and read but cannot write Welsh 38 1.4 46 1.5 7 0.1
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]

Language Usual residents aged 3+ Proportion
English or Welsh 2,871,405 97.14%
Polish 17,001 0.58%
Arabic 6,800 0.23%
Bengali (with Sylheti and Chatgaya) 5,207 0.18%
Tagalog/Filipino 2,749 0.09%
Portuguese 2,451 0.08%
Urdu 2,350 0.08%
French 2,073 0.07%
German 2,050 0.07%
Italian 1,694 0.06%
Other 42,061 1.42%

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]

Status 2001 number (,000) 2001 % 2011 number (,000) 2011 %
Married 1,204 52.0 1,167 46.6
Single 650 28.1 840 33.5
Divorced / legally dissolved 201 8.7 242 9.7
Widowed or surviving partner 218 9.4 198 7.9
Separated 44 1.9 55 2.2
Civil partnership n/a n/a 5 0.2

Table key

  • Single = Single never married or registered a same-sex civil partnership)
  • Divorced / legally dissolved = divorced or formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved
  • Widowed or surviving partner = Widowed or surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership
  • Separated = Separated (but still legally married or still legally in a same-sex civil partnership)
  • Civil partnership = In a registered same-sex civil partnership
Source: 2011 Census: KS103EW Marital and civil partnership status, unitary authorities in Wales, Accessed 23 December 2012

Miscellaneous data[edit]

  • Population density (2006): 143 people per square kilometre[9]
  • Fertility rate: 1.90 (2007)[10]
  • In 2010, 58% of births were outside marriage in Wales.[11] Currently, Wales and Scotland are the only countries of the United Kingdom where the majority of births are outside of marriage (51.3% of births in Scotland in 2012 were outside of marriage [12]). Wales (along with Scotland) also had the highest death rate (10.9 per thousand) in 2005.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]