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Wales in summary

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  • Release date: 3 February 2014
An overview of Wales from the statistics we publish.

3.1 million people (mid 2011).1

The main urban areas are Cardiff (346,100), Swansea (239,000) and Newport (145,700).1

About 1 in 20 of the UK population live in Wales.2

1.3 million households (2011).3

The total land surface of Wales comprises nearly 2.1 million hectares, of which some 80 per cent is devoted to agriculture.4

Life expectancy from birth in Wales is 78.2 years for males and 82.2 years for females (2010-12).5

Gross Value Added (GVA) estimates the economic activity of an area. Workplace GVA in Wales was £47.3 billion in 2012. Per head of population this is just under three quarters of the UK (less extra-regio) average (72.3 per cent).6

There were 1.76 million licensed road vehicles in Wales in 2012.7

Just over 52 per cent of local authority  municipal waste was prepared for reuse, recycling or composting in 2012-13.8

In January 2013 there were 1,656 maintained schools, and approx 465,000 pupils. More than 500 schools teach through the medium of Welsh.9

There were nearly 129,000 enrolments at higher education institutions in Wales in 2012/13.10

In 2013 there were 9.5 million sheep and lambs about one quarter of the UK total.11

There were around 35,200 babies born in 2012.12

Overall greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 21 per cent between the base year 1990 and 2011.13

Around one fifth of the population of Wales say they can speak Welsh.14

There were 9.6 million domestic UK tourist trips to Wales in 2012.15

Data sources

  1. Mid year estimates of the population
  2. Wales’s population: A demographic overview
  3. 2011 Census
  4. Welsh agricultural statistics
  5. Life expectancy
  6. Regional gross value added and sub-regional gross value added
  7. Licensing and vehicle ownership
  8. Local authority municipal waste management
  9. Schools' census
  10. Students in higer education institutions
  11. Survey of agriculture and horticulture
  12. Vital statistics
  13. Devolved Administration Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories
  14. Statswales website: Welsh Language (external link)
  15. Tourism statistics