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Wales in summary

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  • Release date: 14 April 2015
An overview of Wales from the statistics we publish.

3.1 million people (mid 2013).1

The main urban areas are Cardiff (352,700), Swansea (240,300) and Newport (146,558).1

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

1.3 million households (2013).3

The total land surface of Wales comprises nearly 2.1 million hectares, of which some 81 per cent is devoted to agriculture.4

Life expectancy from birth in Wales is 78.3 years for males and 82.3 years for females (2011-13).5

Gross Value Added (GVA) estimates the economic activity of an area. Workplace GVA in Wales was £52.1 billion in 2013. Per head of population this is just under three quarters of the UK (less extra-regio) average (72.2 per cent).6

There were 1.77 million licensed road vehicles in Wales in 2013.7

Just over 54 per cent of local authority  municipal waste was prepared for reuse, recycling or composting in 2013-14.8

In January 2014 there were 1,633 maintained schools, and approx 465,000 pupils. Almost 500 schools teach through the medium of Welsh.9

There were just over 129,000 enrolments at higher education institutions in Wales in 2013/14.10

In 2014 there were 9.7 million sheep and lambs about one quarter of the UK total.11

There were around 33,900 babies born in 2013.12

Overall greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 18 per cent between the base year 1990 and 2013.13

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

There were 9.9 million overnight tourist trips to Wales by GB residents in 2013.15

Data sources

1. Mid year estimates of the population

2. National level population estimates: StatsWales website (external link)

3. Household estimates: StatsWales website ( external link)

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 higher education institutions

11. Survey of agriculture and horticulture

12. Vital statistics

13. Devolved Administration Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories

14. Welsh Language: Statswales website (external link)

15. Great Britain Tourism Survey