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The report has been designed to support the public sector in Wales in making better decisions for the long term.

The Future Trends report identifies the key social, economic, environmental and cultural trends that could affect Wales in the future. As well as some of the factors that could influence the direction of those trends.

The report sets out the future trends under six themes:

  • population
  • health
  • economy and infrastructure
  • climate change
  • land use and natural resources
  • society and culture.

It comprises of three elements:

  • Part A: Where may we be going? Future Trends Affecting Wales
  • Part B: What could this mean? Influencing Factors behind the future trends and potential impacts on Wales
  • a number of data slides belonging to each of the six areas covered.

The report encourages readers to consider these trends in combination with each other, and to start to identify and discuss the potential opportunities and challenges they might present for us all. Whilst the report is updated at the start of each Assembly, the data slides are updated at more regular intervals.

The latest report was published in 2017, and the slides updated in April 2019. Welsh Ministers have a legal duty to publish a Future Trends report within 12 months of a National Assembly for Wales election, under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The first Future Trends report was published in March 2017. The next one is due in 2021/22. 

Data slide updates

In April 2019 an update of supporting slides was made to ensure the report is current. No changes were made to the main Future Trends Wales report, but the following changes were made to the supporting slides.

Data changes


  • Components of population change (slide 13)

The population theme uses data from the 2016-based national population projections, which showed projected growth in the population of Wales over the period 2016-2041. The more recent 2018-based national population projections show a projected decline over the same time period; we will be updating this theme as soon as we can.


  • Change in life expectancy (slide 7)

New data slide

Society and culture

  • Housing demand (slide 19)
  • In work poverty (slide 16)
  • Projected number of Welsh speakers (slide 43)

Online resources

The Future Trends Wales Programme also provides an online resource where you will be able gain access to further futures research and toolkits from around Wales and beyond. To gain access to this resource or to discuss anything else regarding futures work within Welsh Government, including the Welsh Government Futures toolkit, training or workshop facilitation offers please contact


Future Trends report 2017 , file type: PDF, file size: 428 KB

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Rhydian Davies

Telephone: 0300 062 2415


Telephone: 0300 025 8099