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Introduction

This report presents some key results from April to June 2021. In this period, the National Survey involved over 3,000 people aged 16+ and covered a wide range of topics. The full-year survey results (April 2021 to March 2022) will be published in July 2022.

Some results are included from previous years, in order to provide context. However, given that the National Survey switched from face-to-face to telephone mode in April 2020, care should be taken in making direct comparisons with results from before this date.

GP and hospital services

54%

of people have had a GP appointment in the last 12 months.

The number of people who have had a GP appointment has decreased from 64% in 2020-21 and 76% in 2019-20. Of those who saw a GP in the past 12 months: 65% consulted them once or twice, 24% three to five times and 11% six or more times. 51% of appointments were over the phone, compared with 48% in person and 1% by video call. Of those who made their own appointments, 73% found getting an appointment at a convenient time easy and 88% were satisfied with the care received.

32% of people had a hospital appointment in the past 12 months, similar to the pre-pandemic figure of 34% in 2019-20. Of the people who had an appointment in the past year, 71% had been once or twice, 18% three to five times and 11% six or more times. 87% of appointments were in person and 11% were over the phone and 2% by video call.

96% of people say they were treated with dignity and respect, and 93% are satisfied with the care received.

Local area and environment

35% of people agree they have opportunities to participate in making decisions about the running of their local services, compared with 17% in 2019-20. 30% of people agree they can influence decisions affecting their local area, compared with 19% in 2018-19. These are both marked increases and may be a reflection of a change due to the pandemic so it is something we will monitor as the year progresses.

Those who are satisfied with their local area as a place to live are more likely to agree that they can influence decisions (34%) than people who are dissatisfied with the local area (21% of these people feel they can influence decisions).

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Stacked bar chart showing how problematic people think four separate local environmental issues are: fly-tipping, littering, dog fouling, and graffiti and vandalism.

44% of people think that littering is a problem (major or moderate) in their local area and 19% of people think dog fouling is a major problem (Chart 1). People living in urban areas are more likely to think that graffiti or vandalism is a problem (17%) than those living in rural areas (6%). Fly-tipping is a problem in both urban and rural areas. 

Primary schools

88%

of parents say their child’s primary school finds ways to help support learning at home.

39% of parents report that they help their child every day with letters, reading or writing, and 27% of parents report that they help with maths every day. This has decreased since the January-March 2021 when schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and 49% of parents helped with reading and 48% with maths during this period.

The most common way to get to school is by car (48%); other methods are walking with an adult (39%) and children walking on their own or with other children (11%). There may be seasonal changes that affect active travel to school, a complete picture will be available when the full-year results are published in July 2022.

Secondary schools

78% of parents with a secondary school-age child say the child’s school finds ways to support children with learning at home.

65% of parents with a secondary school-age child say they support their child with their school work at least once a week.

Secondary school pupils are equally likely to get to school by walking on their own or with other children (33%) or by car (32%) or by school bus (32%).

Employment and training

56% of adults aged 16 to 64 report that they are either an employee or self-employed. This includes the 1% of adults aged 16 to 64 who report being furloughed due to the pandemic. 3% of adults aged 16 to 64 are unemployed.

Of those who are not currently in employment or in training but would like a job, 14% lost their previous job in the past year and 77% lost their job over a year ago.

29% of people have been on a formal education or training course, a similar proportion to that in 2018-19. People aged 16-44 are the most likely go on a formal education or training course (45%). 32% of those in urban area went on a training course compared with 25% of those in rural areas.

Noise pollution

25% of people report being regularly bothered by noise coming from outside their home, a similar proportion to 2017-18. People living in urban areas are more likely to be bothered by noise (28%) than those in rural areas (21%).

22% of owner-occupiers are bothered by noise, compared with 36% in social housing and 34% in private rented accommodation. Again, these are similar results to those found in 2017-18.

Fewer people say that they are bothered by noise coming from inside their neighbours’ homes than when this question was last asked in 2017-18 (Chart 2). However, more people now say other reasons of noise pollution are a problem (for example: groups of teenagers, dogs barking, and building work).

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Chart showing the types of noise that most bother people in their homes, plotted for 2017-18 and April-June 2021.

People aged 16 to 44 are more likely than those aged 65 and older to be bothered by noise inside their home coming from neighbours inside theirs (29% compared with 14%) and also from noise coming from neighbours who are outside (54% compared with 29%). However, 16-44 year olds are less likely to be bothered by noise from traffic, business or factories (36%) than those aged 65 and older (50%).  

Climate change

95% of people think that the world’s climate is changing.  Of these, 69% think it is definitely changing and 26% that it is probably changing. When asked how concerned they are about climate change, 34% of people say they are very concerned, 9% that they are not concerned at all, and the rest say they are fairly or slightly concerned.

80% of people say that the government has a lot of responsibility in tackling climate change, 71% think a lot of the responsibility lies with businesses, and 62% think the general public has a lot of responsibility.

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Chart showing how people's views about the causes of climate change have changed across years 2016-17, 2017-18 and April to June 2021.

Chart 3 shows that views on the reasons for climate change have altered across time, with more people now saying that it is caused entirely or mainly by human activity: in 2016-17 38% of people thought it was caused by human activity compared with 53% in these latest results.  

Arts attendance and participation

The impact of coronavirus lockdowns is particularly apparent in the results on attendance at arts and cultural events. Only 17% of people visited an arts event in the last 12 months, compared with 73% in 2018-19. Similarly, 6% of people saw a film at the cinema compared with 57% in 2018-19.

Participation in arts events and activities was also much lower than in previous years. We will report on this again when the results for the full 2020-21 year are available.

82% of people say they agree there should be public funding of arts and cultural projects, and 88% of people agree that arts and culture make Wales a better place to live in. These are similar results to 2018-19.

Sport and physical activity

55%

of people participated in some sporting or physical activity in the last 4 weeks.

As with arts attendance and participation, the pandemic has had a marked effect on sport and physical activity results when compared with previous years. However, the results for two activities that were not restricted were comparable with previous years: walking over two miles (49%) and jogging or running (14%) were still common activities.

People were also asked whether there were any sports or activities they would like to do, or to do more of. 33% say they want to do more sport or physical activity in general. In particular, 22% want to do more fitness activities (such as fitness classes, running/jogging, cycling or swimming) and 12% want to do more sports or games (such as football, rugby, table tennis or golf). 5% would like to do more outdoor pursuits like rambling, kayaking or sailing.

Pets

52% of households have a pet. Dogs (33% of households) and cats (21% of households) are the most common types of pet. 5% of households have a small furry animal (hamster, guinea pig, mouse etc.) and 2% have a bird. These results are all similar to when the questions were last asked in 2014-15.

If a pet was acquired in the past five years, people were asked where they had got it from. Dogs were most commonly purchased from a private seller (28%), a licensed breeder (23%) or from friends and family (23%). In 2014-15, 38% of people bought their dog from a private seller. Cats were most commonly obtained from friends and family (35%) or a rescue centre (24%).  

Media reports suggest there has been an increase in pet ownership during the pandemic. However, it’s not clear from the survey that this has happened in Wales. The survey found that of households with dogs acquired in the last five years, 21% had obtained their dog in the past year. Of households with cats acquired in the last five years, 25% got their cat in the past year.

59% of cats and dogs are insured, and 91% are microchipped.

Quality information

Telephone interviews were carried out with a random sample of people aged 16 and over. Detailed charts and tables of results are available in our interactive results viewer. For information on data collection and methodology please see our Quality report.

National Statistics status

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value.

All official statistics should comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment by the UK Statistics Authority’s regulatory arm. The Authority considers whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.

It is Welsh Government’s responsibility to maintain compliance with the standards expected of National Statistics. If we become concerned about whether these statistics are still meeting the appropriate standards, we will discuss any concerns with the Authority promptly. National Statistics status can be removed at any point when the highest standards are not maintained, and reinstated when standards are restored.

The continued designation of these statistics as National Statistics was confirmed in June 2020 following a compliance check by the Office for

Statistics Regulation (letter of confirmation). These statistics last underwent a full assessment (full report) against the Code of Practice in 2013.

Since the latest review by the Office for Statistics Regulation, we have continued to comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics, by for example:

  • providing more detailed breakdowns in the results viewer
  • updated the survey topics regularly to ensure we continue to meet changing policy need
  • continued to carry out regression analysis as a standard part of our outputs, to help users understand the contribution of particular factors to outcomes of interest

Well-being of Future Generations Act (WFG)

The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act puts in place seven wellbeing goals for Wales. These are for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Under section (10)(1) of the Act, the Welsh Ministers must (a) publish indicators (“national indicators”) that must be applied for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals, and (b) lay a copy of the national indicators before Senedd Cymru. The 46 national indicators were laid in March 2016. The National Survey collects information for 15 of the 46 indicators.

Further information on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The statistics included in this release could also provide supporting narrative to the national indicators and be used by public services boards in relation to their local wellbeing assessments and local wellbeing plans.

Contact details

Richard Murphy
Tel: 0300 0256443
Email: surveys@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

National statistics

SB 32/2021