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In this period, the National Survey involved over 3,000 people aged 16 and over. It covered a range of topics including some asked in previous months and some new topics.

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. 

Local area and environment

62% of people say that their local area has a good sense of community; this means that they feel they belong in the area, people from different backgrounds get along, and that people treat each other with respect.

People were asked to say what they consider to be a problem in their local area: 36% say fly-tipping, 51% say dog fouling, 50% say litter, and 14% say graffiti or vandalism. This is not evenly distributed across Wales, 73% of people in Blaenau Gwent and 67% in Merthyr Tydfil say fly-tipping is a problem compared with 17% of people in Ceredigion and Denbighshire.

Climate change

97% of people agree that the climate is changing: 75% of these think it is definitely changing and 23% that it is probably changing. More people say that climate change is mainly caused by human activity than when this question was last asked in 2018-19 (Chart 1). 71% of people think that climate change is already having an impact in Wales.

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Chart showing people's views on the cause of climate change, from 2018-19 and the January to March 2021 telephone survey.

When thinking about change to the variety of species in Wales, 17% of people say there has been an increase in biodiversity, 54% a decrease, and 29% no change. Considering future change to the variety of species in Wales, 21% of people say that biodiversity will increase in future, 63% say that it will decrease, and 16% that there will be no change.

Flood risk

6% of people say that their home is at risk of flooding. 13% of people are fairly or very concerned about the risk of flooding to their property, 48% are concerned about flooding in their local area, and 86% are concerned about flooding in other parts of Wales. It appears that there has been an increase in concern since the questions were last asked in 2018-19 (although then they were asked face-to-face, rather than by telephone). In 2018-19, 11% were concerned about the risk of flooding to their property, 28% to their local area, and 62% to other parts of Wales. The heightened concern about flooding may be due to the extensive flooding in the winter of 2019-2020.

Well-being and loneliness

16% of people report being lonely. This is up from 12% in the months October to December 2020, but similar to 2019-20, when 15% of people were lonely. This could be an indication that lockdown during the first part of 2021 was felt to be more isolating than the first coronavirus lockdown.

This apparent winter lockdown effect is also reflected in the well-being results. 70% of people report high or very high satisfaction with life. This is lower than in the months October to December 2020, when 78% of people said the same. 79% of people say they feel that things they do in life are worthwhile, down from 85% in the previous three months. 24% of people say they had high levels of anxiety the previous day, the same as during October to December 2020. 70% of people say they felt happy the previous day, compared with 76% in the previous quarter.

Healthcare services

48% of people had a GP appointment and 27% had a hospital appointment in the period since the start of April 2020. 83% of those who had telephone GP appointments said they were satisfied, compared with 95% of those who had face to face GP appointments.

41% of people have had an appointment with another health professional from their GP surgery (e.g. a practice nurse) in the last year.

35% of people say that they have their eyes tested at least once a year, 37% every two years, 17% less than every two years, and 8% say they have never had their eyes tested.

76% of people say they have a regular dentist or dental practice. Fewer people report having their last dental appointment in the last 6 months, compared with the people asked in 2019-20 (see Chart 2). This is likely to be because of lockdown and social distancing restrictions.

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Chart showing the frequency that people in the 2019-20 survey had dental appointments, and when respondents from the January to March 2021 survey last had a dental appointment.

Of those who had their last dental appointment more than 2 years ago, 75% do not have a regular dentist or dental practice. Of those who had an appointment in the last 12 months, 59% were NHS appointments, 36% were private, and 5% were both NHS and private.

Population health

Welsh Government focuses on five ‘healthy lifestyle’ behaviours: not smoking, not drinking above guidelines, being a healthy weight, eating 5 portions of fruit or vegetables, and being active. We found that 28% of people have 4 or 5 of these healthy lifestyle behaviours, while 7% have fewer than 2 healthy lifestyle behaviours.

14% of people are smokers, and 30% are ex-smokers. 20% of people do not drink alcohol, while 17% drink more than the guideline 14 units per week. 37% of people are a healthy weight, while 61% are overweight or obese (including 24% obese). 31% of people said they had eaten 5 or more fruit and vegetable portions on the previous day. 51% of people said they were active for at least 150 minutes the previous week, meeting weekly activity guidelines.

These results for health-related lifestyle should not be compared with results from previous years of the National Survey for Wales due to the change in survey mode (and, in some cases, the need to adapt questions). These topics can be sensitive to such changes. We plan to look at comparability in more detail later in the year.

Primary schools

87% of parents with a primary school-age child say the child’s school is finding ways to support children with learning at home.

49% of parents report that they help their child every day with letters, reading or writing, and 48% of parents report that they help with mathematics.

63% of primary school-age children are reported to have their own computer, laptop or tablet available for school work. A further 29% have access to a shared device.

Secondary schools

81% of parents with a secondary school-age child say the child’s school is finding ways to support children with learning at home.

68% of parents with a secondary school-age child report that they support their child with their school work at least once a week.

83% of secondary school-age children have their own computer, laptop or tablet available for school work. A further 14% have access to a shared device.

Employment

69% of adults aged 16 to 64 report that they were employed (including self-employment). This includes the 5% of adults aged 16 to 64 who report being furloughed. 4% of adults aged 16 to 64 say they are unemployed. The Labour Force Survey shows the employment rate among adults aged 16 to 64 in Wales was 74% from January to March 2021, and that the unemployment rate was 4%.

18% of people have seen a change in their employment status as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, this includes those who have lost work or changed the number of hours they work.

Food poverty

2% of people say they have received food from a food bank in the previous 12 months due to a lack of money, similar to the previous quarter. A further 1% of people say they would have liked to receive food from a food bank but haven’t.

Finances

79% of people say they are keeping up with all their bills and commitments without any difficulty, compared with 68% in 2019-20.

13% of people say they have received Universal Credit in the previous 3 months, compared with 9% in 2019-20.

Volunteering and COVID-19

4% of people say they have volunteered to help with the COVID-19 situation in the previous 4 weeks. This has decreased since the first part of the pandemic:  during the period May to September, 8% of people said they had volunteered in the previous 4 weeks. Of those who volunteered during January to March, 89% are planning on continuing to volunteer for at least a further 6 months or as long as needed.

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, and have made the following improvements:

  • provided more detailed breakdowns in the results viewer and made it easier for users to compare results across years
  • updated the survey topics annually to ensure we continue to meet changing policy need
  • made regression analysis 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

Statistician: Scott Armstrong
Telephone: 0300 025 0056
Email: surveys@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

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Ystadegau Gwladol

SB 20/2021

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