In Wales, the Annual Population Survey includes questions on people’s ability in Welsh and how often they speak Welsh.
The Census of Population is the key source used to measure the number of Welsh speakers in Wales. However, as the Annual Population Survey (APS) provides quarterly results, it is useful to use the APS to look at trends in the Welsh language between censuses. Historically a far greater number of people are recorded as being able to speak Welsh in the APS than in the Census.
The APS results should not be compared against Census results, nor used to measure progress towards the Welsh Government target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050. The Welsh language strategy Cymraeg 2050, clearly states that this target was based on census data and that progress towards this target will be monitored using future census data.
A blog published by the Chief Statistician recently, gave a brief discussion on how to interpret the Welsh language data in the APS. More information about the differences between the APS and the Census can be found in a report presenting more detailed results on the Welsh language from the APS from 2001 to 2018.