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Statistical bulletin: 2011 Census: Quick Statistics for Wales, March 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 30 January 2013 Download PDF

Key figures

  • On 27 March 2011, Wales had 3.1 million usual residents.
  • Of those with a main language other than English or Welsh (three per cent, 84,000), 77 per cent (65,000) could speak English or Welsh very well or well.
  • Nearly one fifth (19 per cent, 562,000) of usual residents in Wales aged three and over reported that they could speak Welsh.
  • Ninety seven per cent (2.9 million) of usual residents in Wales aged three years and over reported English or Welsh as their main language in 2011.
  • The second most reported main language in Wales was Polish (0.6 per cent, 17,000), followed by Arabic (0.2 per cent, 7,000).
  • 1,100 usual residents used sign language, of which the majority (800) used British Sign Language.
  • The percentage of usual residents living in a one-family married couple household where at least one household member was aged less than 65 decreased from 50 per cent, (1.4 million) in 2001 to 44 per cent (1.3 million) in 2011.
  • The percentage of usual residents residing in a one-family cohabiting couple household where at least one household member was aged less than 65, increased from nine per cent (258,000) in 2001 to 12 per cent (367,000) in 2011.
  • In 2011, seven per cent (204,000) of usual residents of Wales were full-time students aged 16 to 74, of whom 28 per cent (57,000) stated that they were employed at the time of the census.
  • The percentage of the working population, aged 16 to 74, driving a car or van to work in Wales was 67 per cent (919,000) in 2011.

Introduction

This statistical release follows that of the Key Statistics on 11 December 2012 and the Welsh Government bulletin on First Results on the Welsh Language. It contains more detailed geographical breakdowns of those tables and new detailed tables for some characteristics of the people living in Wales on 27 March 2011; for example on main language, method of travel to work and economic activity of students as self reported in the census. The census is unique because it is the only information source that measures these characteristics across the whole population.

This bulletin describes new census results at the national and regional geographical level. The supporting census estimates are available to the lowest level of census geography, the output area (OA) statistical geography hierarchy and also for wards. Later in 2013 cross tabulations of characteristics, such as by age, sex, or ethnicity will be published. This will provide an even richer and more valuable data source for the many users of the census helping us to understand who we are, how we live and what we do.

About the census

The census has collected information about the population every 10 years since 1801 (except in 1941). The latest census in England and Wales took place on 27 March 2011.

Census estimates describe the characteristics of areas down to small geographies, and are used to understand similarities and differences in the population’s characteristics locally, regionally and nationally. This information is used for planning and delivering services, for example information about ethnicity is used for equality monitoring, and method of travel to work is used for transportation and road planning. The census is the only comprehensive source of small area data, on topics such as Welsh language skills and language spoken. It is used to support policy makers in decision-making.

Further information about the census estimates, including details about the methodology used and information about how population subgroups are defined and estimated is available via the 2011 Census home page.

Personal census information is not shared with any other government department or national, regional or local bodies. The information collected is kept confidential by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and is protected by law. Individual census records are not released for 100 years.

About this release

Statistics from the 2011 Census for England and Wales are being released in stages. More information on the planned releases can be found in the 2011 Census prospectus. This bulletin presents key findings for unitary authorities in Wales from the Quick Statistics tables published on 30 January 2013. UK statistics will be compiled and published once the relevant data becomes available for all four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This bulletin is about the usually resident population and households. It does not refer to visitors or short-term residents. A usual resident is anyone who, on census day, 27 March 2011, was in the UK and had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months or more, or had a permanent UK address and was outside the UK and intended to be outside the UK for less than 12 months.

Some estimates from the 2011 Census have already been published. The first release included estimates of the usually resident population by age and sex, population by residence type, household estimates and estimates of numbers of short-term residents. This was followed by information on the number of usual residents in England and Wales who reported having a second address outside the unitary authority in which they were usually resident.  In December 2012 information from the Key Statistics tables on topics such as health, ethnic group, level of qualification, country of birth, religion, economic activity, and tenure was published to the unitary authority level of geography.

In making comparisons with 2001, the census population estimates (by age and sex) have been compared to the mid-year estimates for 2001. For other characteristics, comparisons are made with 2001 Census estimates; both sources provide a rounded estimate of 2.9 million usual residents in Wales. Footnotes are provided with tables and charts to identify the data sources used. 

More detailed analyses of the census estimates are available for some topics. Three of these are published in parallel with this bulletin on the ONS website. They present analyses of families, general health and disability. Analysis of ethnicity, international migrants and religion were published alongside the 11 December release. Further analyses will be published during 2013.

Interactive data visualisations developed by ONS are also available to aid interpretation of the results. Users can enter postcodes into the interactive maps to focus on specific areas.

 

 

WHO WE ARE

Information on the personal characteristics of the usually resident population has already been published and this bulletin builds on the messages in the 11 December 2012 release which covered age and sex, health, religion, ethnic group, usual residents born outside the UK and household language. This included detailed analyses of ethnicity, international migrants and religion estimates.

The information in this section covers some of the information about the personal characteristics of the usually resident population of Wales as estimated by the 2011 Census. It covers our main language and Welsh language skills. More detailed analyses on general health and disability have been published in parallel with this release.

  • Ninety seven per cent (2.9 million) of usual residents in Wales aged three years and over reported English or Welsh as their main language.

  • Of the remaining three per cent (84,000) with a main language other than English or Welsh, most (77 per cent, 65,000) could speak English or Welsh very well or well.

  • The unitary authority in Wales with the highest proportion of usual residents aged three or over who reported a main language other than English or Welsh (eight per cent, 28,000) was Cardiff.

  • Nearly one fifth (19 per cent, 562,000) of usual residents in Wales aged three and over reported that they could speak Welsh.

  • The second most reported main language in Wales was Polish (0.6 per cent, 17,000), followed by Arabic (0.2 per cent, 7,000).

  • 1,100 usual residents used sign language, of which the majority (800) used British Sign Language.

Proficiency in English or Welsh

The 2011 Census was the first to ask usual residents how well they could speak English (in England) and English or Welsh (in Wales)1 if it was not their main language.

In Wales, three per cent (84,000) of people aged three and over reported a main language other than English or Welsh2. Of this group 39 per cent (33,000) could speak English or Welsh very well, 38 per cent (32,000) could speak English or Welsh well, 19 per cent (16,000) could speak English or Welsh but not well and four per cent (4,000) could not speak English or Welsh at all.  The group who could not speak English or Welsh at all represented 0.1 per cent (4,000) of the usually resident population aged three years and over.

Figure 1 shows that the unitary authority of Cardiff has the highest proportion (eight per cent, 28,000) of usual residents aged three and over who reported a main language other than English or Welsh,

 

Figure 1: Main language not English or Welsh

England, Wales, Wales unitary authorities, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over

Main language not English or Welsh
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Main language not English in England as data on Welsh language was only collected in Wales.

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The percentage of usual residents in Wales aged three and over whose main language was not English or Welsh but could speak English or Welsh very well was three percentage points lower than in England (42 per cent, 1.7 million).

In each of the other three categories; speaks English or Welsh well, cannot speak English or Welsh well or cannot speak English or Welsh, the percentage of responses in Wales was larger than the percentage in England.

Figure 2: Proficiency in English or Welsh

England, Wales, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over where main language not English or Welsh

Proficiency in English or Welsh
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Main language not English in England as data on Welsh language was only collected in Wales.

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For those usual residents whose main language was not English or Welsh the percentage who spoke English very well or well varied from 59 per cent (1,000) in Merthyr Tydfil to 87 per cent (2,000) in Ceredigion. The percentage who not could speak English or Welsh at all varied between two per cent (18) in Monmouthshire and nine per cent (356) in Carmarthenshire.

Figure 3: Proficiency in English or Welsh at unitary authority level

England, Wales, Wales unitary authorities, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over where main language not English or Welsh

Proficiency in English or Welsh at unitary authority level
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Main language not English in England as data on Welsh language was only collected in Wales.

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Information on main language and proficiency in English or Welsh is provided in tables QS204EW (183.5 Kb Excel sheet) and QS205EW (79.5 Kb Excel sheet) . A more detailed analysis of the language tables will be published during 2013.

Notes for Proficiency in English or Welsh

  1. The main language question in Wales asked respondents whether they spoke English or Welsh as their main language, however it did not allow them to record which language was their main language.
  2. The main language question asks what a person’s main language is and does not take into account languages they may be equally fluent in, but do not consider their main language. For example a person who considers their main language to be English but also speaks Polish fluently will be included in the English category and not the Polish category.

Welsh language skills

In Wales an additional question was included on the census questionnaire that asked respondents if they could understand, speak, read or write Welsh.

Table 1 shows that in 2011, 19 per cent (562,000) of usual residents in Wales aged three and over reported that they could speak Welsh.

The unitary authority with the smallest percentage of usual residents aged three and over who reported they could speak Welsh was Blaenau Gwent (eight per cent, 5,000). Blaenau Gwent also had the smallest percentage of usual residents aged three and over who could ‘Understand spoken Welsh’, ‘Read Welsh’, ‘Write Welsh’ and ‘Speak, read or write Welsh’.

Gwynedd was the unitary authority with the largest percentage of usual residents aged three and over who reported they could speak Welsh, with 65 per cent (77,000) of respondents in this category, it was also the unitary authority with the largest percentage of usual residents  aged three and over in other categories.

Table 1: Welsh language skills

Wales, Wales unitary authorities, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over

per cent
Unitary Authority Can understand spoken Welsh Can speak Welsh Can read Welsh Can write Welsh Can speak, read or write Welsh
Gwynedd 67 65 60 57 67
Isle of Anglesey 63 57 51 46 59
Ceredigion 52 47 44 40 49
Carmarthenshire 52 44 39 34 46
Conwy 35 27 25 22 30
Denbighshire 31 25 23 20 27
Powys 24 19 18 15 21
Pembrokeshire 24 19 18 15 21
Neath Port Talbot 21 15 15 12 18
Wrexham 18 13 13 10 15
Flintshire 17 13 13 10 15
Swansea 16 11 12 9 14
Rhondda Cynon Taf 16 12 14 11 15
Cardiff 13 11 11 10 13
The Vale of Glamorgan 13 11 11 9 13
Bridgend 13 10 11 8 13
Caerphilly 13 11 11 9 13
Merthyr Tydfil 12 9 10 7 12
Monmouthshire 11 10 9 8 12
Torfaen 10 10 9 8 11
Newport 10 9 9 8 11
Blaenau Gwent 9 8 7 7 9
Wales 23 19 18 16 21

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Information on Welsh language skills is provided in table QS206WA (110.5 Kb Excel sheet) and QS207WA (115.5 Kb Excel sheet) . A more detailed analysis of the Welsh language tables at local level has been produced by the Welsh Government.

Main language

The 2011 Census was the first to collect information on language1. The Key Statistics release of 11 December 2012 included information on household language. In 2011, all usual residents in 97 per cent (1.3 million) of households in Wales spoke English or Welsh2 as a main language3. In a further one per cent (18,000) of households at least one adult spoke English or Welsh as a main language and in less than one per cent (3,000) of households no adults but at least one child spoke English or Welsh as a main language. In the remaining two per cent (22,000) of households there were no residents who had English or Welsh as a main language.

Table 2 shows that English or Welsh4 was reported as the main language in Wales for 97 per cent (2.9 million) of usual residents aged three and over in 2011. The remaining three per cent (84,000) had a different main language but may have still used English or Welsh at some level of proficiency.

After English and Welsh, the next most widely reported main language was Polish (0.6 per cent, 17,000), followed by Arabic (0.2 per cent, 7,000). Of the 20 most reported main languages, four were South Asian languages and eight were European languages.

The North East had the highest percentage (97 per cent, 2.4 million) of people who reported English as their main language, followed by Wales (97 per cent, 2.9 million), whereas London had the lowest percentage (78 per cent, 6.1 million). 

1,100 usual residents used sign language, of which the majority (800) used British Sign Language.

Cardiff, the most ethnically diverse unitary authority in Wales, was the unitary authority with the lowest percentage of usual residents aged three and over reporting English or Welsh as a main language (92 per cent, 305,000).

Table 2: Twenty most reported main languages

Wales, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over

Thousands, per cent
Main Language Number Per cent
English (English or Welsh if in Wales) 2871.4 97.14
Polish 17.0 0.58
Arabic 6.8 0.23
All other Chinese 1 6.0 0.20
Bengali (with Sylheti and Chatgaya) 5.2 0.18
Tagalog/Filipino 2.7 0.09
Portuguese 2.5 0.08
Urdu 2.4 0.08
French 2.1 0.07
German 2.1 0.07
Italian 1.7 0.06
Spanish 1.7 0.06
Panjabi 1.7 0.06
Somali 1.5 0.05
Malayalam 1.5 0.05
Slovak 1.4 0.05
Cantonese Chinese 1.4 0.05
Turkish 1.3 0.05
Persian/Farsi 1.2 0.04
Lithuanian 1.1 0.04

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. All other Chinese excludes Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese.

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As in England, Polish was the most widely reported main language other than English or Welsh (or English in England). However the 20 most reported languages in Wales were different from those in England;  for example the East Asian language Tagalog/Filipino is the sixth most reported main language in Wales (0.1 per cent, 2,700) but nineteenth in England (0.1 per cent, 68,000), Panjabi is the thirteenth most reported main language in Wales (0.1 percent, 1,700) while it is third in England (0.5 per cent, 272,000), and Gujarati is the thirty second most reported main language  in Wales (0.03 per cent, 900) whereas in England it is the sixth most reported main language (0.4 per cent, 212,000).

Figure 4: Ten most reported main languages in Wales other than English or Welsh

Wales, England, 2011, Usual residents aged three and over

Ten most reported main languages in Wales other than English or Welsh
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. All other Chinese excludes Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese.
  2. English only in England

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Information on main language is provided in table QS204EW (183.5 Kb Excel sheet) . A more detailed analysis of the language tables will be published during 2013.

Notes for Main language

  1. A more detailed analysis on the language tables will be published in the first half of 2013.
  2. The main language question in Wales asked respondents whether they spoke English or Welsh as their main language, however it did not allow them to record which language was their main language.
  3. The main language question asks what a person’s main language is and does not take into account languages they may be equally fluent in, but do not consider their main language. For example a person who considers their main language to be English but also speaks Polish fluently will be included in the English category and not the Polish category.
  4. English only in England.

HOW WE LIVE

Information on households and communal establishments has already been published and this bulletin builds on the results in the 11 December 2012 release which covered accommodation and tenure, rooms, bedrooms and central heating, car or van availability, marital status, household composition and residents in communal establishments. This section presents key findings on household composition.

A more detailed analysis of households and families has been published in parallel with this release.

  • The percentage of usual residents living in one person households in 2011 was 13 per cent (401,000), one percentage point higher than in 2001 (12 per cent, 352,000).

  • The percentage of usual residents1 living in a one family2 married couple household decreased six percentage points from 50 per cent (1.4 million) in 2001 to 44 per cent (1.3 million) in 2011.

  • The percentage of usual residents1 living in a one family2 cohabiting couple household increased by three percentage points from nine per cent (258,000) in 2001 to 12 per cent (367,000) in 2011. 

  • The percentage of usual residents1 who lived in a one family2 lone parent household increased by one percentage point from 12 per cent (333,000) in 2001 to 13 per cent (378,000) in 2011.

  • Less than one percent (3,000) of usual residents1 reported living in a one family2 civil partnership household in 2011.

Notes for HOW WE LIVE

  1. Where at least one household member was aged less than 65.
  2. A family is defined as a married, civil partnered or cohabiting couple with or without child(ren), or a lone parent with at least one child. Child(ren) may be dependent or non-dependent. If the child has children of their own they are classed as a separate family. Multiple family households are included in ‘other households’.

Household composition

A household is defined as one person living alone; or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room or sitting room or dining area. The household population excludes those persons living in a communal establishment.

The total number of households in Wales in 2011 was 1.3 million, an increase of eight per cent from 1.2 million in 2001.

In 2011, 13 per cent (401,000) of usual residents in households in Wales lived alone. This is one percentage point higher than in 2001 (12 per cent, 352,000). Of the usually resident population who lived alone 44 per cent (178,000) were aged 65 and over.

In 2011, 77 per cent (2.3 million) of usual residents were living in households consisting of one family1 only. This is a two percentage point decrease in usual residents since 2001 when 79 per cent (2.3 million) of usual residents lived in one family households.

As can be seen in Table 3, between 2001 and 2011 the percentage of usual residents2 living in one family married couple households decreased from 50 per cent (1.4 million) in 2001 to 44 per cent (1.3 million) in 2011.  The percentage of usual residents2 living in a one family cohabiting couple household increased by three percentage points between 2001 and 2011 from nine per cent (258,000) to 12 per cent (367,000).  The percentage of usual residents2 living in a one family lone parent household also increased between 2001 and 2011 from 12 per cent (333,000) to 13 per cent (378,000).

Less than one per cent (3,000) of usual residents2 reported living in a one family civil partnership household in 2011.

Table 3: Household composition

Wales, 2001 and 2011, Usual residents living in households; households

Thousands, per cent
Year Household composition Usual residents Households
    Number  Per cent Number  Per cent
2001 One person households 352 12.3 352 29.1
One family only 2,252 78.7 784 64.9
Aged 65 and over 1 233 8.1 116 9.6
Married couple  1,429 50.0 449 37.2
Civil partnerships 2  -  -  -  -
Cohabiting couple 258 9.0 90 7.5
Lone parents 333 11.6 129 10.6
Other households 255 8.9 72 6.0
2011 One person households 401 13.3 401 30.8
One family only 2,306 76.6 817 62.8
Aged 65 and over 1 232 7.7 116 8.9
Married couple  1,327 44.1 427 32.7
Civil partnerships 2 3 0.1 1 0.1
Cohabiting couple 367 12.2 126 9.7
Lone parents 378 12.6 148 11.4
  Other households 304 10.1 84 6.5

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The 2001 data is for households consisting of female usual residents aged 60 and over, and male usual residents aged 65 and over.
  2. The 2011 Census collected information on civil partnerships for the first time, reflecting the fact that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect in the UK on 5 December 2005.

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Households consisting of usual residents other than one person or one family include those where all members were related (for example siblings living together or households containing more than three generations) and unrelated students or professionals living together. The percentage of usual residents living in these households increased between 2001 and 2011, from nine per cent (255,000) to 10 per cent (304,000). 

Information on household composition and families is provided in tables QS112EW (110 Kb Excel sheet)  and QS113EW (109.5 Kb Excel sheet) . A more detailed analysis of households and families has been published in parallel with this release.

Notes for Household composition

  1. A family is defined as a married, civil partnered or cohabiting couple with or without child(ren), or a lone parent with at least one child. Child(ren) may be dependent or non-dependent. If the child has children of their own they are classed as a separate family. Multiple family households are included in ‘other households’.
  2. Where at least one household member was aged less than 65.

WHAT WE DO

Information on households and communal establishments has already been published and this bulletin builds on the messages in the 11 December 2012 release which covered provision of unpaid care, economic activity, qualification, and industry and occupation. This section presents key findings on students, armed forces and method of travel to work.

The census is valuable in providing a detailed picture of the characteristics of the population at a point in time. This section covers how we travelled to work and whether we worked if we were students.

  • In 2011, seven per cent (204,000) of usual residents in Wales reported they were full-time students aged 16 to 74.

  • Twenty-eight per cent (57,000) of full-time students in Wales reported they were employed at the time of the census, eight per cent (16,000) were unemployed and 64 per cent (130,000) were economically inactive.

  • In 2011, 0.2 per cent (6,900) of usual residents in Wales were in the armed forces.

  • The proportion of the working population aged 16 to 74 driving a car or van to work in Wales was 67 per cent (919,000) in 2011.

A more detailed analysis of usual residents providing unpaid care will be published on 15 February 2013.

Students

Distribution

In 2011, seven per cent (204,000) of usual residents in Wales reported that they were full-time students aged 16 to 74.

The proportion of full-time students aged 16 to 74 increased by two percentage points since 2001 from five per cent (150,000). A similar finding occurred in England, where the number of full time students aged 16 to 74 increased from five per cent (2.5 million) to seven per cent (3.5 million) of the usually resident population between 2001 and 2011.

The region in England with the highest percentage of full-time students aged 16 to 74 was London (nine per cent, 700,000), with the lowest percentage in the East of England (five per cent, 315,000).

Most unitary authorities in Wales had fewer than 10 per cent of usual residents reporting they were full-time students aged 16 to 74. The exceptions were Ceredigion (15 per cent, 11,000) and Cardiff (12 per cent, 43,000).

Economic activity

Students can be either economically active1 (employed or unemployed) or economically inactive (not looking for work).

Of the 204,000 full-time students between the ages of 16 and 74 in Wales2 in 2011, 28 per cent (57,000) reported that they were employed, eight per cent (16,000) reported unemployment, and 64 per cent (130,000) were economically inactive.

Of the England regions, and Wales, the South West had the highest percentage (33 per cent, 100,000) of students in employment, as well as the lowest percentage of unemployed (eight per cent, 24,000).

London had the lowest percentage of students aged 16 to 74 in employment (26 per cent, 182,000), and the highest percentage of students that were economically inactive (65 per cent, 452,000). 

Of the England regions and Wales, the North West had the highest percentage of unemployed students aged 16 to 74 (10 per cent, 45,000).

Within each unitary authority in Wales, the percentage of full-time students aged 16 to 74 in employment ranged from 21 per cent (2,400) in Ceredigion to 35 per cent (2,500) in Flintshire. The percentage of unemployed students ranged from five per cent (300) in Powys to 11 per cent (1,000) in Newport. The percentage of economically inactive full-time students aged 16 to 74 ranged from 57 per cent (4,100) in Flintshire to 68 per cent (7,700) in Ceredigion.

Information on the economic activity of full-time students is provided in table QS603EW (83.5 Kb Excel sheet) .
 

Notes for Students

  1. Due to definitional differences, and because the census questionnaire is self completed by the population of England and Wales, the census estimates of people in employment may differ from other sources as, for example, some respondents may include voluntary work when asked about employment. The most authoritative and up to date estimates of the labour market status, including employment and  unemployment, are the labour market statistics that ONS publishes monthly. The census is valuable in providing a detailed picture at the time of the census of the characteristics of the economically active population.
  2. Economic activity as collected by the 2011 Census was not directly comparable with 2001 due to factors that include changes in the underlying classification and improvements in the questions in the Census questionnaire. ONS will publish analysis later in 2013 to help users to understand how these estimates compare with those in the Labour Force Survey.

Armed forces

In 2011, 0.2 per cent (6,900) of the usually resident population of Wales reported that they were in the armed forces, similar to 2001 (0.2 per cent, 5,300). In comparison the armed forces population of England made up 0.3 per cent (146,000) of the usually resident population.

In 2011, the largest percentage of usual residents who reported that they were members of the armed forces lived in the South West (0.6 per cent, 34,000) and the South East (0.4 per cent, 33,000). Of the England regions and Wales, London had the lowest percentage of usual residents in the armed forces (0.1 per cent, 6,300).

The Vale of Glamorgan (0.9 per cent, 1,100) was the unitary authority with the largest percentage of usual residents in the armed forces and Cardiff was the unitary authority with the smallest percentage of usual residents in the armed forces (0.1 per cent, 500).

Information on the armed forces is provided in table QS121EW (100.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Method of travel to work

Method of travel to work1 is the mode of transport used to cover the longest part, by distance, of a journey to work. This information is published for usual residents aged 16 to 74 who were working during the week before the census day, 27 March 2011.

In 2011, 61 per cent (1.4 million) of usual residents aged between 16 and 74 in Wales were in employment2.

Figure 5: Method of travel to work

Wales, 2011, Employed usual residents aged 16 to 74

Method of travel to work
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

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The majority (67 per cent, 919,000) of 16 to 74 year olds in Wales in employment travelled to work by driving a car or van. Eleven per cent (145,000) travelled to work on foot, seven per cent (93,000) travelled to work as a passenger in a car or van and five per cent (73,000) worked mainly at or from home. As can be seen from Figure 5, each of the remaining categories was reported by less than five percent of usual residents in Wales aged 16 to 74 year olds in employment.

This release of census statistics does not allow for direct comparison between 2001 and 2011 for mode of travel to work for 16 to 74 year olds in employment3.  Further comparison may be possible when workplace address statistics are published later in 2013.

Figure 6 shows that the main variation between England and Wales is in the proportion of usual residents aged 16 to 74 in employment using public transport (including buses, trains and underground trains/light rail/trams), and those using cars, vans, motorcycles and taxis. 

In Wales, 75 per cent (one million) of usual residents aged 16 to 74 in employment travelled by car, van, motorcycle or taxi compared to 63 per cent (16 million) in England.  Seven per cent (91,000) of usual residents aged 16 to 74 in employment travelled by bus, train or tram in Wales compared with 17 per cent (4.3 million) in England.

Figure 6: Method of travel to work at unitary authority level

England, Wales, Wales unitary authorities, 2011, Employed usual residents aged 16 to 74

Method of travel to work at unitary authority level
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

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In Wales, the percentage of workers mainly using public transport ranged from two per cent (1,000) in Powys to 14 per cent (22,000) in Cardiff.  The percentage using cars, vans, motorcycles or taxis ranged from 63 per cent (100,000) in Cardiff to 83 per cent (24,000) in Blaenau Gwent.

Cardiff had the highest percentage of workers travelling on foot or using a bicycle (19 per cent, 31,000), and Powys had the highest percentage of people working from home (13 per cent, 8,000). 

Information on travel to work is provided in table QS701EW (85.5 Kb Excel sheet) . A more detailed analysis of this data will be published on 13 February 2013.

Notes for Method of travel to work

  1. Due to definitional differences, and because the census questionnaire is self completed by the population of England and Wales, the census estimates of mode of travel to work may differ from other sources.
  2. Due to definitional differences, and because the census questionnaire is self completed by the population of England and Wales, the census estimates of people in employment may differ from other sources as, for example, some respondents may include voluntary work when asked about employment. The most authoritative and up to date estimates of the labour market status, including employment and  unemployment, are the labour market statistics that ONS publishes monthly. The census is valuable in providing a detailed picture at the time of the census of the characteristics of the economically active population.
  3. Direct comparisons are not possible for mode of travel to work between 2001 and 2011. In 2001, people who recorded their place of work as working mainly at or from home were considered to have their mode of travel to work as working mainly at or from home. In 2011, people working mainly at or from home could record, for example, that they travelled to work as a driver in a car or van, despite being based at home. This extra information is useful for transport planning.

Background notes

  1. This publication follows previous releases of census data including household and population totals and unitary authority level Key Statistics tables. The census provides estimates of the characteristics of all people and households in England and Wales on census day. These are produced for a variety of users including government, local and unitary authorities, business and communities. The census provides population statistics from national to local level. This bulletin discusses the results at the national and unitary authority level for Wales

  2. In making comparisons to 2001, the population estimates (by age and sex) have been compared with the mid-year estimates for 2001. For other characteristics, comparisons are made with 2001 Census estimates, Both sources provide a rounded estimate of 2.9 million usual residents in Wales. Footnotes are provided with tables and charts to identify the data sources used.

  3. 2001 Census data are available via the Neighbourhood Statistics website. Relevant table numbers for 2011 results are provided in all download files within this publication.

  4. Interactive data visualisations developed by ONS are also available to aid interpretation of the results.

  5. Future releases from the 2011 Census will include more detail in cross tabulations, and tabulations at other geographies. These include wards, health areas, parliamentary constituencies, postcode sectors and national parks. Further information on future releases is available online in the 2011 Census Prospectus.

  6. Due to definitional differences, and because the census questionnaire is self completed by the population of England and Wales, the census estimates of people in employment may differ from other sources as, for example, some respondents may include voluntary work when asked about employment. The most authoritative and up to date estimates of the labour market status including employment and unemployment are the labour market statistics that ONS publishes monthly. The census is valuable in providing a detailed picture at the time of the census of the characteristics of the economically active population.

  7. Direct comparisons are not possible for mode of travel to work between 2001 and 2011. In 2001, people who recorded their place of work as working mainly at or from home were considered to have their mode of travel to work as working mainly at or from home. In 2011, people working mainly at or from home could record, for example, that they travelled to work as a driver in a car or van, despite being based at home. This extra information is useful for transport planning.

  8. ONS has ensured that the data collected meet users' needs via an extensive 2011 Census outputs consultation process in order to ensure that the 2011 Census outputs will be of increased use in the planning of housing, education, health and transport services in future years.

  9. Any reference to unitary authorities includes both local and unitary authorities.

  10. Figures in this publication may not sum due to rounding. Percentage point changes in the text are based on rounded data.

  11. Officials from the Welsh Government have been involved in the planning of the 2011 Census. The Welsh Government is represented at all levels of census governance. In particular during 2011 and 2012, Welsh statisticians have been involved in the quality assurance process and plans for census statistics.

  12. The England and Wales census questionnaires asked the same questions with one exception; an additional question on Welsh language was included on the Wales questionnaire.

  13. ONS is responsible for carrying out the census in England and Wales. Simultaneous but separate censuses took place in Scotland and Northern Ireland. These were run by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) respectively.

  14. ONS is responsible for the publication of UK statistics (compiling comparable statistics from the UK statistical agencies above). These will be compiled as each of the three statistical agencies involved publish the relevant data. The Northern Ireland census prospectus and the Scotland census prospectus) are available online. The first release of UK population estimates took place on 17 December 2012.

  15. A person's place of usual residence is in most cases the address at which they stay the majority of the time. For many people this will be their permanent or family home. If a member of the services did not have a permanent or family address at which they are usually resident, they were recorded as usually resident at their base address.

  16. A household is defined as one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area.

  17. All key terms used in this publication, such as resident and short-term residents are explained in the 2011 Census user guide.

  18. All census population estimates were extensively quality assured, using other national and local sources of information for comparison and review by a series of quality assurance panels. An extensive range of quality assurance, evaluation and methodology papers were published alongside the first release in July 2012 and have been updated in this release,  including a Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) document (152.8 Kb Pdf) .

  19. The 2011 Census achieved its overall target response rate of 94 per cent of the usually resident population of England and Wales, and over 80 per cent in all local and unitary authorities. The population estimate for England and Wales of 56.1 million is estimated with 95 per cent confidence to be accurate to within +/- 85,000 (0.15 per cent).

  20. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Emma White +44 (0)1329 444972 2011 Census census.customerservices@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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