Skip to content

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

Released: 11 December 2012 Download PDF

Key figures

  • The usually resident population of Wales was 3.1 million in 2011, a five per cent increase since 2001. Nearly one in five (18 per cent, 563,000) of residents were aged 65 or over.
  • As was the case in 2001, in 2011 Wales had a higher percentage of residents with a long term health problem or disability, just under a quarter (23 per cent, 696,000), higher than any England region.
  • Fifty eight per cent (1.8 million) of residents of Wales stated Christian as their religion in 2011, a 14 percentage point drop since 2001, a larger decrease than any of the England regions. Almost one third (32 per cent, 983,000) of the population in Wales stated they had no religion in 2011, more than any of the England regions.
  • Nearly two thirds (66 per cent, 2.0 million) of the residents of Wales expressed their national identity as Welsh in 2011. Of these 218,000 also reported that they considered themselves to be British.
  • The usually resident population of Wales was 96 per cent (2.9 million) White in 2011, a higher percentage than any of the England regions.
  • Five per cent (168,000) of people in Wales were born outside the UK in 2011, an increase of two percentage points on 2001 (three per cent, 92,000).
  • Thirty per cent (169,000) of usual residents of Wales aged three and over who could speak Welsh (562,000) in 2011 were aged between three and 15 years old. The group of people aged three and over who could speak, read and write Welsh decreased one percentage point from 16 per cent (458,000) in 2001 to 15 per cent (431,000) in 2011.
  • In 2011, more households in Wales (67 per cent, 879,000) owned their accommodation than in England (63 per cent, 14.0 million).
  • The number of cars and vans available to households in Wales increased from 1.3 to 1.6 million between 2001 and 2011. In 2001 there were on average 11 cars per 10 households whereas in 2011 there were 12 cars per 10 households.
  • Nearly all households in Wales reported that they had central heating in 2011 (98 per cent, 1.3 million). This is an increase of six percentage points on 2001 (92 per cent, 1.1 million).
  • More people (12 per cent, 370,000) in Wales were caregivers than in any England region in 2011. Wales had higher percentages of people providing care for 20 to 49 hours, and 50 or more hours in 2011, than any England region; two per cent (54,000) and three per cent (104,000) respectively.
  • One in four of the usually resident population in Wales aged 16 and over (26 per cent, 651,000) reported having no recognised qualifications in 2011. The second largest qualifications category in Wales in 2011 was Level 4 or above eg Bachelor’s degree or above (24 per cent, 614,000).

Introduction

This bulletin describes the population of Wales based on information collected in the 2011 Census. It captures the defining characteristics of the population, who we are, how we live and what we do. This bulletin is grouped into these three sections.

The census is unique because it is the only information source that measures these characteristics together across the whole population. The outputs are published at national, regional and local authority level and this bulletin provides commentary at national and regional level. It is published alongside a bulletin for England and Wales.

During 2013 ONS will provide this information at geographical levels smaller than the local authority, and then in cross tabulations between characteristics, such as by age or ethnicity. This will provide an even richer and more valuable data source for the many users of the census.

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 vehicle ownership is used for transportation and road planning. The census is the only comprehensive source of small area data about the provision of unpaid care and it is used to support policy makers in decision making. Previous releases of census estimates have provided more information about their uses: release on 16 July 2012.

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 ONS, and is protected by law. Individual census records are not released for 100 years.

About this release

Estimates from the 2011 Census for England and Wales are being released in stages as soon as ONS can make them available. More information on the planned releases can be found in the 2011 Census prospectus. This bulletin presents key findings from all Key Statistics tables and nine Quick Statistics tables in Wales. UK statistics will be compiled and published after 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 or household spaces in Wales. It does not refer to visitors or short-term residents. A usual resident is anyone who, on census day, 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. For example the release on 16 July 2012 provided estimates of the usually resident population by age and sex, population by residence type, household estimates and estimates of numbers of short-term residents. Information on the number of residents with a second address has also been released.

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 to identify the data sources used.

More detailed analyses of the census estimates are available for some topics via ONS “short stories”. Four of these are published in parallel with this bulletin on the ONS website. Three present analyses of international migration, ethnicity and religion. The fourth is a report on how the labour market statistics differ from those estimated from the Labour Force Survey at the national, regional and local and unitary authority level.

Key and Quick Statistics tables for lower levels of the output area (OA) statistical geography hierarchy and for the ward geography hierarchy will be published on 30 January 2013. Further short stories will be published alongside this release and subsequently, covering families, general health and disability, unpaid care, language, occupation and industry, qualifications and economic activity. 

WHO WE ARE

The information in this section is about the personal characteristics of the usually resident population as estimated by the 2011 Census for Wales. It covers our age and sex, our general health, whether we have an illness or disability that limits our day to day activities, our religious beliefs, our ethnicity, our national identity, whether or not we were born in the UK and, if not, when we arrived, what passports we hold and our language skills.

  • The usually resident population of Wales was 3.1 million in 2011, a five per cent increase since 2001. Nearly one in five (18 per cent, 563,000) of residents were aged 65 or over.

  • Just under 23 per cent of residents (696,000) had a long term health problem or disability, higher than any England region.

  • Fifty eight per cent (1.8 million) of residents of Wales stated Christian as their religion, a 14 percentage point drop since 2001, a larger decrease than any of the England regions.

  • Nearly two thirds (66 per cent, 2.0 million) of the residents of Wales expressed their national identity as Welsh. Of these 218,000 also recorded that they considered themselves to be British.

  • Of the usual residents of Wales aged three and over who could speak Welsh (562,000), 30 per cent (169,000) were aged between three and 15 years old.

  • The percentage of residents of Wales aged three and over who could speak, read and write Welsh decreased one percentage point from 16 per cent (458,000) in 2001 to 15 per cent (431,000) in 2011.

- Age and sex

On 16 July 2012, the 2011 Census population and household estimates for Wales were published.

These showed that on 27 March 2011, the population in Wales was 3.1 million usual residents; 1.5 million men and 1.6 million women. The population grew by five per cent (153,000) since 2001, and migration accounted for 92 per cent (141,000) of the population increase in Wales in the 10 year period, both from within the UK and from abroad.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent, 563,000), of the population was aged 65 and over, an increase of one percentage point (56,700) since 2001. As in 2001, six per cent (178,000) of the usually resident population in Wales were children under five, an increase of 11,300.

There were 1.3 million households in Wales, with an average of 2.3 residents per household. All areas of Wales saw population growth between 2001 and 2011, except Blaenau Gwent.

Information published so far from 2011 Census is available.

- Health

General health

Usual residents were asked to assess their general state of health on a five point scale: very good, good, fair, bad or very bad. The majority, 78 per cent (2.4 million), of usual residents in Wales described themselves as being in good or very good health. Fifteen per cent (448,000) described their health as fair, and the remaining eight per cent (234,000) described their health as bad or very bad; this is a higher percentage of usual residents describing their health as bad or very bad than in any England region.

This was not a new question in 2011 but its structure has changed. In 2001 it was based on a three point scale: good, fairly good or not good. The findings are therefore not directly comparable. For example, some people recording their health as ‘fair’ in 2011 might have said ‘fairly good’ using a 2001 scale but some might have said ‘not good’. An analysis of estimates relating to health and care will be published on 30 January 2013. This story will compare general health data with 2001 by applying weights to the response categories (275.3 Kb Pdf) .

Information on health is provided in table KS301EW (106 Kb Excel sheet) .

Long-term activity-limiting illness

In 2011, those reporting a long-term health problem or disability (including those related to age) that limited their day-to-day activities and that had lasted, or was expected to last, at least 12 months, were asked to assess whether their daily activities were limited a lot or a little by such a health problem, or whether their daily activities were not limited at all. The estimates for 2011 are in Table 1.

In 2001 the long term activity limiting illness response categories were yes and no. To compare 2001 and 2011, the 2011 results for 'Yes, limited a lot' and 'Yes, limited a little' must be aggregated into a single 'Yes' response.

Table 1: Level of activity limited by long-term health problem or disability by age bands

Wales, 2001 and 2011, all usual residents

Thousands, per cent
Year Age Limited1   Not limited
Number Per cent   Number Per cent
2001 Working age2 319 18 1,415 82
All ages 676 23 2,227 77
2011 16 to 64 329 17 1,615 83
  All ages 696 23   2,368 77

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. 2011 Census estimates for 'limited a little' and 'limited a lot' have been aggregated to allow
  2. Working age is defined as 16 to 64 inclusive for males and 16 to 59 inclusive for females.

Download table

Information on long term activity limiting health problems is provided in table KS301EW (106 Kb Excel sheet)

- Religion

The question on religious affiliation in the census was introduced in 2001 and was voluntary. The order of the main religion groups by size did not change between 2001 and 2011. Table 2 shows that those affiliated with the Christian religion remained the largest group; 58 per cent (1.8 million) of usual residents in Wales.

This is a decrease of 14 percentage points since 2001 when 72 per cent (2.1 million) of usual residents stated their religion as Christian. It is the only group to have experienced a decrease in numbers between 2001 and 2011 despite population growth.

The second largest response group for this question in 2011 was no religion. This increased from 19 per cent (538,000) of usual residents in 2001 to 32 per cent (983,000) in 2011. This 14 percentage point rise was larger than in any England region.

Table 2: Religion

Wales, 2001 and 2011, all usual residents

Thousands, per cent
Religion 2001 2011 Change
Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Percentage point
Christian  2,087 71.9 1,763 57.6 -324 -14.3
No religion 538 18.5 983 32.1 445 13.6
Muslim 22 0.7 46 1.5 24 0.8
Other religion 7 0.2 13 0.4 6 0.2
Hindu 5 0.2 10 0.3 5 0.1
Buddhist 5 0.2 9 0.3 4 0.1
Sikh 2 0.1 3 0.1 1 0.0
Jewish 2 0.1 2 0.1 0 0.0
Religion not stated 234 8.1 234 7.6 0 -0.5

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

As can be seen in Figure 1, regionally, London had the smallest percentage of people who responded that they were Christian in both 2001 and 2011; however the difference between the values for Wales and London decreased from 14 to nine percentage points.

Figure 1: Usual residents who stated their religion as Christian

Wales, England regions, 2001 and 2011, All usual residents

Usual residents who stated their religion as Christian
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (16.7 Kb)

Download chart

Information on religion is provided in tables KS209EW (101 Kb Excel sheet)  and QS210EW (142 Kb Excel sheet) .

Further discussion of estimates relating to the religious affiliations of usual residents in England and Wales is available via a short story published as part of this release.

- Ethnic group and identity

Broad ethnic group

In 2011, 96 per cent (2.9 million) of the usually resident population of Wales was White, a two percentage point decrease on the 2001 estimate of 98 per cent (2.8 million). For both 2001 and 2011, this was a higher percentage in this ethnic group than in any of the England regions. Figure 2 shows the ethnic group responses in Wales in 2011.

Figure 2: Ethnic group

Wales, 2011, All usual residents

Ethnic group
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (32.7 Kb)

Download chart

Ethnic group within households

There has been a one percentage point rise in the households containing usual residents of more than one ethnic group, from three per cent (42,000) in 2001, to four per cent (55,000) in 2011. This includes, for example, households where partners or members of different generations are of different ethnic groups. This percentage also increased in all the England regions.

Changes between 2001 and 2011 could be a result of migration, either within the UK or elsewhere, including young adults attending or returning from university. Changes will also result from mortality or from respondents changing their perception of their ethnicity over time.

Information on ethnic group is provided in tables KS201EW (105.5 Kb Excel sheet) and QS202EW (98.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Further discussion of estimates relating to the ethnic groups of usual residents is available via a short story published as part of this release.

National identity

The 2011 Census collected data on national identity for the first time. In later releases of information from the census when cross tabulations become available, it will be possible to see more information about the relationship between national identity and other topics, for example ethnicity and country of birth.

Individuals could identify themselves on the census questionnaire as having more than one national identity; for example a person could record that they had both Welsh and British national identity. In Wales, 66 per cent (2.0 million) usual residents reported a Welsh national identity (either on its own or combined with other identities). Most usual residents of Wales (96 per cent, 2.9 million) reported at least one national identity of English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, or British.

Of the 66 per cent (2.0 million) of usual residents who considered themselves to have a Welsh national identity in Wales in 2011, 218,000 responded that they had Welsh and British national identity. Just under 17 per cent (519,000) considered themselves to have a British national identity only. Figure 3 shows Welsh, British and English national identity information for Wales and England.

In England, 70 per cent (37.2 million) of the usually resident population in England reported an English national identity, of whom 60 per cent (32.0 million) considered themselves to have an English only national identity, and nine per cent (4.8 million) reported themselves as English and British. A little more than 19 per cent (10.2 million) responded that they had a British national identity only.

This difference in the reporting of national identity in Wales and England may be linked to UK internal migration patterns; 21 per cent (636,000) of the Wales usually resident population was born in England, while one per cent (507,000) of the England usually resident population was born in Wales.

Figure 3: National identity

Wales, England, 2011, All households

National identity
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (20.5 Kb)

Download chart

Information on national identity is provided in table KS202EW (125.5 Kb Excel sheet) .  

- Usual residents born outside the UK

Country of birth

Table 3 shows that 73 per cent (2.2 million) of usual residents of Wales were born there, two percentage points less than in 2001. This change can be attributed to both international and internal migration. In England, 84 per cent (44.2 million) of the usually resident population reported that they were born there. As in Wales, this is less than in 2001, but more of the change relates to international migration.

In 2001, 20 per cent (590,000) of the usually resident population of Wales was born in England. In 2011, this had increased by one percentage point (21 per cent, 636,000).

Table 3: Country of birth

Wales, England, 2001 and 2011, all usual residents

Thousands, per cent
Country of birth Wales England
2001 2011 2001 2011
Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Per cent
Wales 2,189 75 2,226 73 610 1 507 1
England 590 20 636 21 42,969 87 44,247 83
Rest of United Kingdom1 32 1 33 1 1,010 2 922 2
Outside of UK 92 3 168 5 4,551 9 7,337 14

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Rest of United Kingdom includes 'United Kingdom Not otherwise specified'.

Download table

Information on countries of birth is provided in tables KS204EW (104 Kb Excel sheet) and QS203EW (165 Kb Excel sheet) .

Further discussion of estimates relating to non-UK born usual residents in England and Wales is available via a short story published as part of this release.

Passports held

The 2011 Census collected information for the first time on passports held. Seventy eight per cent (2.4 million) of usual residents in Wales had at least one passport and 22 per cent (688,000) of usual residents did not have a passport. Percentages of passports held in Wales and the England regions are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Passports held

Wales, England regions, 2011, All usual residents

Passports held
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Usual residents within this category may also hold one or more non-UK passports.
  2. Usual residents within this category do not hold a UK passport but may hold more than one non-UK passport.

Download chart

  • PNG
    (20.6 Kb)

Download chart

In Wales, seven per cent (201,000) of usual residents held a non-UK passport. This was lower than any England region except the North East (six per cent, 148,000).

Information on passports held is provided in table KS205EW (141 Kb Excel sheet) .

- Household Language

The census collected information on main language and English or Welsh language skills for the first time. People who did not report English or Welsh as a main language may be fluent English or Welsh speakers and were able to report their English or Welsh language proficiency as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

All usual residents in 97 per cent (1.3 million) of households in Wales spoke English or Welsh as a main language. In a further one per cent (18,000) of households at least one adult spoke English or Welsh as a main language, while 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 other two per cent (22,000) of households in Wales there were no usual residents who reported speaking either English or Welsh as a main language.

Information on household language is provided in table KS206EW (94.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

- Proficiency in Welsh

Table 4 shows that in 2011, 19 per cent (562,000) of usual residents in Wales aged three and over reported that they could speak Welsh. Thirty per cent (169,000) of this group were aged between three and 15 years old.

The estimate of Welsh speakers is a decrease of two percentage points on the 2001 estimate of 21 per cent (576,000), although in 2001, the estimate of people who ‘Can speak Welsh’ did not include those who listed speaking Welsh as one of their skills in the ‘Other combination of skills’ category.

In 2011, usual residents in Wales aged three and over who said they had no skills in Welsh increased by nearly two percentage points to 73 per cent (2.2 million). The group who reported they could speak, read and write Welsh decreased over one percentage point to 15 per cent (431,000).

Table 4: Welsh language skills

Wales, 2001 and 2011, usual residents aged three and over

Thousands, per cent
Welsh language skills 2001 2011 Change
Number Per cent Number Per cent Number Percentage point
No skills in Welsh 2,008 71.6 2,168 73.3 160 1.7
Can speak, read and write Welsh 458 16.3 431 14.6 -27 -1.7
Can understand spoken Welsh only 138 4.9 158 5.3 19 0.4
Can speak but cannot read or write Welsh 79 2.8 80 2.7 1 -0.1
Other combination of skills in Welsh 84 3.0 73 2.5 -11 -0.5
Can speak and read but cannot write Welsh 38 1.4 46 1.5 8 0.1
Can speak Welsh1 576 20.5 562 19.0 -14 -1.5

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. 'Can speak Welsh' is all those who can speak Welsh. In 2011 this included some of those in 'Other combination of skills' whereas in 2001 it did not.

Download table

Information on skills in Welsh is provided in tables KS207WA (100.5 Kb Excel sheet) , KS208WA (105 Kb Excel sheet) , QS206WA (110 Kb Excel sheet) and QS207WA (115 Kb Excel sheet) .

Further discussion of estimates relating to proficiency in Welsh is available via a statistical bulletin published by the Welsh Government. 

HOW WE LIVE

This section covers the usually resident population that lives in households, and presents the type of accommodation we live in and whether that is owned or rented, how many rooms we have, whether we have central heating and the number of cars and vans that we have access to. It then covers who we live with within households and what our marital status is. Finally it presents summary estimates of the proportion of the population that lived in a communal establishment.

  • More households in Wales (67 per cent, 879,000) owned their accommodation than in England (63 per cent, 14.0 million).

  • Nearly all households in Wales reported that they had central heating in 2011 (98 per cent, 1.3 million). This is an increase of six percentage points on 2001 (92 per cent, 1.1 million).

  • The number of cars and vans available to households in Wales increased from 1.3 to 1.6 million between 2001 and 2011. In 2001 there were on average 11 cars per 10 households whereas in 2011 there were 12 cars per 10 households. 

  • The two largest marital status categories reported by the usual residents of Wales aged 16 and over were married (47 per cent, 1.2 million) and single (never married or in a registered civil partnership) (34 per cent, 840,000). 

- Accommodation and tenure

Accommodation type

As can be seen in Figure 5, the most reported accommodation type in Wales in 2011 was semi-detached houses or bungalows (31 per cent, 430,000), followed by terraced houses or bungalows (28 per cent, 385,000) and detached houses or bungalows (28 per cent, 384,000). The order of the distribution of these accommodation types was the same in 2001.

Between 2001 and 2011 the percentage of households living in purpose built blocks of flats or  tenements increased two percentage points from eight per cent (102,000) in 2001 to 10 per cent (134,000) in 2011.

Figure 5: Accommodation type

Wales, 2001 and 2011, All households

Accommodation type
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (19.7 Kb)

Download chart

Looking at Figure 6, Wales and the England regions showed similar patterns of households residing in different types of accommodation, with the exception of London which had the smallest percentages (48 per cent, 1.6 million) of households residing in whole houses or bungalows, whether detached, semi-detached or terraced.

Figure 6: Accommodation type

Wales, England regions, 2011, All households

Accommodation type
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (25.9 Kb)

Download chart

Information on accommodation type is provided in table KS401EW (106 Kb Excel sheet) .

Tenure

Type of tenure refers to whether the household owns or rents their accommodation. In Wales, as in England, most households either own their accommodation outright (35 per cent, 461,000), or with a mortgage or loan (32 per cent, 417,000). This is a larger percentage of the population (67 per cent, 879,000) than in England (63 per cent, 14.0 million), as shown in Table 5. This may be linked to the relatively older population of Wales compared to the England regions. Subsequent releases of information from the census will provide cross tabulations of tenure by age.

In 2011 the third largest tenure category was private rental from a landlord or letting agency (13 per cent, 164,800). This contrasts with 2001 when the third largest category was rental from the council (14 per cent, 166,000). This change reflects the four percentage point decline in the rental of accommodation from the council to 10 per cent (128,000), and the five percentage point increase in rental from private landlords or letting agencies to 13 per cent (165,000). The decline in rental from the council also reflects in part the policy of transferral of housing stock from councils to housing associations 1.

Table 5: Tenure

Wales, England, 2001 and 2011, all households

Thousands, per cent
Tenure Wales   England
2001 2011 2001 2011
Number Per cent Number Per cent   Number  Per cent Number Per cent
Owned Owned outright 411 34 461 35 5,970 29 6,746 31
Owned with a mortgage or loan 445 37 417 32 7,951 39 7,229 33
Shared ownership  6 0 4 0 134 1 174 1
Social rented Rented from council (local authority) 166 14 128 10 2,702 13 2,080 9
Other 50 4 87 7 1,238 6 1,824 8
Private rented Private landlord or letting agency 90 7 165 13 1,799 9 3,402 15
  Other (including living rent free1) 40 3 40 3   658 3 609 3

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. The 2011 Census provides seperate estimates for those 'Living rent free' however this category has been grouped with 'Private rented: Other' in this table to allow comparison with 2001 Census estimates.

Download table

Information on tenure is provided in table KS402EW (103 Kb Excel sheet) .

Notes for - Accommodation and tenure

  1. The Census asked respondents to identify who their landlord is and the results reflect the responses they gave. In the past decade half of the local authorities in Wales have transferred the management of all their local authority housing stock to other social landlords. Individuals responding to the Census will report their understanding of their landlord and this may not reflect the actual management arrangements in all cases.

- Rooms, bedrooms and central heating

Rooms and bedrooms

In Wales in 2011 there was an average of 5.7 rooms per household, a slight increase on the estimate of 5.6 in 2001.

This is higher than the averages for any of the England regions, which range from 4.7 in London, the only region with an average of less than 5.3 rooms, to 5.6 in the East Midlands, East of England, South East and South West.

2011 Census asked about the number of bedrooms in households for the first time. In Wales, the average number of bedrooms per household was 2.8. There was very little variation across Wales and the England regions, with London reporting the lowest average, 2.5 bedrooms per household.

The occupancy ratings of rooms and bedrooms are indicators of deprivation and overcrowding in a household. An occupancy rating of -1 implies that there is one room too few for the number of people living in the household. In 2011, five per cent (67,000) of households in Wales had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for rooms. This is an increase of one percentage point on 2001, when four per cent (53,000) of households in Wales had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for rooms.  Three per cent (40,000) had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for bedrooms1.

Other than the North East region (five per cent, 57,000), Wales had the lowest percentage of households with occupancy ratings of -1 or less for rooms, and Wales had the lowest percentage of households with occupancy ratings of -1 or less for bedrooms except the South West (three per cent, 66,000).

Information on rooms and bedrooms is provided in table KS403EW (111 Kb Excel sheet) .

Central heating

Nearly all households in Wales reported that they had central heating in 2011 (98 per cent, 1.3 million). This is an increase of six percentage points on 2001 (92 per cent, 1.1 million). Houses built in the intervening 10 years may have had central heating as a standard feature.

Information on central heating is provided in table KS403EW (111 Kb Excel sheet)

Notes for - Rooms, bedrooms and central heating

  1. The use of bedrooms as an indicator of overcrowding was introduced in the Housing (Overcrowding) Bill 46 (2003). The definition of the bedroom standard refers to uninhabitable bedrooms and rooms with less than 50ft2 floor space. The census does not collect this information and it is not used in deriving 2011 Census bedroom occupancy ratings.

- Car or van availability

The number of cars or vans available for use by households in Wales increased from 1.3 million to 1.6 million between 2001 and 2011. In 2001 there were on average 11 cars per 10 households whereas in 2011 there were 12 cars per 10 households.

Figure 7: Cars or vans

Wales, 2001 and 2011, All households

Cars or vans
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (13.5 Kb)

Download chart

Figure 7 shows that the percentage of households with two, three, or four or more cars or vans increased between 2001 and 2011, whilst the number with none or one decreased. This is expected given the overall increase in cars and vans per household. 2011 Census cross tabulations in later releases may help to explain the increase in cars or vans per household, for example, people in households by age will be published in 2013.

Information on car or van availability is provided in table KS404EW (99.5 Kb Excel sheet)

- Marital status

Table 6 shows that in 2011, as in 2001, the largest marital status group in Wales was usual residents aged 16 and over who were married, at 47 per cent (1.2 million). This is a decrease of five percentage points from the 2001 estimate of 52 per cent (1.2 million). The percentage of single people increased six percentage points from 28 per cent (650,000) in 2001 to 34 per cent (840,000) in 2011. Civil partnerships, as a new legal marital status1, were a small proportion of the total – less than half of one per cent (4,700). The remainder of the usually resident population aged 16 and over in 2011 was composed of people who were divorced (10 per cent, 242,000), widowed (eight per cent, 198,000), and separated (two per cent, 55,000), and each of these three includes individuals from either opposite or same sex relationships.

The percentage of usual residents that were married declined by between four and six percentage points in Wales and all England regions except London where it fell by two percentage points. The proportion of people married in London in 2011 was five percentage points lower than the next lowest region, the North West, having been eight percentage points less than the North West in 2001.

Table 6: Marital status

Wales, 2001 and 2011, usual residents aged 16 and over

Thousands, per cent
Marital status 2001 2011
Number Per cent Number Per cent
Married 1,204 52.0 1,167 46.6
Single (never married or never registered a same sex civil partnership1) 650 28.1 840 33.5
Divorced or formerly in a same sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved 201 8.7 242 9.7
Widowed or surviving partner from a same sex civil partnership 218 9.4 198 7.9
Separated (but still legally married or still legally in a same sex civil partnership) 44 1.9 55 2.2
In a registered same sex civil partnership n/a n/a 5 0.2

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. 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.

Download table

Information on marital and civil partnership status is provided in table KS103EW (101 Kb Excel sheet) .

Notes for - Marital status

  1. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect in the UK on 5 December 2005.

- Household composition

Household composition refers to the usual residents in a household and how they are related to each other. Households may be a family or they may consist of one person living alone or unrelated adults sharing. A family is a couple (married, civil partners or cohabiting), with or without children, or a lone parent with at least one child. ‘Children’ may be dependent or non-dependent offspring.

Of the 1.3 million households in Wales on 27 March 2011, the most reported household type was where there was one family (63 per cent, 817,000) followed by those where there was one person living alone (31 per cent, 401,000). Table 7 shows the details.

Table 7: Household composition

Wales, 2001 and 2011, all households

Thousands, per cent
Household composition 2001 2011
Number Per cent Number Per cent
One family  Married or same sex civil partnership couple 449 37 428 33
Lone parent 129 11 148 11
Cohabiting couple 90 7 126 10
All aged 65 and over 116 10 116 9
One person  One person household 352 29 401 31
Other Other household type 72 6 84 6

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

The largest change in household type in Wales since 2001 was a two percentage point increase in households containing one cohabiting couple family; from eight per cent (90,000) in 2001 to 10 per cent (126,000) in 2011.

The proportion of households containing one married family decreased four percentage points from 37 per cent (449,000) in 2001 to 33 per cent (428,000) in 2011. Although the decrease reflects the decrease in numbers of marriages since the 1970’s, this category is not directly comparable between 2001 and 2011 because the 2011 category includes civil partnerships for the first time. In Wales in 2011, 4,700 people reported being in a civil partnership.

Information on household composition is provided in table KS105EW (116 Kb Excel sheet)

- Residents in communal establishments

The 2011 Census estimated that 98 per cent (3.0 million) of usual residents in Wales lived in households. The remaining two per cent (52,000) lived in communal establishments. Communal establishments provide managed residential accommodation; examples of communal establishments include sheltered accommodation units, student halls, large hotels, hospitals and prisons.

In 2011, 54 per cent (28,000) of all communal establishment residents in Wales resided in non-medical establishments, including large hotels or student halls. This was an increase of nine percentage points on 2001 (45 per cent, 18,000).

Forty six per cent (24,000) of communal establishment residents were in medical and care establishments; 23 per cent (12,000) of this group were in care homes and 21 per cent (11,000) were in other medical establishments1.

The percentage of the population residing in any type of communal establishments changed very little between 2001 and 2011 – an increase of less than half a percentage point to two per cent (52,000) in 2011. This is similar to the largest increase amongst the England regions; seen in both the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber. Wales continued to have a smaller percentage of residents in communal establishments than most of the England regions except the East of England, the North East and London.

Information on usual residents in households and communal establishments is provided in table KS405EW (105.5 Kb Excel sheet) and  KS101EW (103.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Notes for - Residents in communal establishments

  1. The other medical establishments include NHS-run establishments, children’s homes and medical establishments run by registered social landlords.

WHAT WE DO

The census is valuable in providing a detailed picture at the time of the census of the characteristics of the economically active population. This section covers how we occupy ourselves, whether we provide care for less able members of society, what we do to earn money, what levels of qualifications we have, and how many hours we work a week.

  • More people (12 per cent, 370,000) in Wales were caregivers than in any England region.

  • Wales had higher percentages of people providing care for 20 to 49 hours, and 50 or more hours, than any England region; two per cent (54,000) and three per cent (104,000) respectively.

  • One in four (26 per cent, 651,000) of the usually resident population of Wales aged 16 and over reported having no recognised qualifications.

  • The second largest qualifications category in Wales was Level 4 or above eg Bachelor’s degree or above (24 per cent, 614,000).

- Provision of unpaid care

A person is a provider of unpaid care if they look after or give help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or problems related to old age. This does not include any activities as part of paid employment.

Table 8 shows that 12 per cent (370,000) of usual residents in Wales were caregivers. This was higher than in any England region, and Wales also had the highest percentages of 20 to 49 and 50 or more hours of care provided; two per cent (54,000) and three per cent (104,000) respectively.

As with general health and long term health problem or disability, this may be related to the older age demographic of Wales compared to the England regions.

Table 8: Provision of unpaid care

Wales, 2001 and 2011, all usual residents

Thousands, per cent
Hours per week 2001 2011
Number Per cent Number Per cent
None 2,562 88 2693 88
1 to 19 208 7 212 7
20 to 49 43 1 54 2
50 or more 90 3 104 3

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

Information on provision of unpaid care is provided in table KS301EW (106 Kb Excel sheet) .

- Economic activity

For this statistical release, economic activity1 is presented for usual residents aged between 16 and 74. A usual resident is considered economically active if employed, self-employed or unemployed but looking for work and able to start within two weeks. In 2011, 66 per cent (1.5 million) of usual residents aged between 16 and 74 (2.2 million) in Wales were economically active.

The percentage of economically active people in Wales was lower than in England (70 per cent, 38.9 million).

Due to factors including changes in the underlying classification and improvements in the questions on the census questionnaire, unemployment as collected by 2011 Census is not directly comparable with 2001. ONS will publish analysis in 2013 to help users to understand how these estimates have changed in the 10 year period.

Economic activity is categorised into various groups2 as shown in Figure 8. Figure 8 also highlights the differences in male and female employment types amongst economically active 16 to 74 year olds. In 2011 nearly four times as many women (35 per cent, 245,000) were part-time employees compared to men (nine per cent, 68,000).

Figure 8: Economic activity by sex

Wales, 2011, Economically active usual residents aged 16 to 74

Economic activity by sex
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (12.4 Kb)

Download chart

Information on economic activity is provided in tables KS601EW (114 Kb Excel sheet) , KS602EW (124 Kb Excel sheet) and KS603EW (124 Kb Excel sheet) .

Hours worked

The number of hours worked1 by usual residents in employment aged 16 to 74 in Wales decreased overall between 2001 and 2011. In 2001, 15 per cent (177,000) of usual residents in employment aged 16 to 74 worked 49 hours or more, this decreased by three percentage points to 12 per cent (161,000) in 2011. Similarly; in 2001 60 per cent (709,000) of employed usual residents aged 16 to 74 worked 31 to 48 hours, this decreased by two percentage points to 58 per cent (791,000) in 2011.

Figure 9 shows the clear difference between males and females in the numbers of hours worked.

Figure 9: Hours worked per week by sex

Wales, 2001 and 2011, Employed usual residents aged 16-74

Hours worked per week by sex
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (13.2 Kb)

Download chart

Information on hours worked is provided in table KS604EW (119 Kb Excel sheet) .

Unemployment

In 2011, five per cent (97,000) of the usually resident population in Wales aged 16 to 74 who were economically active described themselves as unemployed1 in the census. Of those who reported unemployment, 15 per cent (15,000) had never worked and a further 40 per cent (38,000) were long-term unemployed.

Due to factors including changes in the underlying classification and improvements in the questions on the census questionnaire, unemployment as collected by 2011 Census is not directly comparable with 2001. ONS will publish analysis in 2013 to help users to understand how these estimates have changed in the 10 year period.

The level of unemployment varied between the England regions from eight per cent (1.0 million) in the North East to five per cent (127,000) in the South West.

Information on unemployment as identified in the census is provided in tables KS601EW (114 Kb Excel sheet) , KS602EW (124 Kb Excel sheet) and KS603EW (124 Kb Excel sheet)

Notes for - Economic activity

  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. Full-time students and the self-employed may also be part-time workers.

- Qualifications

The qualifications classification enables estimates to be produced of the per cent of the population obtaining the highest level of the academic and vocational or professional qualifications. Although this was not a new question in 2011, some of the qualifications estimates are not directly comparable with 2001. This is due to multiple factors including changes in the level assigned to some qualifications, and the addition of a foreign qualification tick-box. Briefly the level categorisation is as follows:

  • No qualifications: No formal qualifications.

  • Level 1: 1-4 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications

  • Level 2: 5 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications,

  • Apprenticeships,

  • Level 3: 2 or more A-levels or equivalent qualifications,

  • Level 4 or above: Bachelors degree or equivalent, and higher qualifications,

  • Other qualifications including foreign qualifications.

In Wales the largest response category in 2011 was no qualifications; 26 per cent (651,000) of usual residents aged 16 and over, similar to five of the England regions. The group who reported no qualifications includes over 16 year olds who were still studying ie some respondents have not completed their education.

The second largest category in Wales was Level 4 and above (24 per cent, 614,000) as shown in Figure 10, followed by Level 2 (16 per cent, 394,000).

In the East of England, the South East, the South West and London, there were more usual residents with Level 4 and above qualifications than none. In London there were more usual residents with either Level 4 and above than Level 2 qualifications or none.

Figure 10: Highest level of qualification

Wales, 2011, Usual residents aged 16 and over

Highest level of qualification
Source: Census - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

  • PNG
    (26.4 Kb)

Download chart

Information on qualifications is provided in table KS501EW (111 Kb Excel sheet) .

- Industry and occupation

In Wales in 2011, 1.4 million employed usual residents aged between 16 and 74 reported their industry and occupation1.

Industry

As can be seen in Table 9, the Wholesale and retail trade was the largest employer of the 16 to 74 age group with 16 per cent (213,000) of employed usual residents working in this sector. At the other end of the scale, the Mining and quarrying sector has the lowest number of employees (less than one per cent, 3,000).

Due to factors including changes in the underlying classification and improvements in the questions on the census questionnaire, unemployment as collected by 2011 Census is not directly comparable with 2001. ONS will publish analysis in 2013 to help users to understand how these estimates have changed in the 10 year period.

Table 9: Industry

Wales, 2011, employed usual residents aged 16 to 74

Thousands, per cent
Industry  Number  Per cent
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles 213 15.6
Human health and social work activities 197 14.5
Manufacturing 144 10.5
Education 138 10.1
Construction 111 8.2
Public administration and defence, compulsory social security 108 7.9
Accommodation and food service activities 85 6.2
Other 62 4.5
Professional, scientific and technical activities 59 4.3
Administrative and support service activities 54 4.0
Transport and storage 53 3.9
Financial and insurance activities 42 3.1
Information and communication 31 2.3
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 23 1.7
Real estate activities 17 1.2
Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 12 0.9
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply  11 0.8
Mining and quarrying 3 0.2

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

As well as being the largest industry of employment in Wales in 2011, the Wholesale and retail trade was also the largest employer in nearly all the England regions - except London, in which the Real estate, renting and business activities sector had a greater workforce (19 per cent, 748,000).

Information on industry is provided in tables KS605EW (121.5 Kb Excel sheet) , KS606EW (122.5 Kb Excel sheet) and KS607EW (122 Kb Excel sheet) .

Occupation

From Table 10, it can be seen that the occupation1 with the highest number of respondents in Wales in 2011 was the Professional group (16 per cent, 215,000), with Process, plant and machine operatives at the opposite end of the scale (eight per cent, 112,000).

Due to factors including changes in the underlying classification and improvements in the questions on the census questionnaire, occupation as collected by 2011 Census is not directly comparable with 2001. ONS will publish analysis in 2013 to help users to understand how these estimates have changed in the 10 year period.

Table 10: Occupation

Wales, 2011, employed usual residents aged 16 to 74

Thousands, per cent
Occupation  2011
Number Per cent
Professional occupations 215 16
Skilled trades occupations 183 13
Elementary occupations 163 12
Administrative and secretarial occupations 151 11
Associate professional and technical occupations 147 11
Caring, leisure and other service occupations 143 11
Managers, directors and senior officials 126 9
Sales and customer service occupations 123 9
Process, plant and machine operatives 111 8

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

Information on occupation is provided in tables KS608EW (105 Kb Excel sheet) , KS609EW (105 Kb Excel sheet) and KS610EW (105 Kb Excel sheet) .

Notes for - Industry and occupation

  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.

Background notes

  1. This publication follows the 2011 Census Population and Household Estimates for Wales. The census provides estimates of the characteristics of all people and households in England and Wales on census night. These are produced for a variety of users including government, local and unitary authorities, business and communities. The census provides population statistics from a national to local level. This bulletin discusses the results at national level for Wales, with some comparison against the England regions.

  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. Notes are provided with tables to identify the data sources used.

  3. 2001 Census data are available via the Neighbourhood Statistics website. Relevant table numbers 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. 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.

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

  9. Figures in this publication may not sum due to rounding.

  10. 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 Government statisticians have been involved in the quality assurance process and plans for census statistics.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 will take place on 17 December 2012.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. All key terms used in this publication are explained in the 2011 Census glossary. Information on the 2011 Census Geography Products for England and Wales is also available.

  17. 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) .

  18. 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).

  19. 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.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.