Skip to content
Data Provider: Welsh Government National Statistics Annual Population Survey - Ability to speak Welsh by local authority and year
Welsh speakers[Filter]
Area<br />                    <br />                    Local Authorities in Wales <br />                <br />                [Filter]
Click here to sortAll aged 3 or olderTotal includes those who did not specify whether they could speak Welsh or not.Click here to sortYes, can speak WelshClick here to sortNo, cannot speak WelshClick here to sortPercentage of people who say they can speak WelshThe percentage is calculated based on only those who responded to the question.
Isle of Anglesey67,50042,60024,70063.3
Neath Port Talbot137,40030,200106,90022.0
Vale of Glamorgan124,10022,900101,20018.5
Rhondda Cynon Taf230,60048,300182,30020.9
Merthyr Tydfil57,60011,20046,40019.5
Blaenau Gwent66,4009,70056,70014.6



People aged 3 or older who say they can speak Welsh, by Welsh local authority

Last update

31 March 2022 31 March 2022

Next update

June 2022

Publishing organisation

Welsh Government

Source 1

Annual Population Survey, Office for National Statistics

Contact email


National Statistics

Lowest level of geographical disaggregation

Local authorities

Geographical coverage


Languages covered

English and Welsh

Data licensing

You may use and re-use this data free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government License - see

General description

This dataset provides information for people aged 3 or older who say they can speak Welsh, by Welsh local authority.

Data collection and calculation

These data are taken from the ANNUAL datasets from the Annual Population Survey (APS) for 2005 onwards and the Welsh Local Labour Force Survey (WLLFS) prior to that. These surveys are carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data for Wales are based on an enhanced sample (around 350 per cent larger) compared to earlier years. APS data are collected throughout the year and are published for calendar years. WLLFS data was published for the year ended February, each year i.e. 2001 WLLFS data relates to year ended February 2002. The data do NOT exactly match annual averages derived from the 4 QUARTERLY datasets in each year due to differences in the sampling structure.
The local authority and Wales figures for 2001, 2002 and 2003 in these tables may not be the same as published elsewhere, as the numbers here are estimated using Welsh specific weights. These weights better reflect the population estimates for Welsh local authorities in these years.
Nomis is the ONS's official portal for labour market statistics. Note that some estimates from Nomis for the APS may differ slightly from those presented here due to differences in how local authority geographies are constructed.

Frequency of publication


Data reference periods

2001 to 2021

Rounding applied

Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and so there may be some apparent slight discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and the totals as shown.

Revisions information

Since the end of March 2020, the APS has been conducted through telephone interviews instead of face-to-face interviews as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ONS has been monitoring the impact this change has had on the survey and as a result have re-weighted the estimates accordingly. More information about the reasons and methodology can be found on the ONS website (link).

The Office for National Statistics has now reweighted the Survey data to new populations derived using growth rates from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Real Time Information (RTI) for January to December 2020 (i.e. quarters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of 2020) to adjust the estimates as a result of these changes. The new estimates about the ability of the population aged three or over to speak Welsh are very similar to the original estimates, varying by between 0 and 0.2 percentage points (or between -600 and 4,800) from the original estimates, at a Wales level. This varies at a local authority level and for the other Welsh language skills (including frequency of speaking Welsh).

In March 2019, the Annual Population Survey data has been revised back to 2012, due to taking on board the latest population estimates.

When preparing the publication of this table for the APS results for September 2018, two coding errors were identified.
1. ‘All Persons’ previously included people of all ages – this has now been revised to only include all people aged three and over.
2. The percentage of people who say they can speak Welsh was previously calculated as a percentage of all persons - this has now been revised so that it is based only on those who responded to the question.
The data for all previous waves have been revised. Revised data is marked with an (r).

Statistical quality

As the data come from a survey, the results are sample-based estimates and therefore subject to differing degrees of sampling variability, i.e. the true value for any measure lies in a differing range about the estimated value. This range or sampling variability increases as the detail in the data increases, for example local authority data are subject to higher variability than regional data.


Welsh speakers language