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Data on ethnicity, disability status, marital status and religion produced from the Annual Population Survey for 2018 to 2020.

Main points


  • 95.0% of the population of Wales described their ethnic group as White. This varied by region from 97.5% of the population in North Wales to 93.2% in South East Wales.
  • 5.0% of the population described themselves as Asian, Black, or as being from mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ or from another ethnic group. Those describing their ethnic group as Asian were the second largest ethnic group in Wales (2.3% of the population).
  • In Wales overall, the latest figures indicate that the proportions of the population describing themselves as Asian or Black remained stable after a period of slow but steady increases. The proportion of people describing themselves as White saw a slight increase, while the proportions of people describing themselves as coming from mixed or multiple ethnic groups or any other ethnic groups also remained relatively stable.
  • The percentage of people identifying as White increases with age (from 90.5% for those aged under 16 to 98.9% for those aged 65 and over). For all other ethnic groups, the highest proportions were observed in the younger age groups (up to the age of 25 years).


  • Just over a fifth of the population aged 16 to 64 (22.1%) identified as disabled. This proportion has been gradually increasing since 2013 to 2015 (14.0%) and varies by age (from 15.4% in the 16 to 24 age group to 28.3% in the 45 to 64 age group). A higher proportion of women than men identified as disabled (24.6% compared with 19.6%).
  • North Wales had the lowest proportion of people identifying as disabled (20.1%), while South East Wales and Mid and South West Wales had similar proportions (22.6% and 23.0% respectively).


  • The trend observed since 2013 to 2015 of increasing numbers of people stating that they had no religion and decreasing numbers identifying as Christian continues in the latest year. For the first time in Wales, the proportion of the population stating they had no religion (49.9%) was higher than the proportion identifying as Christian (45.8%).
  • These figures varied by region. In North Wales, 53.1% of the population identified as Christian and 44.0% stated they had no religion, while in South East Wales 41.7% identified as Christian compared to 53.2% stating they had no religion.
  • 1.7% of the population identified as Muslim and 2.4% identified with another religion (apart from Christian).
  • Of the Muslim population in Wales, a large proportion (71.8%) lived in South East Wales.
  • A higher proportion of women than men identified as having a religion (54.6% compared with 45.5%) and the proportion of people identifying as having a religion generally increased by age group.

Marital status

  • Almost half of the population aged 16 and over in Wales (48.1%) were married or in a civil partnership. This is a slight decrease since 2017 to 2019, although this percentage has been relatively stable over time.
  • The proportion of the adult (16+) population that were single has been steadily increasing over recent years, with over a third of the population (35.6%) single in 2018 to 2020.
  • South East Wales had a higher proportion of single people (36.9%) than North Wales (34.0%) and Mid and West Wales (34.6%), and also had the lowest proportion of adults aged 16+ married or in a civil partnership. This may be a reflection of the younger age profile of South East Wales compared to the other regions.
  • A higher proportion of men were married than women (49.3% compared with 47.0%). Whilst men were more likely to be single than women (38.8% of men compared to 32.5% of women), a higher proportion of women were widowed or surviving a civil partnership (9.2% compared with 3.7% of men) or divorced, separated or with dissolved civil partnerships (11.2% compared to 8.2% of men).

Further information

The Annual Population Survey (APS) samples households in Wales every year. However, the sample sizes for people with ‘protected characteristics’ (as specified in the Equality Act 2010 (Equality and Human Rights Commission)) can be relatively small. Therefore, to improve the evidence base on people with ‘protected characteristics’, more detailed analysis has been produced from a pooled dataset which combines 3 years of APS data. This analysis can be found on our StatsWales website.

The Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. The Annual Population Survey captures data during the interview based around the Equality Act 2010 which uses the medical definition of disability ('a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities').


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Andy O’Rourke

Telephone: 0300 025 9578

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.


Telephone: 0300 025 8099

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.