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Main points

On 22 July 2021 there were 1,095 Gypsy and Traveller caravans and 143 sites reported in Wales.

Between January 20211 and July 2021, the total number of Gypsy and Traveller caravans has increased by 2.8% (30 caravans) and the total number of sites (both authorised and unauthorised) has increased by 2.9% (4 sites).


(1) Usually here we would compare the most recent figures to the corresponding month in the previous calendar year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Welsh Government’s biannual caravan census count was not conducted in Wales in July 2020.

Caravans by site authorisation

At the time of the July 2021 count, the total number of Gypsy and Traveller caravans in Wales was 1,095. There were 928 caravans on authorised sites with planning permission, accounting for 85% of all caravans. Of these, 618 (67%) were on socially rented sites and 310 (33%) were on privately-funded sites.

Chart 1 below shows the breakdown of caravans by authorised and unauthorised status.

Chart 1 is a pie chart showing the percentage breakdown of caravans by their authorisation status. Authorised caravans make up the largest proportion, with Caravans on unauthorised sites on sites on Gypsies own land being the second largest.

There were 92 caravans on unauthorised sites on land owned by Gypsies and Travellers, accounting for 8% of all caravans. A further 75 caravans (7% of all caravans) were on unauthorised sites on land not owned by Gypsies and Travellers.

Cardiff, Pembrokeshire, Flintshire and Neath Port Talbot had the highest total numbers of caravans; combined these accounted for 53% of all caravans. Newport had the highest number of caravans on unauthorised sites (49 caravans, accounting for 29% of all caravans on unauthorised sites).

In some cases, caravans are on sites which are unauthorised but the local authority has decided not to seek removal of the encampment. In July 2021 there were 97 caravans on tolerated unauthorised sites. The largest number of these were seen in Vale of Glamorgan where there were 30 caravans on tolerated unauthorised sites. There were 70 caravans on unauthorised sites that were not tolerated.

Detailed local authority level tables are provided in the accompanying tables. Further background and quality information can be found in the quality and methodology information section. Terms which have a special meaning are explained in the glossary.

Chart 2 is a stacked bar chart showing the number of caravans by the authorisation status of the site they are parked on, authorised sites are the largest category and unauthorised sites the smallest.
Over time the number of authorised sites has been rising steadily, whereas numbers of unauthorised sites have remained relatively stable.

Pitches on local authority sites

There were 409 pitches on Gypsy and Traveller sites provided by local authorities in Wales on 22 July 2021. Of these, 407 were residential pitches and 2 were transit pitches.

Cardiff, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot had the highest number of pitches provided by local authorities (80, 73 and 67 pitches respectively) accounting for over half of the total number of pitches (54%). There were 8 local authorities that reported having no pitches on 22 July 2021. At the time of the count, 98% of the residential pitches were occupied.

Chart 4 shows a breakdown over time of the number of pitches in Wales.

Chart 4 is a stacked bar chart showing the trend over time (2018-2021) in the number of local authority pitches, residential occupied is by far the largest category. The others are very small amounts.

Quality and methodology information

Detailed information on data quality and methodology can be found in the quality report.

Contact details

Statistician: Daniel Boon
Telephone: 0300 025 4884

Media: 0300 025 8099

SFR 326/2021