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This report summarises demographic characteristics of elected councillors and unelected candidates, focusing particularly on diversity for 2022.

The Welsh Government, with the support of Data Cymru, carried out of a survey of local government election candidates for the May 2022 elections.

The survey was aimed at both County and Town and Community Councillors and candidates and asked a prescribed set of questions that included (but was not limited to) questions about sex and gender identity; sexual orientation; language; ethnicity; age; disability; religion or belief; health; education and qualifications; employment; and the role of a Councillor. The survey will be repeated during each ordinary election to track changes in Councillors’ and candidates’ characteristics over time.

Main findings

  • Around two-fifths (39%) of the 1,077 candidates who responded had stood for election to a County or County Borough Council in the past, and of this figure around a quarter (26%) had been elected.
  • Around half (46%) of candidates who responded had stood for election to a Community or Town Council in the past;  and around two-fifths (42%) had previously been elected.
  • Of the 1,077 candidates who responded, 40% were female and 60% were male.
  • Half of the 1,077 candidates who responded (50%) were aged 60 years or over, around two-fifths (38%) were aged between 40 and 59 years, a tenth (10%) were aged between 25 and 39 years and the remaining 2% were aged between 18 and 24 years.
  • Overall, 96% of the 1,077 candidates reported they were from a White ethnic group.
  • The survey found that 88% of the 1,077 candidates who responded identified as 'heterosexual or straight', 6% identified as 'lesbian, gay or bisexual' and the remaining 1% identified as 'any other sexual orientation'.


Local Government Candidates Survey: 2022 , file type: PDF, file size: 1 MB

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Nerys Owens

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