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This report sets out results on a wide range of topics asked in the National Survey for Wales. The survey runs continuously across Wales, each year covering around 12,000 people aged 16 and over.

Since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, the National Survey has taken place over the phone instead of face-to-face as previously. Some results from previous years are included to provide context. However, due to the difference in mode and possible changes because of the pandemic, care should be taken when making direct comparisons.

Community cohesion

64% of people say that they experience a sense of community within their local area, this means that they agree with the three statements:

  1. that they feel they belong in the area
  2. that people from different backgrounds get along
  3. that people treat each other with respect
Bar chart comparing the percentage of people in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 surveys who agree with the statements: "I feel a sense of belonging to my local area"; "People from different backgrounds get on well together"; "People treat each other with respect" and whether or not they have a sense of community.

Chart 1 shows that people’s sense of community remains higher than in pre-pandemic survey years (52% in 2018-19) although lower than the peak of 69% reported in 2020-21. Responses to the individual questions have also shown a corresponding increase.

89% of people say they are satisfied with their local area as a place to live, an increase from 85% in 2018-19. The latest results from the Community Life Survey, 2020-21 (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) in England similarly show an increase in community cohesion, and that people are now more satisfied with their local area as a place to live, compared with previous years.

Local authority services


of people say they are satisfied that good services and facilities are available in their local area.

This has increased from 69% in 2018-19. There has also been an increase in the proportion of people who say they are satisfied that they can get to these services and facilities, 86% in 2021-22, compared with 83% in 2018-19.

When asked about their involvement in decisions relating to local authority services and budgets more people gave a positive response than before the pandemic. 34% of people say they have opportunities to participate in making decisions about the running of their local services, compared with 17% in 2019‑20. 30% of people say they can influence decisions affecting their local area, compared with 19% in 2018-19. These are marked increases which may reflect the change in mode or are a result of the pandemic or a combination of both, further analysis is needed to explore this.

Post-compulsory education and training

23% of people say they had plans to start an education or training course in the next three years compared with 27% in 2018-19. The proportions vary by age with 52% of 16 to 24-year-olds planning further education, 33% of 25 to 44-year-olds, and 12% of people aged 45 and over.

55% of people in the 16 to 24-year-old group want to study at university while 54% of people aged 45 and over say they would prefer to learn online. (Chart 2)

Bar chart showing people's preferred locations of study, sorted by age group.

Lifestyle behaviours


of people eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Welsh Government public health policy focuses on five ‘healthy lifestyle’ behaviours:

  1. not smoking
  2. not drinking above guidelines
  3. being a healthy weight
  4. eating 5 portions of fruit or vegetables
  5. being active

The survey results show that 30% of people (aged 16 and over) have 4 or 5 of these healthy lifestyle behaviours, while 93% have 2 or more of these behaviours.

13% of adults are smokers, and 29% are ex-smokers. 19% of people do not drink alcohol, while 16% drink more than the guideline maximum of 14 units per week. 36% of people are a healthy weight, while 62% are overweight or obese (including 25% obese). 30% of people say they have eaten 5 or more fruit and vegetable portions on the previous day. 56% of people say they were active for at least 150 minutes the previous week, which would meet weekly activity guidelines.

Health-related lifestyle topics can be sensitive to changes in mode, so results are not directly comparable with previous years. Further in-depth analysis of these results will be available on the website from 19 July 2022.



of parents with a child at primary school say the child has their own personal computer, laptop, or tablet.

There has been an increase since 2020-21, when 45% of children had a personal device, this may be as a result of the pandemic and the need for home-schooling. An additional 34% of primary school aged children are reported to have access to a shared device. 78% of secondary school children have a personal device to do work with. This remains the same as in 2020-21.

88% of parents say that their child’s primary school has helped them find ways to support their child’s learning, while 75% of parents agree that their child’s secondary school has helped them find ways to support their children.

Child active travel

47% of primary school children walk to school compared with 33% of secondary school children. (Chart 3)

Bar chart showing methods used by children to travel to and from school, sorted by primary and secondary schools.

The mode of travel to school varies depending on whether the child lives in an urban or rural area. 51% of primary school children living in urban areas walk to school compared with 39% who live in rural areas. This difference was more marked in secondary school commutes, where 45% of children in urban areas walk to school compared with 12% of children who live in rural areas. 

Child physical activity


of children (aged 3 to 17) were said to be active for an hour or more each day of the past week.

This result is lower than in 2016-17, where 51% of children (aged 3 to 17) were said to be active for an hour or more every day during the previous week.

Older children are less likely to be active, with 35% of those aged 13 to 17 said to be active every day for the whole week compared with 43% of those aged 8 to 12 and 58% of those aged 3 to 7.

Internet use


of adults say they use the internet (at home, work, or elsewhere).

Internet users were asked if they had performed certain activities on the internet in the past 3 months. These activities were grouped into five types of internet skill (Chart 4). The proportion of people taking action to stay safe and legal online has increased since 2019-20 as has the proportion carrying out transaction skills. 78% of internet users had performed activities that related to all 5 of these skills compared with 73% in 2019-20.

Bar chart showing percentage of people who used each of the internet skills in the last 3 months, comparing results from the 2019-20 and 2021-22 surveys.

GP services


of people had a GP appointment in the past 12 months.

Pre-pandemic, in 2019-20, 76% of people had a GP appointment during the previous 12 months. This fell to 64% of people during 2020-21. A further drop to 58% in 2021-22 needs to be explored further but may be explained to some degree by people now choosing or being directed to see other health professionals rather than their GP.  Men were less likely to see a GP (53%) than women (63%). 67% of those in material deprivation saw a GP compared with 57% of people who were not materially deprived.

Dental health


of those who had an NHS dental appointment in the last 12 months are satisfied with the care they received.

35% of people who had not been to the dentist in the past 12 months had wanted a dental appointment. Of those who wanted an NHS appointment but could not get one:

  • 43% could not get an appointment when they wanted one due to backlog since the pandemic
  • 34% could not find an NHS dental practice
  • 15% had no NHS dental practice in their area

The proportion of people who had an appointment in the last 6 months has increased since January to March 2021, from 21% to 32%, but remains lower than the 77% of people pre-pandemic (Chart 5).

Bar chart showing when people last had a dental appointment, using data from 2019-20, January to March 2021 and 2021-22.

Hearing impairment


of people say they have difficulty hearing.

There has been no change in the proportion of people with difficulty hearing compared with the estimates in 2018-19.

30% of people who say they have hearing problems also say they use a hearing aid at least some of the time, a similar result to when this question was last asked in 2018-19. 74% of those who say they use hearing aids have them provided free through the NHS, 25% pay privately and 2% use a mix of NHS and private.

15% of people say they experience tinnitus.

Eye care


say they had their eyes tested at least every two years.

Bar chart of how often people had an eye test.

The results for 2021-22 shown in Chart 6 are similar to when these questions were asked in 2018-19. People experiencing material deprivation were more likely to never get their eyes tested (16%) than those not in material deprivation (8%).

People were asked about why they had not had their eyes tested. 80% say they did not have eye problems, 8% had not thought about getting an eye test, 3% say appointments were not available and 2% do not feel safe to go.

49% of people say they would go to an optometrist or optician in the first instance if they had pain or redness in their eye and 39% say they would go to their GP to begin with. These results show a change since 2018-19 when 40% said they would go to an optician, and 47% to their GP. 

Local environment quality

43% of people say that littering is a problem (major or moderate) in their local area and 19% of people say dog fouling is a major problem (Chart 7). People living in urban areas are more likely to say that graffiti or vandalism is a problem (15%) than those living in rural areas (6%). Fly-tipping is seen as a bigger problem in the local area by people living in urban areas (32%) compared with people living in rural areas (26%).

Stacked bar chart of how much people think the issues of fly-tipping, littering, dog fouling & graffiti and vandalism are a problem in their local area.

Satisfaction with Welsh Government, health services and education

People were asked to rate their satisfaction with education, and health services in Wales on a scale from nought to ten where 0 was ‘extremely bad’ and 10 was ‘extremely good’. They were also asked to rate their satisfaction with how the Welsh Government is doing its job, from 0 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied).

The average ratings given out of 10 were:

  • 6.3 for health
  • 6.8 for education
  • 6.4 for the Welsh Government

The health and education scores were similar to those given when the question was last asked in 2018-19. Satisfaction with the way Welsh Government is doing its job saw an increase to 6.4 from 5.4 in 2018-19.

The European Social Survey (ESS) includes a similar set of three questions on satisfaction with health, education, and government. The latest results, from 2018-19, cover 29 countries.

The scores given for Wales in the National Survey are higher than the UK and European results for all three questions. UK respondents’ satisfaction with education services was 5.6 out of 10, and satisfaction with health services was 5.7. Satisfaction with the UK government was 3.8 out of 10. In other countries, scores ranged from 2.6 out of 10 satisfaction with the Croatian government (from Croatian respondents) to 6.7 in Switzerland (from Swiss respondents).



of households have a pet.

36% of households have a dog and 20% have a cat. 3% of households have a small furry pet animal (hamster, guinea pig, mouse etc.) and 2% have a pet bird. These results are all similar to when the questions were last asked in 2014-15.

If a pet was acquired in the past five years, people were asked where they had got it from. Dogs were mostly purchased from a private seller (28%), a licensed breeder (30%), or from friends and family (21%). In 2014-15, 38% of people bought their dog from a private seller. Cats were most frequently obtained from friends and family (34%) or from a rescue centre (27%). 61% of cats and dogs are said to be insured, and 91% microchipped.

Arts attendance and participation


of people agree that arts and culture make Wales a better place to live in.

83% of people say they agree there should be public funding of arts and cultural projects. These are similar results to 2018-19.

The impact of coronavirus lockdowns is particularly apparent in the results on attendance at arts and cultural events although attendance and participation has increased throughout the year as restrictions have eased. Over the full 2021-22 year, 33% of people visited an arts event in the previous 12 months compared with 73% in 2018-19. Similarly, 21% of people say they saw a film at the cinema compared with 57% in 2018-19. 10% of people say they visited a museum in the last 12 months compared with 37% in 2018-19.

Sport and physical activity


of people say they participated in some sporting or physical activity in the last 4 weeks.

We asked people which physical activities they take part in. 51% of people say they participate in fitness activities (such as fitness classes, running/jogging, cycling, or swimming) and 14% participate in sports or games (such as football, rugby, table tennis or golf). 6% participate in outdoor pursuits like rambling, kayaking or sailing.

People were also asked whether there were any sports or activities they would like to do, or to do more of. 31% say they want to do more sport or physical activity in general. In particular, 20% say they want to do more fitness activities and 10% want to do more sports or games, and 5% would like to do more outdoor pursuits.

34% of people say they participate in some type of physical activity three or more times a week. 20% of people who participate three or more times a week say they are content with that amount, while 13% who participate three or more times a week would like to do still more. 18% of people who do not participate so frequently would like to do more.

Quality information

The National Survey for Wales is a continuous, large-scale, random sample telephone survey covering people across Wales.  Addresses are randomly selected, and invitations sent by post, requesting that a phone number be provided for the address. The phone number can be provided via an online portal, a telephone enquiry line, or direct to the mobile number of the interviewer for that case. If no phone number is provided, an interviewer may call at the address and ask for a phone number. Once a phone number is obtained, the interviewer uses a random selection method to choose one adult at the address to take part in the survey.

Detailed charts and tables of results are available in our interactive results viewer. For information on data collection and methodology please see our Quality report and Technical report.

National Statistics status

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality, and public value.

All official statistics should comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment by the UK Statistics Authority’s regulatory arm. The Authority considers whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.

It is Welsh Government’s responsibility to maintain compliance with the standards expected of National Statistics. If we become concerned about whether these statistics are still meeting the appropriate standards, we will discuss any concerns with the Authority promptly. National Statistics status can be removed at any point when the highest standards are not maintained and reinstated when standards are restored.

The continued designation of these statistics as National Statistics was confirmed in June 2020 following a compliance check by the Office for Statistics Regulation (letter of confirmation). These statistics last underwent a full assessment (full report) against the Code of Practice in 2013.

Since the latest review by the Office for Statistics Regulation, we have continued to comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics, by for example:

  • providing more detailed breakdowns in the results viewer
  • updated the survey topics regularly to ensure we continue to meet changing policy need
  • continued to carry out regression analysis as a standard part of our outputs, to help users understand the contribution of particular factors to outcomes of interest

Well-being of Future Generations Act (WFG)

The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The Act puts in place seven wellbeing goals for Wales. These are for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. Under section (10)(1) of the Act, the Welsh Ministers must (a) publish indicators (“national indicators”) that must be applied for the purpose of measuring progress towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals, and (b) lay a copy of the national indicators before Senedd Cymru. Under section 10(8) of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, where the Welsh Ministers revise the national indicators, they must as soon as reasonably practicable (a) publish the indicators as revised and (b) lay a copy of them before the Senedd. These national indicators were laid before the Senedd in 2021. The indicators laid on 14 December 2021 replace the set laid on 16 March 2016.

Further information on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The statistics included in this release could also provide supporting narrative to the national indicators and be used by public service boards in relation to their local wellbeing assessments and local wellbeing plans.

Contact details

Surveys team

Media: 0300 025 8099

Ystadegau Gwladol

SFR 165/2021