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Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government

First published:
28 June 2022
Last updated:

The 2021 Census took place on 21 March 2021 in Wales. Today, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes the first results that have been laid before the Senedd this morning (external link).

The data published today show that the usual resident population of Wales on 21 March 2021 was estimated to be 3.11 million, an increase of 1.4% since the 2011 Census.

This information is available by age and by sex, for each of the local authorities in Wales. Published alongside this information is the estimated number of households, population density and changes in population and households over time. Statistical datasets underlying the first release have also been published on the ONS website, along with other analysis and information.

The ONS is producing a suite of tools to enable users of all levels of experience with population data to explore the results of the census. To maintain the privacy of personal census responses, strict measures of statistical disclosure control ensure that no individual person or household can be identified from the information released.

The 2021 Census was a success here in Wales. Delivered against the backdrop of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the first digital-first census achieved a response rate of more than 96% in Wales, with more than two-thirds of households completing it online. This household response rate far exceeded the ONS’s target of 94% nationally and local response rates were above the target of 80% in each local authority area. I thank the Welsh public for their response. 

This first release marks the start of an extensive range of 2021 Census statistics and analyses for Wales that will be published during 2022 and 2023 and beyond. Census data will be used for planning and delivering local services here in Wales, as well as informing decision-making at the national and local level to improve our social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being.

From October, the ONS will publish data and analyses covering the range of topics and questions included in the 2021 Census, including the new questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and previous service in the UK Armed Forces. Information about the population’s Welsh language ability will also be published later this year. Further detail of the planned releases and publications can be found on the ONS’s website (external link).