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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about Wales? If you can't find what you are looking for here please free to contact us and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can.

What is the population of Wales?

How many people in Wales can speak Welsh?

Can you explain why there is a dragon on the Welsh flag?

What is the translation of the Welsh National Anthem?

What is the longest place name in Wales?

How many cities are there in Wales and what are they called?

What sport is played in Wales?

When is Wales' national day?

What is the weather like in Wales?

How can I get to Wales?

Is Wales a country or a principality?

Where can I find out about jobs in Wales?

Can you translate something into Welsh for me?

1. What is the population of Wales?

The population in 2012 was 3,074,067 (StatsWales 2012). For more detailed information on population statistics visit Stats Wales.

2. How many people in Wales can speak Welsh?

According to the 2011 census the percentage of people in Wales who could speak Welsh was around 19% of the population. Welsh is one of the oldest languages in Europe. See our language page for more information about Welsh and for suggestions on how to learn Welsh.

3. Can you explain why there is a dragon on your flag?

The origins of Wales' flag, a red dragon on a green and white field, are lost in legend but may derive from Roman custom, a dragon having been the emblem of the cohort. In post-Roman times, legend warriors sometimes became known as 'dragons'. King Arthur's father was Uther Pendragon, the 'chief dragon', and legend tells that he had a vision of a fiery dragon, interpreted by his seers as a sign that he would mount the throne.

Legend tells too of the struggle between the red dragon of Wales and the white dragon of England, foretelling the victory of the former. A tradition that was fostered by the bards and made true by Henry Tudor whose standard emblem was a red dragon. As Henry VII he incorporated the Welsh dragon in the Royal Arms, where it remained until James I displaced it in favour of the Scottish Unicorn. In 1901, however, the red dragon was officially recognised as the Royal Badge of Wales, and in 1959 the Queen commanded that the red dragon on its green and white field should be the Welsh flag.

4. Can you translate the National Anthem for me?

There are two English translations of the Welsh National Anthem:

The ancient land of my fathers is dear to me,
A land of poets and singers, famous men of renown.
Its brave warriors and patriots
For freedom lost their blood.
(My) country, (My) country, I love my country;
While the sea is a rampart to the pure, beloved country,
Oh! May the old language survive.

Translation by W.S. Gwynn Williams
The land of my fathers is dear unto me,
Old land where the minstrels are honoured and free;
Its warring defenders so gallant and brave,
For freedom their life's blood they gave.
Home, home, true am I to home,
While seas secure the land so pure,
O may the old language endure.

 5. What is the longest place-name in Wales?

Its full name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch which means The Church of St Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio near a red cave, although it is usually shortened to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG.

6. How many cities are there in Wales and what are they called?

There are currently 6 cities, Cardiff (Caerdydd in Welsh) the capital city of Wales, which is in south east Wales, Swansea (Abertawe) in south west Wales, Newport (Casnewydd) in south east Wales and Bangor in north west Wales.

St Davids in Pembrokeshire has a population of under 2000 and is the smallest city in the UK.

On 14 March 2012, St Asaph, in north east Wales was awarded City status as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

7. What sport is played in Wales?

The most traditional sport is Rugby, but other sports also have a strong following, and highly successful Welsh competitors, in particular Golf and Athletics.

In recent years Wales has been increasingly popular destination for outdoor and adventure sports, such as abseiling, surfing and paragliding.

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which holds 72,500 people, has been host to many international sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup final in 1999 and 11 Olympic Football games in 2012. Wales has two teams in the Premier Division: Swansea City Football Club and Cardiff City Football Club.

The Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales hosted Golf’s 2010 Ryder Cup as well as the annual Wales Open.

8. When is Wales's national day?

1 March is St David’s Day, celebrated as a patriotic and cultural festival by the Welsh in Wales and throughout the world. Saint David or Dewi Sant (c 520-588), the founder and first abbot-bishop of Menevia (now St David’s in Pembrokeshire), has been venerated since the early Middle Ages as the patron saint of Wales. Find out more about St David.

9. What is the weather like?

The closeness of the mountains to the coast means that very different climatic conditions can be encountered within short distances in Wales. Our weather tends to be mild and variable.

We enjoy long summer days and the south west coastal strip of Wales gets around 1,700 hours of sunshine each year. Our average mean temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in our winter months (October - March) and 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in our summer months (April - September).

The latest weather for Wales can be found on the Met Office website.

10. How can I get to Wales?

The main air link is Cardiff International airport, but Wales is also well connected with the rest of the UK and Europe through its ports as well as its road and rail networks. See our Where is Wales page for more information.

11. Is Wales a Country or a Principality?

Wales is not a Principality. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right.

We have a long history that goes from the old welsh kingdoms and the middle ages. We have had a 'Prince of Wales' from 1301, when Edward I created the title. The title is given to the eldest son of each English monarch.

The Prince of Wales is Prince Charles, who is the present heir to the throne. But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does.

On 18 September 1997, we voted in favour of devolution in Wales. Before that, we were run entirely by the UK government in London. We were then given the powers we need to make secondary laws that affect us by an act called the Government of Wales Act 1998.

In 2006, we expanded on this act and have gained more powers for our country with the Government of Wales Act 2006. Our government's document 'One Wales' refers to us as a country or nation in its own right. 

12. Where can I find out about jobs in Wales?

There are many jobs located all over Wales so it is really dependent on what you are interested in and where. A good starting point is our Jobs in Wales page.

13. Can you translate something into Welsh for me?

I'm afraid we're unable to help with translations, however, The Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters has a list of translators.