Wales and the Welsh
A subjective high level 'top 10' list describing modern Wales today.
- Wales is one of four nations that make up the United Kingdom (UK), namely Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. Wales is part of the island of Great Britain together with Scotland and England. To the east, Wales is bordered by England and to the South, West and North by sea, namely the Irish Sea and the Bristol Channel.
- Wales has a population of approx. 3.1 million, some 5% of the UK population. It has a land area of 20,799 square kilometres or 8,023 square miles. Wales makes up some 10% of the land area of Great Britain with only 5% of the population.
- In 1999, an elected National Assembly for Wales located in Cardiff Bay, known today as the Senedd (or parliament) was established. The Senedd has responsibility for a wide range of powers that have been devolved from the UK Government in Westminster which has resulted in changes to certain laws in Wales that are now different to the rest of the UK.
- Wales has the same currency, time zone and international dialling code as the rest of the UK, namely the Pound Sterling, GMT and +44 but now has its own domain name of .Cymru or .Wales.
- Wales has its own National Anthem since 1856, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. It also has its own national symbols, the red dragon, leek and daffodil together with its National Day, 1st March each year, St David’s Day, the patron saint of wales.
- Wales is officially a bi-lingual country of Welsh and English. Some 20% to 25% of the population speak Welsh.
- There are six cities in Wales, namely Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bangor, St Asaph and St David’s. Cardiff has been the capital city of wales since 1955 and is the ‘youngest’ capital city in Europe.
- The city of Cardiff has a population of some 350,000 population and St David’s is the smallest city in the UK with only 2,000 inhabitants.
- The National and Urdd Eisteddfodau of Wales are major cultural events in Wales celebrating all aspects of welsh language culture.
- Sport, can't mention Wales without mentioning sport. Wales is a sports mad country, but it is probably fair to say that rugby has a fundamental place in the heart of all (or almost) Welsh people and is the national sport.