Welsh language skills by country of birth


This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents in Wales aged 3 years and over in Wales by Welsh language skills and country of birth. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Variable and dataset information

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.

Lower tier local authorities

Lower tier local authorities provide a range of local services. There are 309 lower tier local authorities in England made up of 181 non-metropolitan districts, 59 unitary authorities, 36 metropolitan districts and 33 London boroughs (including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities.


Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Welsh language skills

Whether a person has Welsh language skills. If they do, can they do any of the following:

* understand spoken Welsh

* speak Welsh

* read Welsh

* write Welsh

* no skills in Welsh

The census questionnaire only asked this question to people in Wales.

In results that classify people by Welsh language skills, a person may appear in more than one category depending on which combination of skills they have.

Country of birth

The country in which a person was born.

For people not born in one of in the four parts of the UK, there was an option to select "elsewhere".

People who selected "elsewhere" were asked to write in the current name for their country of birth.


Population type
Usual residents
Area type
Lower tier local authorities
England and Wales
Country of birth
13 Categories
  • Europe: United Kingdom: England
  • Europe: United Kingdom: Northern Ireland
  • Europe: United Kingdom: Scotland
  • Europe: United Kingdom: Great Britain not otherwise specified
  • Europe: United Kingdom: United Kingdom not otherwise specified
  • Europe: Ireland
  • The Americas and the Caribbean
  • Antarctica and Oceania (including Australasia)
  • Does not apply
Show all 13 categories
Welsh language skills
8 Categories
  • Can understand spoken Welsh only
  • Can speak, read and write Welsh
  • Can speak but cannot read or write Welsh
  • Can speak and read but cannot write Welsh
  • Other combinations of skills in Welsh, not including speaking
  • Can speak and other combinations of skills in Welsh
  • No skills in Welsh
  • Does not apply

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Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.

In Census 2021, we:

  • swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
  • added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

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