About Understanding Welsh Places

On the Understanding Welsh Places website you will find useful data and geographical information about your town or local area to help you identify opportunities for your community. You don’t need to be an expert to use this website. The graphics, maps and guidance will help you to explore the data you need to make a difference in the place where you live or work.

The website highlights the places in Wales that are most like your village, town or community. Exploring the similarities and contrasts might give you ideas for your place, or you can share examples of your best practice with others.

Understanding Welsh Places will also help you to understand the relationships between your place and other nearby places. For example, how many people commute in and out of your place each day? Where do they come from or go to? And how much does your place rely on other places for jobs and services, or how much do they depend on your place?

Your community can also add information to Understanding Welsh Places to help build up a picture of your place. The website includes links to a choice of toolkits for creating a community plan or place audit. Just go to the Your Plans and Research pages to find out more.

This website includes information about every place in Wales with 1,000 or more residents; that’s more than 300 places in total. You will also find statistics for smaller geographic divisions within towns, villages and rural areas on the Neighbourhood Map page. We have decided what information to include and what to leave out based on the availability of quality, reliable data and on conversations with potential users.

If you live in a town or community with fewer than 2,000 people, you will find that there is less data available than for larger places. Read more about data and our definition of place here.

Why are we interested in Welsh towns and communities?

A significant proportion of people in Wales live in towns and small communities. Too often, however, such places are overlooked by public policy. While targeted funding exists for city regions and rural development, there is nothing specific to towns. There is also a lack of data about towns available in one easy to use place that can be used to inform policy development and to evidence existing good practice.

The Project

Understanding Welsh Places is a collaborative project that aims to create a website that is the first point of call for statistical information about towns and communities in Wales. The project is funded until December 2020, but the website will remain current for longer.

Carnegie UK Trust and the Institute of Welsh Affairs have worked with representatives from the public, private and third sectors and have consulted with people from across Wales to come up with a plan for the website. The development of the site itself is funded by Carnegie and the Welsh Government. The website has been built by a team led by staff from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) at Cardiff University, with additional data processing and analysis provided by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

The website has also been shaped by a core cross-sector group of interested people and a sub-group of data experts. We are most grateful to the members of these groups for the time, energy and expertise that they have given to the Understanding Welsh Places project and for the support that they continue to provide. They come from: Aberystwyth University; the board of trustees of the Bevan Foundation; Building Communities Trust; Chris Jones Regeneration; the Design Commission for Wales; the Federation of Small Businesses Wales; Monmouthshire County Council; the Office for National Statistics; One Voice Wales; the Univeristy of Stirling; the Wales Council for Voluntary Action; and Knowledge and Analytical Services and the department for Homes and Places at the Welsh Government.

Licensing and attribution

Understanding Welsh Places utilises a range of datasets from multiple sources. Each variable, along with a link to the source, is listed in the Methodology. These datasets have been used in accordance with the licenses listed below.


Open Government Data License

Understanding Welsh Places contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0, including HM Land Registry data © Crown copyright and database right 2019.

Ordnance Survey (OS) data

Some Welsh Government mapping layers, available through Lle, are available through Welsh Government’s Ordnance Survey PSMA license. © Crown copyright and database rights 2019 Ordnance Survey 100021874.

You are granted a non-exclusive, royalty free, revocable licence solely to view the Licensed Data for non-commercial purposes for the period during which Welsh Government makes it available. You are not permitted to copy, sub-license, distribute, sell or otherwise make available the Licensed Data to third parties in any form. Third party rights to enforce the terms of this licence shall be reserved to Ordnance Survey.

Point X, or Points of Interest data, are utilised to obtain counts of businesses per town. Copyright © and Database Rights 2019 PointX Ltd and Landmark Information Group. Ordnance Survey Crown Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Electoral data

Data on electoral turnout was obtained from the Electoral Commission. © Crown copyright and database right 2019.

Boundaries and maps

Geographic boundaries are provided by Ordnance Survey. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2019. Base maps are provided by OpenStreetMap © OpenStreetMap contributors.

Understanding Welsh Places/ Deall Lleoedd Cymru is a registered trademark.