According to the 2001 census the number of Welsh speakers in Wales increased for the first time in 100 years, with 20.5% of a population of over 2.9 million claiming fluency in Welsh. In addition, 28% of the population of Wales claimed to understand Welsh. The census revealed that the increase was most significant in urban areas, such as Cardiff with an increase from 6.6% in 1991 to 10.9% in 2001, and "Rhondda Cynon Taf with an increase from 9% in 1991 to 12.3% in 2001. However, the proportion of Welsh speakers declined in "Gwynedd from 72.1% in 1991 to 68.7% in 2001, and in "Ceredigion from 59.1% in 1991 to 51.8% in 2001. The greatest fluctuation was in Ceredigion, with the a 19.5% influx of new residents since 1991.
The decline in Welsh speakers in much of rural Wales is attributable to non-Welsh-speaking residents moving to North Wales, driving up property prices above what locals may afford, according to former "Gwynedd county councillor Seimon Glyn of "Plaid Cymru, whose controversial comments in 2001 focused attention on the issue. As many as a third of all properties in Gwynedd are bought by people from outside Wales. The issue of locals being priced out of the local housing market is common to many rural communities throughout Britain, but in Wales the added dimension of language complicates the issue, as many new residents do not learn the Welsh language.
A Plaid Cymru taskforce headed by Dafydd Wigley recommended land should be allocated for affordable local housing, called for grants for locals to buy houses, and recommended that "council tax on holiday homes should double.
However, the same census shows that 25% of residents were born outside Wales. The number of Welsh speakers in other places in Britain is uncertain, but there are significant numbers in the main cities, and there are speakers along the "Welsh-English border.
Even among Welsh speakers, very few people speak only Welsh, with nearly all being "bilingual in English. However, a large number of Welsh speakers are more comfortable expressing themselves in Welsh than in English. Some prefer to speak English in South Wales or the urbanised areas and Welsh in the North or in rural areas. A speaker's choice of language can vary according to the subject domain (known in linguistics as "code-switching).
Due to an increase in Welsh-language nursery education, recent census data reveals a reversal of decades of linguistic decline: there are now more Welsh speakers under five years of age than over 60. For many young people in Wales, the acquisition of Welsh is a gateway to better careers, according to research from the "Welsh Language Board and Careers Wales. The Welsh Government identified media as one of six areas likely to experience greater demand for Welsh speakers: the sector is Wales's third largest revenue earner.
Although Welsh is a "minority language, and thus threatened by the dominance of English, support for the language grew during the second half of the 20th century, along with the rise of "Welsh nationalism in the form of groups such as the political party "Plaid Cymru and "Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society). The language is used in the bilingual "Welsh Assembly and entered on its records, with English translation. The high costs of translation from English to Welsh have proved controversial. Technically it is not supposed to be used in the "British Parliament as it is referred to as a "foreign language" and is effectively banned as disruptive behaviour, but several Speakers (most notably "George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandy, himself born in Wales, near "Tonypandy) spoke some Welsh within longer English-language speeches.["citation needed]
Welsh as a "first language is largely concentrated in the less urban north and west of Wales, principally "Gwynedd, inland "Denbighshire, northern and south-western "Powys, the "Isle of Anglesey, "Carmarthenshire, North "Pembrokeshire, "Ceredigion, and parts of western "Glamorgan, although first-language and other fluent speakers can be found throughout Wales. However, Cardiff is now home to an urban Welsh-speaking population (both from other parts of Wales and from the growing Welsh-medium schools of Cardiff itself) due to the centralisation and concentration of national resources and organisations in the capital.
For some, speaking Welsh is an important part of their Welsh identity. Parts of the culture are strongly connected to the language — notably the Eisteddfod tradition, poetry and aspects of folk music and dance. Wales also has a strong tradition of poetry in the English language.
Most Welsh "people of faith are affiliated with the "Church in Wales or other "Christian denominations such as the "Presbyterian Church of Wales["citation needed], or Catholicism, although there is even a "Russian Orthodox chapel in the semi-rural town of "Blaenau Ffestiniog. In particular, Wales has a long tradition of "nonconformism and "Methodism. Other religions Welsh people may be affiliated with include "Buddhism, "Hinduism, "Judaism, "Islam, and "Sikhism, with most non-Christian people in Wales found in "Cardiff["citation needed].
The 2001 Census showed that slightly less than 10% of the Welsh population are regular "church or chapel goers (a slightly smaller proportion than in England or Scotland), although about 70% of the population see themselves as some form of Christian. Judaism has quite a long history in Wales, with a Jewish community recorded in "Swansea from around 1730. In August 1911, during a period of public order and industrial disputes, Jewish shops across the "South Wales coalfield were damaged by mobs. Since that time the Jewish population of that area, which reached a peak of 4,000–5,000 in 1913, has declined with only "Cardiff retaining a sizeable Jewish population, of about 2000 in the 2001 Census. The largest non-Christian faith in Wales is Islam, with about 22,000 members in 2001 served by about 40 mosques, following the "first mosque established in "Cardiff in 1860. A college for training clerics has been established at "Llanybydder in "West Wales. Islam arrived in Wales in the mid 19th century, and it is thought that Cardiff's "Yemeni community is Britain's oldest Muslim community, established when the city was one of the world's largest coal-exporting ports. "Hinduism and "Buddhism each have about 5,000 adherents in Wales, with the rural county of "Ceredigion being the centre of Welsh Buddhism. "Govinda's temple and restaurant, run by the "Hare Krishnas in "Swansea, is a focal point for many Welsh Hindus. There are about 2,000 "Sikhs in Wales, with the first purpose-built "gurdwara opened in the "Riverside area of Cardiff in 1989. In 2001 some 7,000 people classified themselves as following "other religions" including a reconstructed form of "Druidism, which was the pre-Christian religion of Wales (not to be confused with the Druids of the "Gorsedd at the National "Eisteddfod of Wales). Approximately one sixth of the population, some 500,000 people, profess no religious faith whatsoever.
The sabbatarian "temperance movement was also historically strong among the Welsh, the sale of alcohol being prohibited on Sundays in Wales by the "Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881 – the first legislation specifically issued for Wales since the Middle Ages. From the early 1960s, local council areas were permitted to hold referendums every seven years to determine whether they should be "wet" or "dry" on Sundays: most of the industrialised areas in the east and south went "wet" immediately, and by the 1980s the last district, Dwyfor in the northwest, went wet; since then there have been no more Sunday-closing referendums.
- The "Flag of Wales (Y Ddraig Goch) incorporates the "red "dragon, a popular symbol of Wales and the Welsh people, along with the "Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the "Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. Since the British "Union Flag does not have any Welsh representation, the Flag of Wales has become very popular.
- The "Flag of Saint David is sometimes used as an alternative to the national flag, and is flown on "Saint David's Day.
- The "dragon, part of the national flag design, is also a popular Welsh symbol. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise Wales is from the "Historia Brittonum, written around 820, but it is popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of "King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders. Following the annexation of Wales by England, the dragon was used as a supporter in the English monarch's coat of arms.
- The "daffodil and the "leek are also symbols of Wales. The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by "David Lloyd-George. This may be due to confusion of the Welsh for leek, cenhinen, and that for daffodil, cenhinen Bedr or St. Peter's leek. Both are worn as symbols by the Welsh on "Saint David's Day, 1 March.
- The Prince of Wales's Feathers, the heraldic badge of the "Prince of Wales, is sometimes adapted by Welsh bodies for use in Wales. The symbolism is explained on the article for "Edward, the Black Prince, who was the first Prince of Wales to bear the emblem. The "Welsh Rugby Union uses such a design for its own badge.
There has been migration from Wales to the rest of Britain throughout its history. Particularly during the "Industrial Revolution hundreds of thousands of Welsh people migrated to the big cities of England and Scotland or to work in the coal mines of the north of England. Some towns with notably high populations with Welsh ancestry as a result of this include "Liverpool, "Skelmersdale, "Widnes, "Halewood, "Wallasey, "Ashton-in-Makerfield and "Birkenhead.   As a result, much of the British population today have ancestry from Wales. The same can be said for the English, Scottish and Irish workers who migrated to Welsh cities such as "Merthyr Tydfil or ports such as "Pembroke in the "Industrial Revolution. As a result, some English, Irish and Scottish have Welsh surnames ("Evans", "Jenkins", "Owen" etc.) and some Welsh have English, Scottish and Irish surnames — as a result, it is relatively rare in South Wales or English-speaking areas to find a person with exclusively Welsh ancestry. As well as this, a number of English towns and cities close to the Welsh border, such as "Chester, "Hereford, "Shrewsbury and "Oswestry have been known to have high numbers of people with Welsh ancestry for generations.   
Some thousands of Welsh settlers moved to other parts of Europe, concentrated in certain areas. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a small wave of contract miners from Wales arrived in Northern France; the centres of Welsh-French population are in coal mining towns of the French department of "Pas-de-Calais. Welsh settlers from Wales (and later Patagonian Welsh) arrived in "Newfoundland, Canada in the early 1900s, and founded towns in the province's "Labrador coast region. In 1852 "Thomas Benbow Phillips of "Tregaron established a settlement of about 100 Welsh people in the state of "Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.
Internationally Welsh people have emigrated, in relatively small numbers (in proportion to population, Irish emigration to the USA may have been 26 times greater than Welsh emigration), to many countries, including the USA (in particular, "Pennsylvania), Canada and "Y Wladfa in "Patagonia, Argentina. "Jackson County, Ohio was sometimes referred to as "Little Wales", and the Welsh language was commonly heard or spoken among locals by the mid 20th century.["citation needed] "Malad City in "Idaho, which began as a Welsh "Mormon settlement, lays claim to a greater proportion of inhabitants of Welsh descent than anywhere outside Wales itself. Malad's local High School is known as the "Malad Dragons", and flies the "Welsh Flag as its school colours. Welsh people have also settled in New Zealand and Australia.
Around 1.75 million Americans report themselves to have Welsh ancestry, as did 458,705 Canadians in "Canada's 2011 census. This compares with 2.9 million people living in Wales (as of the "2001 census).
There is no known evidence which would objectively support the legend that the "Mandan, a Native American tribe of the central United States, are Welsh emigrants who reached North America under Prince "Madog in 1170.
The Ukrainian city of "Donetsk was founded in 1869 by a "Welsh businessman, "John Hughes (an engineer from "Merthyr Tydfil) who constructed a steel plant and several "coal mines in the region; the town was thus named Yuzovka (Юзовка) in recognition of his role in its founding ("Yuz" being a Russian or Ukrainian approximation of Hughes).
Former Australian Prime Minister "Julia Gillard was born in Barry, Wales. After she suffered from "bronchopneumonia as a child, her parents were advised that it would aid her recovery to live in a warmer climate. This led the family to migrate to Australia in 1966, settling in Adelaide.
- "List of Welsh people
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- "Welsh History in Chicago
- "Welsh immigration
- "Welsh Italians
- "Welsh New Zealander
- "Y Wladfa
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