Chapter 3 in People, Places and Policy: Knowing contemporary Wales through new localities, pp 41-77

Wales is often regarded as being a uniform country, but, as has been highlighted in the previous chapter, it is very diverse with distinct geographical differences in population and other socio-economic and cultural characteristics. This chapter reveals and discusses some of these differences through official statistics presented at a variety of spatial scales with the support of conventional maps, cartograms, graphs and tables. It provides a broad overview of Wales in terms of its demography, its economy and workforce, its mobility in terms of migration and commuting, and issues of identity and the Welsh language. It also highlights how places in Wales can vary in terms of levels of deprivation as measured by official indicators such as the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) and by people’s attitudes. The discussions are necessarily brief and highlight the main characteristics of each theme. These are then discussed in more detail for particular localities in subsequent chapters, drawing in evidence from key stakeholders and other data. This chapter acts as a precursor to, and a bridge between, this more in-depth exploration of Wales and hence provides a national context to more localised case studies.