Jurisdiction Project


Wales is the territory on the western peninsula of the island of Great Britain, roughly 274 kilometers from north to south, and 97 kilometers from east to west, from the eastern boundary with England to the St. George's Channel. Wales can be thought of as being three distinct geographic areas, the mining and industrial valleys of the south, the highland interior and northwest which has been the stronghold of Welsh nationality, and the heavily Anglicized east and north east.

Wales has over 1,200 km of coastline. There are several islands off the Welsh mainland, the largest being Ynys Môn (Anglesey) in the northwest. Wales is mostly mountainous, with 14 mountains over 3,000 ft (914 m), the highest being Snowdon at 1,085 m. The main population and industrial areas are in South Wales, consisting of the cities of Cardiff (Caerdydd), Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd) and surrounding areas.

In the Atlantic Ocean, between Ireland and Europe. It is bordered on the east by England, on the north by the Irish Sea, on the west by the St. George's Channel and on the south by the Bristol Channel.

Latitude and Longitude:
Between latitude 51 and 54 North; between longitude 3 and 6 West

Time Zone:

Total Land Area:


Wales has a moderate and damp climate, a high level of humidity. Wales benefits from the warm waters and warm wet air that comes with the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic Ocean. The daily mean temperature ranges from 5 C to 16 C. The mean temperature in Wales in 2005 was estimated to be 9.7 C, the same as the mean temperature in 2004 but 1.1 C higher than the average for the period 1961-1990. The annual rainfall in Wales in 2005 was estimated to be lower than the corresponding figure for 2004 and 8 per cent lower than the average for the period 1961-1990.

Natural Resources:
Wales has a rich natural heritage of minerals: coal, copper, lead, tin and gold. Wales is virtually covered by the Cambrian Mountains, which stretch from north to south and reach 1,085 m (3,560 ft) above sea level. The minerals contained in this mountain range have been sought after by many people since the earliest history of Wales, peoples from the Rhine River Valley in Germany had migrated to Wales by 2000 BC with metal working skills, more advanced metal working was introduced by contact with Austrians in 1000 BC. The Roman Empire realized the mineral values early in their occupation and stationed two thirds of their armed forces in the foothills of Wales to protect and exploit those resources. Later as coal began to fuel the industrial engine of Great Britain, the coal mining industry grew to dominate industry and the economy in Wales.


Total GDP:
2000 48,175,410,000.00 USD
2002 48,000,000,000.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:
2005 31,864.00 USD

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
1995 3% 56% 41%
2000 2.7% 52% 45%

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
1995 1% 61% 38%
2000 1.4% 53.6% 45%

External Aid/Remittances:
Wales has a long tradition of foreign investment, by the English and by many other nationals. Current economic resurgence is credited to foreign investment. Wales has the largest concentration of Japanese owned factories in Great Britain. Structural investment funds have been brought to Wales by the European Union, Typically these funds have been aimed at agricultural restructuring.

The industrial heartlands of southern Wales have long attracted immigrants and investment. The coal and iron smelting industries have been the drivers of the economy from the beginning to its recent past. Sharp declines in the demand for Welsh coal after WW1 led to large scale out-migration to England and North America. The economy does benefit from its industrial heritage, proximity to English markets and its ability to accommodate foreign investment; Wales has the largest concentration of Japanese-owned factories in the United Kingdom. What Wales has not had, or at least not since the 1920s, are enough companies with head offices, and research and development functions in Wales. Traditional industries are in sharp decline as employers; the region has attracted so-called ‘branch factories’ of companies or multi-nationals which have their highly paid head office, marketing and R&D functions elsewhere. This holds back the relative GDP in Wales because those jobs have higher average pay. Indirectly as well, it is the head office locations which buy professional services in banking, law and accounting etc., and it is the research and development departments that frequently provide the ‘ideas’ people who spin off to start their own companies. That is why Wales can have lower unemployment than England, but unfortunately a much lower GDP per head at the same time. Manufacturing accounts for a larger proportion of employment in Wales (16%) than in many other regions and countries, and Wales does have relatively high representation in some vulnerable sectors (such as automotive parts). Overall in Wales the proportion of manufacturing jobs is declining relative to other sectors like health, education, and public administration.

Labour Force:
2002 1,260,000,000

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
1991 9.1%
1995 8.6%
2000 6.5%
2001 5.8%
2002 5.6%
2004 4.6%

The importance of coal in Wales had its beginnings around 1780 when iron smelting began in earnest. Coal mining employment reached a peak of 265,000 employees in 1927 and declined sharply after that, falling to 115,000 employees by 1947. Labor Force: There is strong participation in the work force in Wales. Young adults in Wales have a 14% unemployment rate. Unemployment rates tend to be highest in the South of Wales. Unemployment is currently at low levels - 4.6% on the international standard count - lower than the rest of the UK and much lower than most of the European Union. Behind the low unemployment figures, there is the continuing challenge of raising the level of economic activity - the number of people participating in work. Despite significant recent improvements, that remains lower in Wales than in most other parts of the UK. The gap appears to have halved over the past two years, but the bulk of the improvement has come about in female participation in the workforce. Overall, 78% of men are economically active and 68% of women are employed or actively seeking employment. Overall females are employed predominantly in public administration, health, and education (42%); men are largely employed in manufacturing (26%). The dominance of the coal mining industry in the past and the difficult development of the labor movement within that industry has given Wales a history and reputation of strong labor union representation. The contribution of occupational mix, qualifications and proximity to a major agglomeration provide an overall explanation of the divergence of average wages in each sub region of Wales from those for Great Britain. For example, in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan sub-region, average wages are higher than for GB.

Niche Industry:
The spinning and weaving of wool began as a cottage industry; as in Scotland, wool developed into an industry with the advent of the steam loom and remained a cottage industry as well to provide unique wool products.

Wales has a very well established pattern of tourism development; the coastal towns of the southwest on Cardigan Bay have a long history of providing seaside escapes. Wales has several of the most imposing and historic castles in Europe, beautifully scenic river valleys and coastal cliff scenery. In direct terms, tourism contributes 3.7% of whole-economy value added in Wales. Approximately 100,000 people in Wales are employed in tourism. This represents approximately 9% of the workforce. The UK accounts for 93% of tourism trips to Wales. Over one million trips are taken to Wales annually by overseas tourists. The most popular origins of overseas visitors are Republic of Ireland, USA, and Germany. Netherlands, France, Australia and Canada are also important origins for tourist to Wales. The most popular attraction in Wales is the Museum of Welsh Life which attracts over 600,000 visitors annually. In serviced accommodation in Wales, there are over 80,000 bed spaces available. In Wales during 2004, the number of tourism trips taken by UK residents was 8.9 million, a 23% decrease on the 2003 figure (11.6 million). Tourism nights spent in Wales decreased by 31% from 45.7 million in 2003 to 31.5 million in 2004. This 23% decrease in trips during 2004 has been accompanied by a 16% decrease in the amount spent on tourism. Tourism spending in this period is down from £1.77 million in 2003 to £1.49 million in 2004. The full year results for 2004 show an increase on the 2000 level of 3.5%. Total spending by overseas visitors to Wales increased by 15.5% to £311 million, when compared with 2003. The total spending for 2004 shows an increase of 16.5% on the 2000 figure. Tourism trips are spread throughout the year with less than half of trips taking place in peak season from July to September.


Imports and Exports:

Wales has a wide variety of products to export, the largest sectors are chemical manufacturing, automotive, energy, engineering services and metal which all produce significant export products. However, the Welsh Assembly Government has put in place various measures designed to ensure that imported animals and products of animal origin do not present unacceptable risks to the health of the public or to animals.

Tot. Value of Imports 0.00 ()
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:)
Partners Outside EU:
Import Partners:
Tot. Value of Exports 2147483647 Euros (2005)
To Eu: Germany, France, Ireland and Belgium
Export Partners: USA was the largest export market for Welsh products, followed by Germany, France, Ireland and Belgium
Partners Outside EU:: USA, Korea, Japan, China
Export Partners:
Main Imports:
Main Exports: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco



Number of Airports: 1
There is one International Airport at Cardiff which serves over 1.2 million passengers per year. Air Wales has just inaugurated a direct flight between Belgium and Cardiff in 2006. Air Wales was established in January 1997 with the assistance of Swansea property financier Roy Thomas and started operations in January 2000. Initially based at Pembrey Airport in West Wales and operating two aeroplanes, Air Wales has expanded dramatically. The airline currently employs over 120 personnel, including 45 flight deck staff, 20 engineers and 20 cabin crew. It revives the name of an airline from the 1970s which was eventually integrated into Air UK. During 2004 Air Wales gave up all routes out of Swansea to concentrate on routes out of Cardiff. During February 2006 Air Wales gave up all routes from Plymouth to focus on more popular Routes and International Routes. Air Wales operates routes from Brussels to Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, Newcastle, Jersey, Rennes, and Cardiff.

Number of Main Ports:



Wales has an extensive Bus and Coach Passenger System. There were 104 million trips taken in 2002. This is a decline, however, from the past ten years. Previous numbers were more like 130 million trips in a year. Motor car transport in Wales is an important transportation mode. There were 1,305,000 vehicles registered in 2003 and road transportation uses more that one third of British energy consumption.

Inland canals have been a factor in transportation since 1794 with the Glamorganshire Canal which is a series of 40 locks down to the sea. In 1820, 49,000 tonnes of product were shipped this way.

Other Forms of Transportation:
There is considerable rail movement through Wales between England and Ireland; domestic rail movement is important as well. There were 12 million rail trips that originated within Wales in 2003, up from 9.5 million in 1997. Railway transportation has a long history in Wales with many narrow gauge railways having been built to support heavy industry, originally powered by horse and steam power. Many remain as interesting tourist attractions to this day.

Economic Zones:
Wales, as part of Great Britain, is part of the European Union; there have been many benefits to the agricultural sector as a result of this association.

Energy Policy:
The transportation sector consumes 33% of all energy consumed in the UK, while domestic use is 28% and industrial use is 18%. In 2004 petroleum accounted for 53% of all energy produced and imported into the UK. Interestingly more than 60% of the coal consumed in Great Britain was imported, compared with one third in 1988, showing a downturn in the Welsh coal industry.

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)


Official Currency:
The Pound Sterling.

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions: 10
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 Banking and insurance industries are centered in London England; there is a broad range of services available.

Financial Services:
Wales has a full range of financial services available to its citizens. The financial markets are, however, overshadowed by the proximity to and the dominance of London financial markets.

The first Welsh language TV station was established in 1982 and is credited with re-energizing the need for the language. The growth of nationalist sentiment expressed itself in the revival of the Welsh language.

Public Ownership:

Land Use:
Many areas within Wales are protected by legislative provisions designed to conserve nature and protect the landscape. The three National Parks (Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons) together cover an area of 410,000 hectares, around a fifth of Wales. There are five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty partially or wholly in Wales (Gower, Lleyn, Anglesey, Wye Valley and Clwydian Range), covering 83,000 hectares of Welsh land. There are six Environmentally Sensitive Areas with a total designated area of around 519,000 hectares. Around 130,000 hectares of this is covered by agreements with farmers under the Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme. Over a thousand Sites of Special Scientific Interest, covering 264,000 hectares, are designated as being of special interest because of their fauna, flora, geology or physiography. 19 sites covering 137,000 hectares are also classified as Special Protection Areas in order to conserve bird habitats. There are also 10 Ramsar sites, covering 26,000 hectares, for the purpose of conserving wetlands of international importance. In 2005, there were an estimated 286,000 hectares of woodland in Wales, the same estimate as in 2004. This represents 14% of land mass, agricultural land use is 76% of land use and urban areas use up 10% of land. Wales is developing a Heritage Coastline designation, as of 1989 there were 405 kilometers of coastline in this protected designation.

There were 1,633,000 hectares of land used for agriculture in 2004, the vast majority of which is used for pasture and grazing, 177,000 hectares is classed as arable land, down over the past 10 years from 213,000 hectares. Sheep are very important in Wales; there have been close to 10 million sheep in Wales on over 15,000 farms throughout the last ten years. Wales has the highest density sheep population in the world. Welsh Mountain sheep are a native breed which has since been exported all over the globe. Welsh Black cattle share a similar legacy. The dairy industry which has been sustained in Wales has spawned the development of at least 40 varieties of cheese. Agriculture has changed considerably since the introduction of the 1947 Agriculture Act. The ensuing increases in agricultural productivity transformed what was a labor intensive industry into a source of migrant workers for the towns and cities of Wales. Great Britain's entry into the EEC in 1972 was of great benefit to Welsh agriculture; subsidies designed to help traditional European farming practices brought new income and investment to Wales. Mussel production in Wales was 12,000 tonnes per annum in 1997.

Marine Activity:

Demersal species account for the largest part of English and Welsh landings representing 44.8% of the overall catch. Shellfish make up 35.6% of landing by volume, and pelagics make up the remaining 19.5% by volume. Since 1989 the volume of the demersal catch has fallen and the shellfish has increased. The main locations for processing in the UK are Humberside in North of England, and South/Mid Wales; processing in the South/Mid Wales mainly involves shellfish. Commercial fishing directives are issued by the European Union as part of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Welsh Assembly Government administers this policy in Wales. This deals with managing stocks, reducing pressure on those stocks by setting limits on catches and imposing technical conservation measures (mesh size requirements, closed areas etc). This is currently being reformed as stocks are still in decline. Across the European Union there is an excess of fishing capacity in relation to the fishing opportunities available.

Marine Life:
All UK coarse fish are available, as well as some rather more exotic. These include eel, carp, bream, roach tench, rudd, pike, and perch.

Critical Issues:
Fishermen in west Wales are warning their livelihoods are under severe threat from cutbacks in quotas. The shrinking of the industry in Wales over the years has seen the numbers of trawlers dwindle to four in the west Wales port and they face tough competition from boats from other countries.


Principality of Wales (Tywysogaeth Cymru) is the formal name of this one of four constituent nations of the United Kingdom. Cardiff was declared capital in 1955.

Political System:
Wales has a democratic system of government, with general elections every four years, electing Members to the National Assembly in Wales, 40 Members to the British Parliament in London, and 22 County and County Borough Unitary Authorities. Wales remains part of Great Britain and British Law prevails. The devolution of government to the Welsh people has been slow in developing and has not proceeded as far as Scottish devolution. This is generally credited to the large English and Irish immigrant population attracted to the south of Wales who did not necessarily see themselves as distinct from Great Britain and who not have the language even if they were born in other parts of Wales. The National Council for Wales was established in 1949, and a Minister for Welsh Affairs was appointed to the portfolio in 1951. The proposal which was eventually accepted by the Welsh people for devolution is essentially the control over the powers which were vested in the Office for Welsh Affairs. Wales does not have tax varying powers or law making powers, and the National Assembly is an administrative body. The Assembly decides on its priorities and allocates funds from within those funds made available to it by the British Treasury.

Political Parties:
Plaid Cymru is the Welsh Nationalist Party; the party was formed in 1925 and elected its first Member of Parliament in 1966. Plaid Cymru has historically supported devolution along with the Labor Party. The Conservative Party remained in power through most of the 1980’s, for eighteen years prior to 1992 when support fell to 29%, and further in 1997 when support fell to 19%. The Liberal Party The Labor Party

Important Legislation:
In 1997, the Government of Great Britain published a White Paper on proposals for the devolution of Wales. Parliament then passed the Government of Wales Act in 1998, which established the National Assembly for Wales. Devolved powers for the government are outlined in the Transfer of Functions Act of 1999 and include responsibility for agriculture, ancient monuments and sites, culture, economic development, education, environment, social services, planning, Welsh language, highways, housing and local government. In 1946, the National Insurance Act, and in 1948, the Industrial Injuries Act and the National Health Services Act changed completely the social landscape of Wales, bringing what is known as the Welfare State into a society with a tradition of self-help and co-operative health organizations. Two Acts of Union with Great Britain were passed in 1536 and 1542. Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1972, and this action has introduced Wales to forces outside its borders which affect local government.

Principal Taxes:
Wales does not have tax varying powers or law making powers, however some funds are made available to it from the European Union as well as funds from the British Treasury. Structural funds from the EU may offer reduced financial resources to Wales. However, the additional spending associated with such funds has typically accounted for less than 0.5% of Wales’ GDP, so at the macro level the economic effects are likely to be relatively modest. In the areas where tariffs remained until enlargement (notably steel, textiles and agriculture) some further increase in competitive pressure might be expected, but in practice, such pressures were already intense from very low cost production outside the enlarged EU area. Wales follows the British tax regime, the VAT being a principal tax.

Associated Power:
Great Britain (EU)

The people of Wales are British citizens.

The European Union maintains a presence in Wales with the Welsh European Funding Office which administers structural development funds. The key international interests and responsibilities of the Welsh Assembly Government include providing advice and policy support on European Union Communications and Enlargement Strategy, European Union Regional and Competition Policy including the future cohesion policy of the EU, guidance on provision of State Aid, and promotion of the EU-funded Inter-regional programs (Interreg).


The largest proportion of the population lives in the southern industrialized belt, where two-thirds of the people live; the remaining one-third live in the rural north and west. The cities are not large by European standards, with Cardiff being just over 300,000 people, and Swansea and Rhonda Cynon Taff being less than 250,000.

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population
Wales 20,779 2 %

There has been a trend since the Second World War of an ageing of the overall population. This is particularly evident in the age group over 85 years old which has grown 5 fold since 1951. The median age is 38 years in 2001, up from 34 years in 1981. The birth rate is falling, from 38,000 babies being born in 1991 to 30,000 babies being born in 2001.

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up
2006 561000 1,790,000 0 0 615


English and Irish immigrants have traditionally been a large influence in Wales; many immigrants were attracted by employment in the coal industry and the industrial heartland of south Wales. Recently migration has picked up again through the 1990’s, the shrinking population caused by lower fertility rates is being largely countered by immigration. There are 10.7 births per 1000 population, and the infant mortality rate is the lowest in Great Britain at 4.3 per 1000 live births. Birth rates in Wales remain well below what is required to maintain population. The decline in the birth rate will make immigration play an increasingly important role in underlying changes in the labour market. Migration is likely to contribute to increasing pressure for development in attractive locations, to continuing concerns about the supply of “affordable” housing and its effect on the survival of Welsh-speaking communities.

Crude Birth Rate:
2003 1.7%
2005 18.9%

Life Expedctancy:
Life expectancy continues to increase, with a significant overall ageing of the population. Life expectancy at birth in Wales was 74.8 years for males and 79.7 years for females in 1998-2000. Within Wales, Ceredigion had the highest life expectancy for males, Monmouthshire had the highest for females, whilst Merthyr Tydfil had the lowest figures for both genders. Life expectancy figures, at unitary authority level for men across Wales, differed by up to 5 years, whilst figures for women differed by up to 5.4 years. Life expectancy in Great Britain at this time is 79 years, male: 75.94 years female: 80.96 years.

Crude Death Rate:
2003 11.5%

In 2001, 97.9% of the people of Wales were White, British, Irish or other white. The white group is older than the ethnic population, the white Irish being the oldest of all, 32% over working age. There are small populations numbering 62,000 in all, of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, African and Chinese (all under 1% of total population). Most people from ethnic backgrounds reside in three larger cities, with the greatest number in Cardiff, where they make up 8% of the population; in Newport 5%; and in Swansea 2%. The Welsh government introduced a question on their 2001 Labor Force Survey about national identity, asking respondents to consider their identity as Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish or another national identity. Nationality was recorded as 67% wholly or partly Welsh, and in some rural areas of Wales, this was as high as 80% of respondents.

Class Division:
Qualifications, socio-economic class, and age are also associated with Welsh identity and language, where 67% of the people consider themselves to be of Welsh nationality. The north and the west of Wales tend to have the highest proportion of Welsh language speakers.

English and Welsh are the two official languages. The Welsh language is spoken by a high proportion of people born in Wales, as high as 89% in some districts.

Most of the Welsh population is Christian, 72% of respondents; the next largest group is no-religion reporting 19%; no-answer was 8%. The remaining less than 1% of population is made up of a small group (22,000) of Islamic people; and a Hindu community of 4,000 people. Wales has had a difficult history with the Church of England. The divisions were caused early on by the lack of Welsh clergy; the Methodists filled the void. The Calvinist Methodist Church was founded in 1811. Other “Non-Conformist” Protestant denominations formally broke away from the Church of England in 1920 when the Church of Wales was established.

 Definition: age 15 and over, has completed five or more years of schooling. In the total population, 99% met this standard.

Education System:
Education System: (1991)(2004); Nursery Schools: 54, 34; Number of Nursery Students: 3735, 1951; Number of Nursery Teachers (FTE): 118, 78. Primary Schools: 1717, 1588; Number of Primary Students: 276835, 273961; Number of Primary Teachers (FTE): 12001, 12734. Number of Private Schools: 71, 60; Number of Private Students: 12144, 9951; Number of Private Teachers(FTE): 1232, 1003. Number of Secondary Schools: 230, 227; Number of Secondary Students 185193, 215609; Number of Secondary Teachers (FTE): 12026, 12976.

Total Pre-schools:()
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools:
Total Professional Schools


Number of Schools per Island:


Students Enrolled:


The number of schools continues to fall; at January 2005 there were 1,965 schools, 18 fewer than a year earlier. There are 501,000 pupils in school, a decrease of almost 5,000 over the year - 3,650 fewer pupils in primary schools and 1,000 fewer pupils in secondary schools. There are 27,107 full-time equivalent (FTE) qualified teachers, a fall of 271 (one per cent) over the year. Falls were seen in all sectors except the special and independent school sectors. Higher education and the development of Universities is important in the history of Wales: Lampeter in 1826, Aberystwyth in 1872, Cardiff in 1883, and Bangor in 1884 have all since combined under the University of Wales which was created in 1893.

Medical Services:
Reported levels of poor health are significantly higher in Wales than in the rest of the UK, and are heavily associated with patterns of deprivation. There were 14,209 hospital beds available to serve the population of Wales in 2004. There are 14 hospitals managed by three Health Authorities, and 66,000 people employed by the health care system. There were 4,381 medical staff working in these hospitals and a further 1,804 General Practitioners in Wales.


 Wales is an ancient country, with evidence of inhabitation since the last ice age and earliest remains identified at 19,000 BC. Since the last ice age receded, settlement in Wales was continuous through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Welsh society has its roots in two major social groups, freemen and bondmen: these two groups have lived side by side since the earliest divisions of land. Early settlement was nomadic, with tribal, clannish affiliations. Descendants of a common ancestor were bound together in a common, self governing unit. 3,000 BC saw the beginnings of settlers from Europe; Saxons, Vikings, Germans and Romans all followed. The Romans were the first to undertake serious mining projects in Wales. Copper mines and slate quarrying were very important industries although this was done from the English side of the mountains. The Romans never fully conquered Wales, but occupied portions of it from 61 AD to about 400 AD. However when the Romans withdrew, many Irish immigrants moved into the northwest. Throughout most of its history, north and west Wales were largely free from Roman or Anglo Saxon occupation. In its early history, Wales was divided into small states organized by the clan basis. Some princes were able to temporarily unite the country. Wales has been ruled by monarchy in its past, Offa's Dyke was built by King Offa from 757 to 796 to form the historic boundary with England to the west. The first Prince of Wales displaced the Welsh royalty which had emerged under King Offa’s rule. The British Royalty stepped in after the death of Prince Llewellyn in 1282, and Edward I of England conquered the country bringing it under the complete jurisdiction of the British government. In 1284, the British Parliament passed the Statutes of Wales, setting out the template for rule. Wales sent its first Members to Parliament in 1535. The industrial revolution brought about large migrations of people to Wales and significantly changed the population base. Massive social and economic change began in the 1780s with the rise of iron smelting, the development of the steam engine and the demand for coal; from 1801 to 1851 the population doubled. The industrial revolution spawned the growth of the economy in the south of Wales; it expanded into steelworks and many other factories. The growth of the coal mining industry brought with it the development of the most militant trade unions. The mining industry workers and the ironworkers in the smelters were amongst the most militant trade unionists in the developing world. The people had an early history of unity: in 1839 over 1,250,000 people signed what was called “The People’s Charter”. Its rejection by British Parliament caused riots. In 1842 a second petition was put forward and over 3 million Welsh people signed.

The Welsh Act of 1979 was proposed in a referendum but was defeated with a low turnout and a low level of support. The Wales Act of 1997 was adopted by a narrow majority vote; the turnout was only 51% and the level of support of voters was 50.3%. The weak level of support is unlikely to cause further devolution as 11 of the 22 Unitary Authorities rejected the notion in the east and south west of Wales

Recent Significant Events:

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:
Traditional crafts include the carving of spoons for a courting gift, slate sculpture, and wrought iron works. There is a long standing tradition of choirs in Wales. The heritage of widespread local choirs grew with industrialization and the spread of chapels throughout the densely populated mining and iron working communities. The heritage of Welsh choirs faded somewhat over the years but still provides a rich legacy of music.


British Embassy http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk Encyclopedia Britannia http://britannia.com Wales: A Better Country The Strategic Agenda of the Welsh Assembly Government September 2003 National Assembly for Wales http://www.wales.gov.uk Welsh Assembly Government Overarching Fisheries Policy http://www.countryside.wales.gov.uk Wales Tourist Board http://www.wtbonline.gov.uk/; Government Funded Economic Research in Wales 2004 Welsh Assembly Government ISBN 0 7504 3652 2 http://www.wales.gov.uk/subiresearch/content/eru/reports/annual-report2004-e.pdf National Statistics Online Gov of United Kingdom http://www.statistics.gov.uk; The World Fact Book http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/uk.html;










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