• With an area of 8000 square miles (20,800 square km), Wales is less than a sixth the size of England and a little larger than New Jersey.

While Wales is part of the United Kingdom and a member state of the European Union, it also has its own devolved Welsh Government, responsible for certain local affairs.

The population of Wales is around three million, sixty percent of whom live in the southeastern corner of the country. One quarter of the population of Wales was born out of the country, the vast majority being migrants from England. Cardiff, the capital city, has a population of 300,000.

Wales is officially a bilingual nation. Everyone speaks English and almost a quarter of the population also speak Welsh, the strongest survivor of the Celtic languages. The vast majority of Welsh-speakers are concentrated in the north and west of the country.

Wales was a largely Anglican nation (attending the Church in Wales) until Nonconformism swept Wales between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. This spawned many different divisions of Methodists, Baptists and Calvinists, as can be seen in the legacy of chapels everywhere in the country.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Wales features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Exploring the new Wales Way

Exploring the new Wales Way

The new Wales Way is a trio of action-packed routes that snake their way through the glorious Welsh landscape. Tackled on a cycling, driving or trekking advent…

30 Jan 2018 • Norm Longley local_activity Special feature
6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

For a small country, Wales offers incredible diversity – so much so that it's one of our top travel destinations for 2018. Even better, many of Wales' (b…

09 Jan 2018 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

06 Nov 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right