Cymru ( Welsh)
Flag of Wales
Motto: "Cymru am byth" ( Welsh)
"Wales Forever" or "Long live Wales" [1]
Anthem: " Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau"
"Land of My Fathers"
Location of  Wales  (dark green)– in Europe  (green & dark grey)– in the United Kingdom  (green)
Location of  Wales  (dark green)

– in Europe  (green & dark grey)
– in the United Kingdom  (green)

Status Country
and largest city
Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Official languages
Demonym Welsh (Cymry)
Government Devolved parliamentary legislature within parliamentary constitutional monarchy
•  Monarch
Elizabeth II
Carwyn Jones AM
Parliament of the United Kingdom
•  Secretary of State Alun Cairns MP
•  House of Commons 40 MPs (of 650)
• Unification by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
1057 [2]
3 March 1284
31 July 1998
• Total
20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi)
• 2011 census
• Density
148/km2 (383.3/sq mi)
GVA 2015 estimate
 • Total £56 billion [6]
 • Per capita £18,002 [6]
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
• Total
£54 billion [7]
• Per capita
£18,000 [7]
Currency Pound sterling ( GBP£)
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time ( UTC⁠)
• Summer ( DST)
British Summer Time ( UTC+1)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy ( AD)
Drives on the left
Calling code +44
Patron saint Saint David (Dewi Sant)
ISO 3166 code GB-WLS

Wales ( z/ ( About this sound  listen); Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəmri] ( About this sound  listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. [8] It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation; the South Wales Coalfield's exploitation caused a rapid expansion of Wales' population. Two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff (the capital), Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries and tourism. Wales' 2010 gross value added (GVA) was £45.5 billion (£15,145 per head, 74.0% of the average for the UK, and the lowest GVA per head in Britain).

Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population speaks English, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.


The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha), which was itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all Celts. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, and Wēalas when referring to their lands. [9] The modern names for some Continental European lands (e.g. Wallonia, Wallachia and Valais) and peoples (e.g. the Vlachs via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic) have a similar etymology. [9] [10] [11] [12]

Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g. Cornwall) and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Celtic Britons (e.g. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire), [13] as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.

The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words (both of which are pronounced [ˈkəm.rɨ]) are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen". [14] The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era (after the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons) of the Welsh (Brythonic-speaking) people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland ( Yr Hen Ogledd) (English: The Old North). It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. [15] In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century. [16] It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan (Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633. [17] In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples (including the Welsh) and was the more common literary term until c. 1100. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh. Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. [14]

The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains (which cover much of Wales and gave their name to the Cambrian geological period), the newspaper Cambrian News, and the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, which was once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd. The Cumbric language, which is thought to have been closely related to Welsh, was spoken in this area until becoming extinct around the 12th century. This form also appears at times in literary references, as in the pseudohistorical " Historia Regum Britanniae" of Geoffrey of Monmouth, where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Cymru.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Wallis
Alemannisch: Wales
አማርኛ: ዌልስ
Ænglisc: Wēalas
العربية: ويلز
aragonés: Galas
asturianu: Gales
azərbaycanca: Uels
تۆرکجه: ولز
Bân-lâm-gú: Ui-le̍k-sū
башҡортса: Уэльс
беларуская: Уэльс
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ўэйлз
भोजपुरी: वेल्स
български: Уелс
Boarisch: Wales
bosanski: Vels
brezhoneg: Kembre
буряад: Уэльс
català: Gal·les
Чӑвашла: Уэльс
čeština: Wales
chiShona: Wales
Cymraeg: Cymru
dansk: Wales
davvisámegiella: Cymru
Deutsch: Wales
dolnoserbski: Wales
eesti: Wales
Ελληνικά: Ουαλία
español: Gales
Esperanto: Kimrio
estremeñu: Galis
euskara: Gales
فارسی: ولز
føroyskt: Wales
français: Pays de Galles
Frysk: Wales
Gaelg: Bretyn
Gàidhlig: A' Chuimrigh
galego: Gales
ગુજરાતી: વેલ્સ
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐍅𐌰𐌻𐌷𐌰𐌻𐌰𐌽𐌳
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: वेल्स
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Wales
한국어: 웨일스
Հայերեն: Ուելս
हिन्दी: वेल्स
hornjoserbsce: Waliziska
hrvatski: Wales
Ido: Wals
Ilokano: Gales
Bahasa Indonesia: Wales
interlingua: Galles
Interlingue: Gallia
Ирон: Уэльс
isiZulu: IWelisi
íslenska: Wales
italiano: Galles
עברית: ויילס
Basa Jawa: Wales
ಕನ್ನಡ: ವೇಲ್ಸ್
ქართული: უელსი
kaszëbsczi: Walijô
қазақша: Уэльс
kernowek: Kembra
Kiswahili: Welisi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Gal
Kurdî: Wales
Ladino: Gales
лезги: Велс
Latina: Cambria
latviešu: Velsa
Lëtzebuergesch: Wales
lietuvių: Velsas
Ligure: Galles
Limburgs: Wales
lingála: Ekólo Wali
Livvinkarjala: Kymrinmua
lumbaart: Gàles
magyar: Wales
македонски: Велс
മലയാളം: വേൽസ്
Māori: Wēra
मराठी: वेल्स
მარგალური: უელსი
مصرى: ويلز
مازِرونی: ولز
Bahasa Melayu: Wales
Baso Minangkabau: Wales
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Wales
монгол: Уэльс
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဝေလနိုင်ငံ
Nederlands: Wales
Nedersaksies: Kumrië
नेपाली: वेल्स
日本語: ウェールズ
нохчийн: Уэльс
Nordfriisk: Wales
Norfuk / Pitkern: Waals
norsk: Wales
norsk nynorsk: Wales
Nouormand: Galles
Novial: Wales
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Uels (hudud)
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਵੇਲਜ਼
پنجابی: ویلز
ភាសាខ្មែរ: វ៉ែល
Piemontèis: Gàles
Tok Pisin: Wels
Plattdüütsch: Wales
polski: Walia
português: País de Gales
Qaraqalpaqsha: Wels
română: Țara Galilor
rumantsch: Valisa
Runa Simi: Kamri
русский: Уэльс
Gagana Samoa: Uelese
sardu: Galles
Scots: Wales
Seeltersk: Wales
shqip: Uellsi
sicilianu: Galles
Simple English: Wales
سنڌي: ويلز
slovenčina: Wales
slovenščina: Wales
ślůnski: Walijo
Soomaaliga: Waalis
کوردی: وێڵز
српски / srpski: Велс
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wales
Basa Sunda: Wales
suomi: Wales
svenska: Wales
Tagalog: Wales
தமிழ்: வேல்ஸ்
татарча/tatarça: Уэльс
తెలుగు: వేల్స్
tetun: Gales
тоҷикӣ: Уелс
Türkçe: Galler
удмурт: Уэльс
українська: Уельс
اردو: ویلز
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Wélsh
vèneto: Gàłes
Tiếng Việt: Wales
Volapük: Velsän
Võro: Kõmrimaa
West-Vlams: Wales
Winaray: Wales
吴语: 威尔士
ייִדיש: וויילס
Yorùbá: Wélsì
粵語: 威爾斯
Zazaki: Gali
Zeêuws: Wales
žemaitėška: Velsos
中文: 威爾士
Kabɩyɛ: Wɛlɛsɩ