Impact of the 2021 Census results on the work of the Welsh Language Commissioner

The main aim of the Welsh Language Commissioner is to promote and facilitate the use of Welsh and therefore our main task is to secure opportunities to use the Welsh language. It is important to keep in mind that the Census does not measure individuals' language use, other important surveys measure frequency of use, for example National Survey for Wales | GOV.WALES. 

But in order to increase usage it is of course essential that we understand who speaks Welsh, where they live, how old they are, what they do for a living and so on. The Census contains vital information about Welsh speakers that will influence the our work overtime.  

The Commissioner will use the results of the 2021 Census: 

  • As a springboard to continue to raise the status of the Welsh language and foster positive attitudes towards the Welsh language that will encourage people to learn Welsh and pass it on to the next generation. 
  • As essential context when drawing up our next strategic plan. 
  • To underpin all our policy-influencing work, specifically in the areas of economic development, planning and housing, language transmission, and education.  
  • When discussing the compliance of local authorities and national parks with the promotion standards which create a requirement for them to publish 5-year strategies to promote and facilitate the Welsh language in their areas. 
  • To continue the discussion about ethnicity and the Welsh language, emphasising the need for the multiethnic nature of the Welsh speaking community to be reflected in all aspects of the Commissioner's work and in our workforce.  
  • To present up-to-date information about the Welsh language and its speakers to audiences in Wales and beyond. 
  • To develop easy-to-understand resources that will be available on our website very soon.  

Independent analysis of 2021 Census results 

In addition to the above, the Commissioner has a statutory responsibility to produce a report every 5 years on the position of the Welsh language. The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 states that a report published after a census must include a report on the census results and an assessment of the implications of those results for the language. The next 5-year report will therefore cover the period between 2021–25 and pay close attention to the results of the 2021 Census and what they reveal about the situation of the Welsh language.