Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Census

Look back at government statistics for Radnorshire in the 19C and even some quite emminent historians have been led up the garden path.  This is because they fail to differentiate between the historic county of Radnorshire and the registration county of the same name.  Most of southern Radnorshire, the hundreds of Colwyn and Painscastle, were included in the Breconshire statistics, while much of the east of the county eventually ended up being listed under Herefordshire.  Meanwhile the Knighton district, which was indeed counted as being in Radnorshire, also covered parishes in Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Look at yesterday's census release for Powys and a similar anomaly needs to be borne in mind.  Powys is the only authority in Wales where those identifying themselves as Welsh actually exceeds the number born in Wales.  This is because so many locals were born in hospitals in Hereford and Shrewsbury, it's a factor to remember when the more detailed community level figures for Radnorshire are published in the new year.

We can all remember the huge propaganda effort made during the summer Olympics to convince us that we were all British.  The Census figures tell a quite different story.  Less than 17% of the population of Wales opted for an exclusively British nationality.  In every authority in Wales from Newport to Ynys Mon the % of the locally born population opting for an exclusively Welsh identity was in the 70% to 90% range*.  Around a fifth of Wales's population were actually born in England and some 50% to 60% of these opted for an exclusively English identity.  In England itself 70% or so of the population opted for an English identity.  Only in London, with around 30% plus, and Northern Ireland, 40%, did Britishness have any purchase whatsoever.  I wonder what our rulers will make of all this?  More propaganda I expect.

* I've arrived at these figures by showing the exclusively Welsh respondents as a % of the locally born.  In Pembrokeshire for example that would be 80%.  Of course there will be those born in England or elsewhere who quite rightly ticked the Welsh box, but they would only have skewed the overall figure by a couple of percentage points at most.

1 comment:

DerektheWeatherman said...

I was expecting a post about the census - not this one perhaps - but all good points nonetheless.

However, should Dafydd Iwan start writing a new song?

"Dy'n ni ddim yma o hyd" - efallai?