Cardiff is the largest city and capital of Wales. It's the main commercial and cultural center of the country with an estimated population of 350,000 in 2014, which makes it the 9th largest city in the United Kingdom.
Cardiff has an estimated population of 357,200, as estimated by the Office for National Statistics. The Larger Urban Zone has an estimated population of 890,000, however.
City Size and Population Density
The city proper has a population density of 6,400 people per square mile (2,500 per square kilometer) and covers a total area of 140.3 square kilometers. The Cardiff-Newport metropolitan area has a population of 1.1 million.
More than 18 million people visit Cardiff each year, which makes it the 6th most popular alternative tourist destination according to National Geographic.
Cardiff has a very diverse population with a history of trade connections, post-war immigration and international students who attend university. At the 2011 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Cardiff was:
- White: 84.7%
- Asian: 8%
- Black: 2.4%
- Arab: 1.4%
- Mixed White and Black African/Caribbean: 1.6%
- Mixed White and Asian: 0.7%
- Mixed-other: 0.6%
- Other ethnic groups: 0.6%
More than 54,000 people in Cardiff belong to a non-white ethnic group.
Cardiff has a Roman Catholic cathedral, and it has been the seat of a Catholic archbishop since the turn of the 20th century, although the Catholic population has fallen. The Jewish population has also dropped. The oldest non-Christian community in Cardiff is Jewish. Jews were not allowed to live in Wales between 1290 and the 17th century, and the Welsh Jewish community was re-established in the 1700s. There is also a Muslim population of about 4%, which is well above the Welsh average and the UK average of 2.7%. In 2001, 19% of the city's population said they had no religion at the census, and nearly 9% did not state a faith.
Interestingly, Cardiff has the smallest percentage of people over 65 living in Wales at 13%.
Cardiff Population Growth
Except for a time of decline during the 1970s and 1980s, Cardiff's population has continually grown since 1801 when the community was barely over 6,000 residents. Early population increases over the years sometimes exceeded additions of more than 30,000 persons every ten years.
In 2008, it was the fastest-growing local authority in Wales with a growth rate of 1.2%. Between 2001 and 2011, Cardiff grew by 46,000, which was 25% of the country's growth, and it now represents 30% of the country's growth. 90% of the increase in the country is due to migration, not natural growth.
The population of Cardiff has grown so rapidly over the last decade that a new "garden city" has been proposed to the west to accommodate the rising population.