Historical area and region of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Occupies the peninsula of Wales and the adjacent Anglesey island. The capital is Cardiff. The area of Wales is 8% of the United Kingdom, and 5% of the UK's citizens live on its territory. Wales is the most impoverished region in the United Kingdom.
The Welsh-language word "cymru" means "the land of compatriots" and "Wales" comes from the German "walha" ("foreigner"). In times of the Roman Empire, this name was applied to the peoples of non-Rome origin (strangers). The indigenous people are Welsh people, who have preserved their identity, culture and native language. According to the National Population Census of 2011, 66% of Wales residents identify themselves as Welsh, but most of Wales' territory is predominantly English-speaking, Welsh dominates only in western regions. The Welsh Act of 1993 equalized the Welsh language in all spheres of public life in Wales with English.
The growth of Welsh regionalism was associated with the development of the regional requirements of the Scots and the movement for independence of the Irish in the second half of the XIX-XX centuries. Its result was the adoption of the 1998 Act, which established the Assembly of Wales. The regional parliament received some limited powers: the right to develop and adopt subordinate legislation and regulations aimed at implementing and clarifying laws passed by the national parliament regarding Wales. The new Wales Act of 2006 expanded the powers of the Assembly, but the taxation and budgeting issues are still regulated by the central government. It is these problems that have been the subject of public discussions over the past few years.
The executive devolution in Wales was aimed both at resolving the problems of reducing and overcoming interregional socio-economic disparities, as well as preserving the region as a cultural and historical community and supporting the Welsh language.