Wales has highest number of unpaid carers in UK, according to new data
New figures have revealed that Wales has the highest proportion of unpaid carers in the UK.
Data from the Office of National Statistics found that 10.5% of people in Wales provided unpaid care in 2021, compared with 8.9% in England.
Figures showed that 107,000 people in Wales provided 50 or more hours of unpaid care a week – which was more than any other category.
96,000 people in Wales said they provide 9 hours or less unpaid care a week.
The new data gathered via the 2021 Census recorded the number of residents aged 5 years and over who had provided unpaid care in 2021 along with the amount of hours they provided in a typical week
Neath Port Talbot had the largest proportion of unpaid carers in Wales at 12.3%.
Other local authorities in the top five for most unpaid carers in Wales were Caerphilly (11.4%), Torfaen (11.4%), Blaenau Gwent (11.3%) and Merthyr Tydfil (11.3%).
Senedd research carried out last year found that prior to the pandemic around 96% of care in Wales was provided by unpaid care workers usually in the form of family members or friends.
In June last year, a new fund was launched to support unpaid carers in Wales during the cost of living crisis.
Grants of up to £300 were offered by the Welsh Governement to support unpaid carers “suffering financial hardship”.
As the Census was carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic, it may have influenced how people undertook their provision of unpaid care and could have affected how people chose to respond to survey questions.
The Census data also revealed the general health of Wales’s population and found that Gwynedd had the highest number of people reporting very good health at 51.5% whilst Merthyr Tydfil had the highest number of people reporting very bad health at 2.4%.
Overall in Wales, less people reported feeling in good general health (46.6%), compared to people in England (47.5%).
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