Over half of the world’s population can speak more than one language, with 43% classifying as bilingual and a further 17% identifying as multilingual. With bilingualism and multilingualism being proven to have many social, psychological and lifestyle advantages, the benefits of having more than one language at our disposal are more than threefold. Encouraging the younger generation towards becoming apt with multiple languages is one of the best head starts in life one can be given.

  • Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham have been revealed as Wales’ top locations for nurturing bilingualism or multilingualism. Bangor and Aberystwyth complete the country’s top five
  • Whilst Cardiff ranks top with the best ratio of bilingual schools*, offering 3.06 per 100,000 children, Wales’ largest bilingual community (per capita) is actually found in Bangor
  • Wrexham and Cardiff’s bilingual community size (per capita) is equal in size, with 4.3% of each city’s population speaking more than one language
  • As for appetite for languages, those in Cardiff made the most searches in 2022 for “Learn X” across a variety of languages, registering 3300 searches in total.

Taking over 110 UK towns and cities, the latest research from PREPLY reveals the UK ‘hubs’ set to raise the next multilingual generation. The study considers bilingual/international schools, demand for learning a language and size of bilingual community (bilingual population), to reveal the country’s top locations for nurturing multilingualism in children.

Ranking as Wales’ top five are…

  • Cardiff
  • Swansea
  • Wrexham
  • Bangor
  • Aberystwyth

Incidentally, South Wales does figure in the locations ranking lowest are Holyhead, St.Asaph and Neath.

Cardiff’s top ranking is largely owed to it offering the best bilingual school to child ratio in the country, offering 3.06 per 100,000 children. Swansea offers 2.91 per 10,000 children, whilst third place ranking Wrexham is host to 1.59.

When a child is learning a new language, at-home development is beneficial, so parents and guardians who can support with their own skills, can also boost learning. Cardiff’s high ranking is also owed to its more notable appetite for “picking up” a new language, as annual demand for learning a language surpassed the 3,000 mark last year.

Swansea registered 2500+ searches and the city of Wrexham registered just above 1900. As for the languages the Welsh are most interested in learning, Spanish came top of the list, followed by French, Italian and Arabic respectively.

When it comes to the size of bilingual community (per capita), Cardiff is beat by Bangor for top spot. In Bangor, 5.3% of the city’s residents classify as bilingual, whilst Cardiff’s bilingual community is second largest (joint with Wrexham) at 4.3%. Aberystwyth’s ranks as the third largest at 3.6%.

As for the languages Cardiff  are most interested in learning, Spanish came top of the list, followed by French, Italian and Arabic respectively.

In comparison, ranking as the UK’s top city, Cambridge’s boasts 11.78 independent bilingual schools per 10,000 children, which have one of the highest collective ratings in the UK (4.78). In 2022, Cambridge registered 3000+ searches for “learn X” (across various languages). Lastly, Cambridge has the UK’s third largest bilingual population ratio, with just under 20% of its residents speaking a second language. The cities’ bilingual community is beaten only by London and Leicester.

PREPLY have a great interactive tool online. Simply enter your area and check where your location figures in the list – HERE.