15 May 2017

Welsh Government has launched a report that aims to identify six factors that will impact government and public administration in future.

The areas identified by Future trends include social, economic, environmental and cultural trends in six areas: population, health, economy and infrastructure, climate change, land use and natural resources, and society and culture.

The report comments that:

  • Wales' population is projected to increase by five per cent in the next 20 years, due to natural change combined with migration from the rest of the UK and internationally.
  • Over the next 20 years, over-65s will make up 25 per cent of the population.
  • Wales has great untapped growth potential to generate energy, including from renewable sources.
  • The need for housing is growing faster than the number of available properties; however there is likely to be less suitable land available for development as low-lying land becomes increasingly prone to flooding.
  • Wales' digital skills lag behind the rest of the UK

Wales is becoming more diverse, although the Welsh identity is stable, with 85 per cent of those born in the country identifying as Welsh.

Later, the report notes that exiting the European Union may be the most disrupting factor to the identified trends, and that politically-led 'de-globalisation' could risk economic growth.

Finally, Future trends identifies a series of discussion points, including the impact of a trend towards a service economy and what the growth of digital means for community cohesion across Wales.