Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and a UK core city. The city has a population of 350,000 and sits at the heart of the city-region of 1.4m, which is just under half the population of Wales. Cardiff was the fastest growing of the core cities over the past decade and is projected to grow by a further 26% (or 91,500 people) over the next 20 years.
Cardiff accounts for 21% of Welsh GVA, and since 2009 38% of new private sector jobs in Wales were created in the capital – that’s 2 out of 3 net new jobs in the city region. Furthermore, over 80,000 people – over 1/3rd of the city’s workforce – travel in from the surrounding region each day.
The city’s economic strengths lie in the financial and business services sector, which employs over a quarter of the workforce, with a particular expertise in insurance, and has a fast-developing creative industries cluster, particularly related to film and TV production. The University sector is also important to the city-regional economy, with a combined turnover of £700 million and employing approximately 10,000 people. There are currently over 60,000 students in the city-region, well over double the number in 2000, with post-graduate study trebling over the same time period and a quarter of all student being international students.
Over recent decades the city has made major investment in cultural and leisure infrastructure – including the creation of Cardiff Bay, the development of Millennium Stadium and the Wales Millennium Centre, which have attracted a programme of major international events has transformed the visitor economy, with visitor numbers and spend nearly doubling over the last ten years.