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Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962.

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Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual.

Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.

Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.

), which was itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all Celts.

Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire), as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era (after the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons) of the Welsh (Brythonic-speaking) people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland ( In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh.

The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century.

Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries and tourism.

Wales' 2010 gross value added (GVA) was £45.5 billion (£15,145 per head, 74.0% of the average for the UK, and the lowest GVA per head in Britain).

From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition.

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