Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east, the Irish Sea to its north and west, and the Bristol Channel to its south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
For the purposes of local government, Wales has been divided into 22 council areas since 1996. These “principal areas” are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services. Wales has six cities. In addition to Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, the communities of Bangor, St Asaph and St Davids also have city status in the United Kingdom.
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