Where do most people live in Wales?

The majority of people who live in Wales live on, or near, the coast.

The inland of the country is mountainous. Not to an uninhabitable level (people in the Alps and the Vosges live in far less hospitable environments), but the coastal area has all the best farmland, and nearly all the mineral wealth too - so it has always made most sense in Wales to live near the sea.

Until the eighteenth century it was also much easier to travel across the short seas that separate south Wales from Somerset, Devon and Cornwall; west Wales from Ireland; and north Wales from Merseyside - than along the badly-repaired and highwayman-infested overland roads.

This is why in many ways south Wales has more in common culturally, politically, and socially with the English West Country; west Wales has more in common with Ireland; and north Wales has more in common with the Wirral and Liverpool than any have with other parts of Wales.

Since the Industrial Revolution a considerable majority of the Welsh population has been concentrated in the south Wales litoral:- an area from about Newport to Llanelli along the South Wales coast. Centres of population sometimes also follow the major rivers that come out of this urban strip (particularly the Tawe and the Taff); but by the time one travels inland as far as (say) the Brecon Beacons (still only 50 km from the sea) major towns have become very sparse.

There is a lesser, but still significant, urban strip along the shore of north Wales (Rhyl to Bangor); while the west coast has large open stretches, but a few significant towns (Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Fishguard).

The Welsh poet Harri Webb wrote of the country having a Green Desert at its heart.

That is about right.