Ceredigion is a principal area and former kingdom in mid-west Wales. In extent it is more or less identical to the historic county of Cardiganshire, and it was reconstituted as a county under that name in 1996, reverting to Ceredigion a day later.
Ceredigion is a coastal county, bordered by Cardigan Bay to the west, Gwynedd to the north, Powys to the east, Carmarthenshire to the south, and Pembrokeshire to the south-west. Its area is 440,630 acres (1783 km²). The population of the county at the 2001 census was 74,941.
The main settlements are Aberaeron, Aberarth, Aberystwyth, Adpar, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanddewi Brefi, Llandysul, Llanilar, Llanrhystud, New Quay, Penparcau and Tregaron.
The Cambrian Mountains cover much of the east of the county; this large area forms part of the desert of Wales. In the south and west the surface is less elevated. The highest point is Plynlimon at 2,467 feet (752 m), where five rivers have their source: the Severn, the Wye, the Dulas, the Llyfnant and River Rheidol, the last of which meets the Afon Mynach in a 300 foot (100 m) plunge at the Devil's Bridge chasm. The 50 miles (80 km) of coastline has many sandy beaches. The largest river is the River Teifi which forms the border with Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire for part of its length. Other significant rivers include the River Aeron which has its estuary at Aberaeron, the River Ystwyth and the River Rheidol both of which reach the sea in Aberystwyth harbour.
Despite its small small population, Ceredigion experienced the largest population growth of any county in Wales, with the a 19.5% increase from 1991 to 2003. In addition, two universities are within the county boundaries: Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales, Lampeter. The National Library of Wales, which was founded in 1907, is located in Aberystwyth.
The county lacks any large commercial areas. The nearest substantial settlements are located at least 1 hour 45 minutes drive away. From the largest town, Aberystwyth: Swansea, to the south, is 70 miles away; Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, England, to the east, is 75 miles away; and Wrexham, to the north, is approximately 80 miles away. The capital, Cardiff, is over 100 miles away from most regions of the county.
Ceredigion has a high proportion of Welsh speakers in the population (52% at the 2001 census); only Gwynedd and Anglesey have a higher proportion. The number of Welsh speakers declined in Ceredigion from 59.1% in 1991 to 51.8% in 2003. Non-Welsh speakers tend to be more concentrated in and around the two university towns and along the coast, e.g. in Borth, only 40% of the population was born in Wales and barely 36% of residents are Welsh-speaking.
The populace of Ceredigion are affectionately or disparagingly known as Cardis in other parts of Wales, especially in South Wales and they tend to be the butt of some jokes.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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