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Powys ( POH-iss, POW-iss, Welsh: [ˈpowɪs]) is a county and preserved county in Wales. It borders Gwynedd, Denbighshire, and Wrexham to the north; the English ceremonial counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire to the east; Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and Neath Port Talbot to the south; and Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to the west. The largest settlement is Newtown, and the administrative centre is Llandrindod Wells.
Powys is the largest and most sparsely populated county in Wales, having an area of 2,000 square miles (5,200 km2) and a population of 133,200. After Newtown (11,362), the most populous settlements are Brecon (8,250), Ystradgynlais (8,092), and Welshpool (5,948). The county is entirely rural, and characterised by multiple market towns and villages. The Welsh language can be spoken by 16.4% of the population.
The county is named after the Kingdom of Powys, which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. Powys covers the same area as the historic counties of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, and Brecknockshire.
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