Cynon Valley is one of many former coal mining valleys within the South Wales Valleys of Wales. Cynon Valley lies between Rhondda and the Merthyr Valley. Cynon Valley has two main towns; Aberdare (Welsh: Aberdâr) located in the North of the Valley and Mountain Ash (Welsh: Aberpennar) located in the South of the Valley.According to the 2001 census, the Cynon Valley has a population of 63,512. In 2001 12.1% of the inhabitants were recorded as Welsh speakers. In common with some of the other South Wales Valleys, Cynon Valley had a high percentage of Welsh speakers until the early 20th century.Former districtFrom 1974 to 1996 the Borough of Cynon Valley was one of thirty-seven districts of Wales. The district was formed from the Aberdare and Mountain Ash urban districts, the parish of Rhigos from Neath Rural District and the parish of Penderyn from Brecknockshire. It was one of six districts of Mid Glamorgan, and in 1996 was merged into the larger unitary authority of Rhondda Cynon Taf.