Why Hampshire's economy matters
Hampshire is a large county made up of three distinct areas – urban concentration in the south around the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, the large but sparsely populated rural centre, and the London-facing towns of north Hampshire.
The population of over 1.75 million makes a significant contribution to the economy of the South East which is, in turn, the economic engine of the UK. The relative prosperity of the Hampshire economy creates the conditions in which the county’s special rural character and superb quality of life – its most valuable economic assets – can best be protected.
But as the funding of public services changes from Government grant to locally raised income, the success of businesses in Hampshire, from small family-run bed and breakfasts to large multinational employers, will become much more closely linked to services for residents, such as schools, libraries and road maintenance.
Achieving this success will need significant local investment in education and skills for young people facing difficulties in starting their careers, as well as getting a foot on the housing ladder. Meanwhile, business-led regeneration of sites in urban areas will reduce the pressure to build on greenfield land.
But prosperity can’t be taken for granted. A number of pockets around Hampshire are technically as deprived as parts of the North West. The finance, business and property economy, which in Hampshire is ten times bigger than agriculture, has been significantly affected by recent problems in the financial sector.
A large proportion of the UK’s imported goods arrive through Southampton Docks, so problems in the wider global economy affect Hampshire.
The County Council believes that, with its many economic assets, Hampshire is well-placed to thrive in the years ahead, striking a healthy balance between economic growth and preservation of a unique quality of life. A successful economy can offer young people the same opportunities their parents and grandparents had in terms of education, jobs and housing, while also helping the growing number of older people to enjoy better health and independence.
Like its diverse natural environment, Hampshire’s economy is more complex than it might seem. Hampshire’s unique maritime heritage, rolling green countryside and picture-postcard towns - the heart of its renowned tourism industry - are supported by a much larger economy ranging from defence and manufacturing, to financial services and technology.
For more information visit the Economic Statisics pages.
Did you know?
- Hampshire is the sixth most visited county nationally.
- Across the county the number of young people under 19 is forecast to grow in urban areas such as Havant, Andover and Winchester, while many rural areas including the New Forest will see an increase in the number of older people.
- Hampshire covers over 1400 square miles, 45% of which is protected by being part of two National Parks (New Forest and South Downs).
Every day in Hampshire…
- 650,000 people travel to work
- 6.4% of these journeys are made by public transport
- 15,000 people visit tourist attractions
- 20 million car miles are travelled
- 910,000 HGV miles are travelled on major roads
- 85,000 bus journeys are made