For most of its residents Hampshire is an attractive place to live, full of opportunities. It is relatively prosperous, has a wealth of natural and historical assets and thriving arts. Crime is lower, people are healthier, and educational standards are higher than the UK average.
This can often mask the fact that Hampshire also has its problems - some of these are national, some common to the South East and others are unique to the county.
Hampshire's population is growing and ageing. Whilst better medical services are enabling more people with significant social care needs to live longer, this creates a sharply increasing need for social care services. This is a problem we share with many authorities across the UK, but suffer more severely than most.
Like many south eastern counties, Hampshire can suffer from its own success. Rising prosperity and a rising population make increasing demands on the environment, on transport and on housing. Business surveys show that the key difficulties facing Hampshire businesses include the high cost of housing, skills shortages, transport congestion and a shortage of space to grow. At the same time, finding acceptable locations for new housing development and providing the appropriate infrastructure is a major concern for residents and the planning authorities.
Hampshire, has also suffered from the impact of the current recession. The County Council is working alongside other public services in Hampshire to seek to mitigate against the effects of the recession wherever it can.
Hampshire is a large county in terms of both population and area and this can hide important differences between communities and locations.
Although crime is relatively low, surveys show that fear of crime and security in general is a key concern for the residents of Hampshire. This includes serious crime such as burglary and robbery and also extends to antisocial behaviour and activities ranging from drunkenness and vandalism through to aggressive doorstep selling. Again it is important to understand the problem in detail. While more deprived areas do tend to suffer more crime, antisocial behaviour is also a problem of affluent areas.
More demographic and economic information is available from our Hampshire statistics web pages.