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|States or Territories||England|
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Located in Southeastern England, Hampshire borders the English Channel. Even though Southampton is the namesake of the county, Winchester is the county seat. Southampton and Portsmouth, the county's two largest cities, are each managed by their own independent unitary authority, while the remaining areas are overseen by the Hampshire County Council and non-metropolitan district councils.
As a region, Hampshire has a recorded history dating back to Roman Britain, when its principal town, Winchester (then known as Venta Belgarum), was founded. This city was populated around 14,000 years ago. Domesday Book, compiled in the 11th century, listed the county, which was then organized into 44 hundreds. Trade with the continent, the production of wool and cloth, fishing, and large shipbuilding industries all contributed to the ports' rise to prominence beginning in the 12th century. Southampton's population surpassed Winchester's by the 16th century. Population had doubled to 219,210 by the middle of the 19th century, with over 86,000 homes occupied by its residents. Ten percent of the county was still forested, and agriculture was the main source of income. During both wars, Hampshire served as an important military hub. The Local Government Act of 1972 established the current boundaries of the ceremonial county (enacted 1974). While Bournemouth and Christchurch were administered as part of the ceremonial county of Dorset, the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch were historically part of the county of Hampshire.
The county has a wide range of terrain, including south-flowing rivers and upland that reaches a height of 286 meters (938 feet). Fourty-five percent of Hampshire is made up of natural features like downland and marsh, as well as two national parks (the New Forest and a portion of the South Downs).
Hampshire has an unemployment rate that is significantly lower than the national average, making it a wealthy county. Major corporations, the sea, farming, and tourism are the mainstays of its economy. Seaside hotels, national parks, the National Motor Museum, and the Southampton Boat Show are all popular destinations for vacationers. It was here that authors Charles Dickens and Jane Austen grew up and wrote some of their most famous works. Both Florence Nightingale and Isambard Kingdom Brunel had their beginnings in Hampshire.
The counties of Dorset and Wiltshire to the north-west, Berkshire to the north, Surrey to the north-east, and West Sussex to the east surround Hampshire. The coastline of the English Channel and the Solent, opposite the Isle of Wight, forms the southern boundary. Despite losing more area than any other English county in all recent boundary revisions, it is still the third largest shire county in the United Kingdom and the largest in the South East of the country. Hampshire was the fifth-largest county in England at its peak size in 1890. Its current dimensions are around 86 kilometers (53 miles) in length east-west and 76 kilometers (47 miles) in width north-south, for a total area of about 3,700 kilometers squared (1,400 square miles).
There are two main types of geology in Hampshire. The southern coast is known as the "Hampshire Basin," and it is comprised of erodible clays and gravels from the Eocene and Oligocene epochs that are shielded from the sea by the barrier islands of Purbeck, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. Several thousand square miles of the New Forest are located on these low, flat areas, which are home to heathland and woodland habitats. The New Forest is home to a wide variety of plants and animals due to its patchwork of heathland, grassland, coniferous, and deciduous woods. To preserve the natural environment and its inhabitants, the forest has been designated a national park, which prohibits or severely restricts most forms of development and agricultural activity inside its boundaries. Grazing animals, including domesticated cattle, pigs, and horses, as well as numerous kinds of wild deer, keep large swaths of the New Forest in a grassland plagioclimax state. The 16 km (9.9 mi) long Southampton Water and the massive, winding Portsmouth Harbour are just two of the many estuaries and rias formed out by erosion of the weak rock and sea level change flooding the low land. The Isle of Wight is located in the Solent, which was formed when erosion wore away the weaker rock along the Hampshire coast, leaving behind the island.
According to a study conducted in 2014, Hampshire and its surrounding counties have shale oil reserves totaling 4.4 billion barrels of oil. At the time, Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said that these reserves "will bring jobs and business opportunities" and would go a long way toward ensuring the United Kingdom's energy independence. These goals necessitate fracking in the region, which is controversial because it has been opposed by environmentalists.
Excluding Southampton and Portsmouth, Hampshire has a GDP of £29 billion, making it one of the most prosperous counties in the UK. A GDP per capita of £22,100 in 2018 places Hampshire on par with the rest of the United Kingdom.
The county's biggest concentration of jobs is in Portsmouth and Winchester, with 38% of Portsmouth's workforce making the trip into the city for work in 2011. High levels of traffic both into and out of Southampton are a result of its large employment base. As of February 2018, the county's unemployment rate was 1.3%, compared to the national average of 2.1%. Three-quarters of them work for major corporations. High tech employment in Hampshire is significantly greater than the national norm, whereas knowledge-based industrial employment is almost at the national rate. Around a quarter of the workforce is comprised of people employed by the government. Approximately 9 percent, or 60,000, of the county's workforce is directly or indirectly related to the tourism industry.
IBM, one of the leading firms in the high tech sector, maintains its UK headquarters in Cosham and its research & development centers in nearby Hursley.
Although agriculture was once a major job and generator of income in Hampshire's rural areas, it has lost much of its luster since the first half of the twentieth century and now only employs 1.32 percent of the rural population.
The primary commodities of the extractive industry are sand, gravel, clay, and hydrocarbons. Aside from the three operational oilfields, one of Hampshire's natural gas storage facilities also stores natural gas. These can be found in the Wessex Basin to the west of the county. However, the eastern Weald Basin, which contains shale oil reserves but is not being actively mined at the moment, is a missed opportunity.
Since much of the New Forest is protected as a national park, tourism has been an important source of revenue for the region, which saw 7.4 million tourists in 1992 alone. In addition to its proximity to London, the South Downs and the cities of Portsmouth, Southampton, and Winchester also draw visitors to the county. As one of the largest annual events in the county, the Southampton Boat Show draws crowds from all over the country. There were 31 million day trips to the county in 2003, with another 4.2 million overnight stays.
Each city's port is important, although Portsmouth Harbour is home to one of the Royal Navy's principal bases and a terminal for cross-channel ferries to France and Spain, while Southampton Docks handles a big amount of the national container freight business and serves as a major base for cruise liners. While the docks have long been a major source of employment in these cities, the rise of automation in the cargo handling industry has reduced the demand for human labor.
England, UK Description
England is the UK's largest constituent unit, occupying more than half of the island. Despite its political, economic, and cultural legacy, England is no longer a governmental or political unit.
With its rich soil and crisscrossing network of rivers and streams, England has been and remains a thriving agricultural economy. England became the epicenter of the global Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, quickly rising to the top of the global industrialization rankings. Manufacturing industries in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool turned raw materials into finished goods for export. London, the country's capital, became one of the world's most important cities, a hub for a global political economy. The London metropolitan area continues to be Europe's financial center and a hotbed of innovation, particularly in the fields of popular culture.
One of the most fundamental features of the English language is its diversity within a limited compass. Even England's most remote regions are accessible by car or train within a day's drive or train ride of London. Many English people identify with the regions or shires from which they are descended—for example, Yorkshire, the West Country, or the Midlands—and maintain strong ties to those regions even if they live in other parts of the country. Some differences exist, but many more, especially as England transitioned from a rural to an urban society, began to fade after 1945. The country's island location has shaped the English character, which values social harmony, social harmony, and good manners that ensure orderly relations in a densely populated landscape, among other characteristics.
During the dismantling of Britain's vast overseas empire in the mid-20th century, England suffered an identity crisis, and much attention has been paid to discussions of "Englishness"—that is, what it means to be English in a country that now has large immigrant populations from many former colonies and is far more cosmopolitan than insular. Although influenced by other cultures, English culture is distinct and difficult to define. The Lion and the Unicorn by George Orwell, a self-described "revolutionary patriot" who chronicled politics and society in the 1930s and 1940s, makes this observation.
Geographical Description of England
Except for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the east, England's topography is low-lying but rarely flat. The area has many rolling hillsides, with the highest elevations in the north, north-west, and southwest. Intricate underlying structures have resulted in intricate patterns in the landscape. The oldest sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks (found in isolated granite hills) are found in Cornwall and Devon, while the most recent alluvial soils are found in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Norfolk. Both the sandstone and limestone bands that separate these two regions date from prehistoric times when large sections of central and southern England were submerged under warm seas. Geological forces lifted and folded some of these rocks, forming northern England's spine. Scafell Pike, England's highest point, stands at 3,210 feet (978 metres) and is part of the world's highest mountain range. The northern mountains are mostly slate, while the southern mountains are mostly lava flows. Mountain ranges have developed from the North Downs at 965 feet (294 meters) to the Cotswolds at 1,083 feet (330 meters).
The Chiltern Hills, North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds, and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds were rounded into distinctive plateaus with west-facing escarpments during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). A land bridge connecting Britain to the rest of Europe was engulfed as the last glacial sheet melted. The retreating glaciers left behind gravel, sand, and glacial mud, further altering the land surface. Rain, rivers, and tides, as well as subsidence, have shaped the hills and coastline of eastern England. Limestone, gritstone, and carboniferous strata plateaus are associated with major coalfields, some visible as surface outcrops.
A great example of England's geologic complexity is its cliff structure. The chalk cliffs of Dover are made up of a series of sedimentary rocks of varying ages that start at Land's End in the far southwest and end at the Isle of Wight. The English coastline is dotted with cliffs, bays, and river estuaries that add to the overall beauty of the landscape.
England's weather is as varied as its topography. The average temperature in England, like other temperate maritime zones, is moderate, ranging from around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) in January to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in July in the Thames river valley (32 degrees Celsius). Tacitus, the Roman historian, described it as "unpleasant" with "frequent rains and mists but no extreme cold." However, the higher elevations of England receive snow for roughly 50 days out of the year. In fact, the northwest and southwest of England are particularly "wet". These areas receive less than 30 inches (750 mm) of rain per year and are frequently subject to severe drought. Rainfall averages only 20 inches in parts of the southeast (500 mm). The weather has influenced English art and literature not only seasonally but also day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. The bumbershoot's moniker as the stereotypical English gentleman's walking stick is not accidental.
The Economy of England
In the 18th and 19th centuries, England's economy was primarily agricultural until the Industrial Revolution transformed it into a highly urbanized and industrialized region as a result of the Industrial Revolution. A result of the close proximity of coal and iron ore deposits, heavy industries (iron and steel, textiles, and shipbuilding) sprang up in the north-eastern counties, and they continue to thrive today. During the 1930s, the Great Depression and foreign competition both contributed to a decline in manufactured goods production and an increase in unemployment in the industrial north, which contributed to the Great Depression. Residents of these northern counties who were out of work were forced to relocate south to London and its environs. Because of urbanization and industrialization, the southeast has become dominated by industries such as automotive, chemical, electrical, and machine tool manufacturing. Despite the fact that population growth and urbanization significantly reduced farmland in England during the twentieth century, the geographical counties of Cornwall, Devon, Kent, Lincolnshire, Somerset, and North Yorkshire have retained a significant proportion of their agricultural land.
Another period of industrial decline occurred in the late twentieth century, during which coal mining was virtually phased out and job losses in industries such as iron and steel production, shipbuilding, and textile manufacturing were particularly severe. The decline of these industries had a disproportionately negative impact on the economies of the north and the Midlands, while the economies of the south remained relatively prosperous. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the service sector had taken over as the dominant sector of the English economy, with banking and other financial services, retail, distribution, media and entertainment, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants among the leading sectors.