Official ceremonial county flag of Hampshire since 12 March 2019.
Hampshire within England
Coordinates: 51°03′28″N 1°18′29″W / 51°03′28″N 1°18′29″W / 51.0577; -1.3081England
RegionSouth East
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantNigel Atkinson
High SheriffMrs Catherine Sarah Le May [1]
Area3,769 km2 (1,455 sq mi)
 • Ranked7th of 48
Population (mid-2017 est.)1,837,800
 • Ranked5th of 48
Density487/km2 (1,260/sq mi)
Non-metropolitan county
County councilHampshire County Council
Admin HQWinchester
Area3,679 km2 (1,420 sq mi)
 • Ranked7th of 27
 • Ranked3rd of 27
Density372/km2 (960/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2GB-HAM
ONS code24
GSS codeE10000014
Unitary authorities
Hampshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
Districts of Hampshire
Unitary County council area
  1. Gosport
  2. Fareham
  3. Winchester
  4. Havant
  5. East Hampshire
  6. Hart
  7. Rushmoor
  8. Basingstoke and Deane
  9. Test Valley
  10. Eastleigh
  11. New Forest
  12. Southampton (Unitary)
  13. Portsmouth (Unitary)
Members of ParliamentList of MPs
PoliceHampshire Constabulary
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Hampshire (ər/, ɪər/ (About this soundlisten); abbreviated Hants)[note 1] is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.

First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester. When the Romans left Britain, the area was infiltrated by tribes from Scandinavia and mainland Europe, principally in the river valleys. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent, wool and cloth manufacture in the county, and the fishing industry, and a shipbuilding industry was established. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, with the county's population at 219,210 (double that at the beginning of the century) in more than 86,000 dwellings, agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars. The Isle of Wight left the county to form its own in 1974.

The county's geography is varied, with upland to 286 metres (938 ft) and mostly south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, and two national parks: the New Forest, and part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire.

Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, and its economy derived from major companies, maritime, agriculture and tourism. Tourist attractions include many seaside resorts, the national parks and the Southampton Boat Show. The county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Hampshire takes its name from the settlement that is now the city of Southampton. Southampton was known in Old English as Hamtun, roughly meaning "village-town", so its surrounding area or scīr became known as Hamtunscīr. The old name was recorded in the Domesday book as Hantescire, and from this spelling, the modern abbreviation "Hants" derives.[2] From 1889 until 1959, the administrative county was named the County of Southampton[3][4] and has also been known as Southamptonshire.[5][6]

Hampshire was the departure point of some of those who left England to settle on the east coast of North America during the 17th century, giving its name in particular to the state of New Hampshire.[7] The towns of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, Virginia take their names from Portsmouth in Hampshire.[8][9]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Hampshire
Ænglisc: Hāmtūnescīr
asturianu: Hampshire
Bân-lâm-gú: Hampshire
беларуская: Хэмпшыр
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гэмпшыр
български: Хампшър
brezhoneg: Hampshire
català: Hampshire
čeština: Hampshire
Cymraeg: Hampshire
dansk: Hampshire
Deutsch: Hampshire
eesti: Hampshire
español: Hampshire
Esperanto: Hampshire
euskara: Hampshire
فارسی: همپشر
Frysk: Hampshire
Gaeilge: Hampshire
Gaelg: Hampshire
galego: Hampshire
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hampshire
한국어: 햄프셔주
हिन्दी: हैम्पशायर
hrvatski: Hampshire
Bahasa Indonesia: Hampshire
interlingua: Hampshire
íslenska: Hampshire
italiano: Hampshire
עברית: המפשייר
Jawa: Hampshire
kernowek: Hampshire
latviešu: Hempšīra
Lëtzebuergesch: Hampshire (England)
lietuvių: Hampšyras
magyar: Hampshire
मराठी: हँपशायर
Mirandés: Hampshire
Nederlands: Hampshire
Nordfriisk: Hampshire
norsk: Hampshire
norsk nynorsk: Hampshire
پنجابی: ہیمپشائر
polski: Hampshire
português: Hampshire
română: Hampshire
русский: Гэмпшир
Scots: Hampshire
Simple English: Hampshire
slovenčina: Hampshire
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hampshire
suomi: Hampshire
svenska: Hampshire
Türkçe: Hampshire
українська: Гемпшир
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Xampishir
vèneto: Hampshire
Tiếng Việt: Hampshire
Volapük: Hampshire
Winaray: Hampshire
吴语: 汉普郡
ייִדיש: האמפשיר
粵語: 咸普郡
中文: 漢普郡