HAMPSHIRE’s population now total more than one and three-quarter million people. Official figures revel.

The 2011 census shows that the population of the county is changing in line with national trends, albeit in some cases, more slowly than the rest of England and Wales. New data released from the 2011 census, by the Office for National Statistics, shows a number of clear developments since the last census in 2001, providing important information for the planning and delivery of County Council services.

Hampshire’s total population in 2011 was 1.76 million including the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth with 1.32 million living in the county council served area of Hampshire The number of people aged 65 and over increased by 21 per cent and now stands at 18 per cent of the population, compared to 16 in England and Wales; More than 34,000 of Hampshire's residents are aged over 85, a 35% increase since 2001 and 23 per cent of all Hampshire's households are occupied by pensioners;- of these more than half are pensioners living alone; Home ownership in Hampshire has dropped from 76.5% in 2001 to 71.5% in 2011, again following the national trend; Numbers with degree-level qualifications have increased to 30 per cent, now far out-stripping those with no qualifications at all (19 per cent).

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "The 2011 census results offer a fascinating window into how the population of Hampshire is changing, and there are implications for all of the services the County Council provides. “For example, in adult social care we are making unprecedented investment in prevention and early intervention to build community capacity, alongside the development of older people’s specialist housing through Extra Care, where we have announced a programme of up to £45 million for capital spending over the next few years. “We’ve also invested millions of pounds into capital programmes to support additional school places, one of our biggest capital investments since the 1990s.

"The County Council is busy examining these results in detail and will publish further analysis in due course to ensure public sector resource is targeted to where it’s most needed, now and in the future."