About Dorset

Dorset is a vibrant and thriving county with a wealth of opportunities. It has large rural areas and a spectacular coastline that forms a major part of the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site, but Dorset isn’t just picturesque.

It has a fast growing digital economy, a rapidly developing creative and knowledge industry, tourism is important to the economy and it has the potential to grow in many other sectors. Dorset is home to thriving market towns and unique villages, an exciting, creative cultural scene and a strong sense of community and identity.

The seaside town of Weymouth is Dorset Council area’s largest settlement and the county town, Dorchester, provides a centre for heritage, employment and leisure. Rural areas surround several market towns, including Bridport, Blandford Forum, Shaftesbury, Swanage, Wimborne and Wareham.

Dorset hosts fantastic sports, music and cultural events each year across its towns and villages - including Weymouth Iron Man and Bestival – bringing visitors and investment into the county.

Dorset has a large population of older people with 28% of Dorset Council residents over retirement age (compared to a national average of 18%). The proportion of younger people is less than the national average. This demographic profile presents particular challenges in service planning and resourcing.

You can find out more about the current councils in Dorset at dorsetforyou.