With 1,743,700 residents, Hampshire is the most populated non-metropolitan county in the UK, and third largest by land area. (It is only when you consider the metropolitan counties of Greater London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire that it starts to look less impressive.) Due to historical importance and strategic positioning on the English Channel of the county's port towns, Southampton and Portsmouth, Hampshire served as the birthplace for the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Southampton is the most populated city within the county, with 239,700 residents, and according to Home Office crime reports is also the 3rd most dangerous city in the UK. The city has over 2.5 times the national average rate of violence against other people, at 42.4 per 1000 population each year, and over 3 times the number of vehicle thefts, at 28.4 per 1000. In total, 202 crimes were committed per 1000 people in the city in 2007. Yikes!
But the county is not all full of despair. The ever-magnificent, tourist hotspot that is Winchester Cathedral is located in (unsurprisignly) Winchester, Hampshire, and holds the honour of being the greatest in overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.