A rural county in South West England, Dorset’s southern coast is on the English Channel. Devon is to the west, Hampshire to the east, Somerset to the northwest and Wiltshire to the northeast.
Agriculture, fishing and quarrying have gradually declined in Dorset, as has the quantity of arable land. As with Wiltshire, there is a substantial military presence in Dorset and major employers include BAE Systems, Bournemouth University, Cobham plc, J.P. Morgan and Sunseeker International.
Trade is increasingly important in areas such as Poole, Portland and Weymouth and tourism boosts the economy around the smaller harbours of Christchurch, Lyme Regis, Swanage, Wareham and West Bay.