Dorset is an attractive place to live, work and holiday with a unique natural environment, a fascinating cultural offer and archaeological history, and a mix of seaside, rural and urban settings.

Download the State of Dorset 2023

Download the State of Dorset 2023 report for the Dorset Council area

An above average proportion of Dorset residents aged 16+ have a high life satisfaction rating and feel that the things they do in their lives are worthwhile. The natural environment and cultural and recreational activities play an important role in this and in making communities feel safer and stronger.

There are about 379,800 people living in the Dorset Council area, with an above average proportion of 65+ year olds. 44% of the workforce is aged over 50. While older workers have the benefit of experience and skills, they will need replacing as they retire. The growing number of older people will increase demand for health and social care services.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum; experiences in a child’s early years lay a foundation for health and wellbeing. In 2023 66% of pupils achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of Reception year, a decrease of 6% on 2019, very similar to the national figures.