Herefordshire is based in the West Midlands. The West Midlands lies in the centre of the country and has a total population of around 5.3 million. The region is Britain's manufacturing heartland and is the hub of the nation's transportation network. It covers an area of 13,000 square kilometres, its western edge bordering Wales. It is a cosmopolitan region with vibrant multi-ethnic and multi-faith communities in the larger cities and towns. The West Midlands is one of Britain's most densely populated regions. The Office for National Statistics predicts a 6.6% increase to 5.7 million by the year 2028. However, the large rural areas, particularly those near the Welsh borders such as Herefordshire, are among the most sparsely populated in the country.
The city of Hereford is the county’s centre for employment, administration, health, education facilities and shopping. The other principal locations are the five market towns of Leominster, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Bromyard and Kington.
Herefordshire has a population of around 178,400, with numbers expected to grow to193,600 by 2026. Just under a third (31%) of the people live in Hereford City, 22% live in the market towns and the rest (just under half) live in villages and rural areas.
History, scenery and good local food provide the main core of what brings people to Herefordshire. For centuries, the area was the main defence against the Welsh, and many battles were fought along the border. Today, those sites form part of the amazing scenery of the county, which provides a great backdrop to a range of outdoor activities, from hill walking, canoeing down the River Wye, abseiling or cycling. Herefordshire is quickly becoming the outdoor county.
As a rural area, Herefordshire is a front-runner in the local food and drink movement, and is home to countless makers of wine, real ale, cider and perry, as well as organic foods including meat, farm produce and cheese. Nearly every village in the county has a pub serving local real ales, whilst Hereford itself has a good range of pubs and bars, as well as an excellent shopping centre and leisure facilities.
Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone, to make Herefordshire the perfect base for you and your family.
More facts and figures about the county can be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/research