The most populous region in the country and home to 8.9 million people, the South East extends from Hampshire, Kent and Sussex in the south to Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in the north. Between the two it takes in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey.
The region has seven cities – or urban conurbations – with a population of more than 100,000 and two – Medway and Brighton and Hove – with a population topping 250,000.
Its economy is advanced, high-income, highly skilled, broadly-based and service-oriented. Strong financial sectors exist in Surrey, Berkshire and Kent. Further centres of expertise exist in Brighton, with a digital industries cluster, and around Oxford with a hi-tech manufacturing cluster.
The South East also has one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK, with a workforce running to around 320,000.
The number of young people living here is set to decline over the next 10 years but at a rate lower than the national rate.
At 24th September 2010 the South East has:
- 33 General Further Education Colleges
- 4 Specialist Colleges
- 288 School Sixth Forms
- 5 Higher Education Organisations delivering FE
- 35 Traditional Academies
- 21 Sixth Form Colleges
- 9 Independent Specialist Providers
- 41 Independent Providers.
- 8 Local Authorities providing FE.
It comprises 19 county and unitary authorities and 10 sub-regional groups have been established here to support the planning and commissioning processes.