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The Avenue, Avebury - geograph.org.uk - 4237400.jpg
Tower and spire of Salisbury Cathedral - geograph.org.uk - 4097108.jpg
Swindon-view crop.jpg
Wiltshire UK locator map 2010.svg
Wiltshire within England
Coordinates: 51°18′N1°54′W / 51.3°N 01.9°W / 51.3; -01.9
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South West
Established Ancient
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police Wiltshire Police
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Sarah Troughton
Area3,485 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
  Ranked 14th of 48
Population (2021)720,060
  Ranked 34th of 48
Density207/km2 (540/sq mi)
Wiltshire population pyramid Wiltshire population pyramid.svg
Wiltshire population pyramid

The county registered a population of 680,137 in the 2011 Census. Wiltshire (outside Swindon) has a low population density of 1.4 persons per hectare, when compared against 4.1 for England as a whole. [17] [18] [19]

Usual resident population470,981209,156680,137
Age 65 or over18.1%13.7%16.8%
Density (persons per hectare)

Historical population of Wiltshire county: [20]


Politics and administration


At the 2016 European Union membership referendum, Wiltshire voted in favour of Brexit. [21]

Westminster Parliamentary

At the 2019 general election, all seven Wiltshire constituencies (including the two Swindon constituencies) returned Conservative MPs. The two Swindon constituencies are seen as marginal, bellwether constituencies between Labour and the Conservatives. Conversely, the Chippenham constituency is traditionally contested between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, with Liberal Democrat Duncan Hames holding the seat until 2015. The Liberal Democrats also finished second in Devizes, North Wiltshire and Salisbury whereas Labour, in addition to the two Swindon seats, finished second in Wiltshire South West.

The 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies' initial proposals recommended wide-ranging changes to Wiltshire's electoral boundaries which would see the North Wiltshire seat extended across the county border into Gloucestershire. [22]


The coat of arms of Wiltshire County Council Arms of Wiltshire County Council.svg
The coat of arms of Wiltshire County Council

The ceremonial county of Wiltshire consists of two unitary authority areas, Wiltshire and Swindon, governed respectively by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council. As a result of elections held in 2021, Wiltshire Council comprises 61 Conservatives, 27 Liberal Democrats, seven Independents and three Labour members. Swindon Borough Council has 34 Conservative councillors and 23 Labour members.

Until the 2009 structural changes to local government, Wiltshire (apart from Swindon) was a two-level county, divided into four local government districts – Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury and West Wiltshire – which existed alongside Wiltshire County Council, covering the same area and carrying out more strategic tasks, such as education and county roads. However, on 1 April 2009 these five local authorities were merged into a single unitary authority called Wiltshire Council. With the abolition of the District of Salisbury, a new Salisbury City Council was created at the same time to carry out several citywide functions and to hold the city's charter.


The County Ground, Swindon is the home of Swindon Town, the only football league club in Wiltshire. Kingswoodstand.JPG
The County Ground, Swindon is the home of Swindon Town, the only football league club in Wiltshire.

The county is represented in the Football League by Swindon Town, who play at the County Ground stadium near Swindon town centre. They joined the Football League on the creation of the Third Division in 1920, and have remained in the league ever since. Their most notable achievements include winning the Football League Cup in 1969 and the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1970, two successive promotions in 1986 and 1987 (taking them from the Fourth Division to the Second), promotion to the Premier League as Division One play-off winners in 1993 (as inaugural members), the Division Two title in 1996, and their promotion to League One in 2007 after finishing third in League Two.

Chippenham Town is the area's highest-ranked non-league football club; they currently play in the National League South after winning the Southern Premier League in 2016/17, with a league record points tally of 103. After Salisbury City went into liquidation in 2014, a new club, Salisbury, was formed and plays in the Southern Premier League.

Wiltshire County Cricket Club play in the Minor Counties league.

Swindon Robins Speedway team, who competed in the top national division, the SGB Premiership, had been at their track at the Blunsdon Abbey Stadium near Swindon since 1949. In 2020 they stopped racing due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and subsequently announced in 2022 that they would not be returning. Swindon Wildcats compete in the English Premier Ice Hockey League, the second tier of British ice hockey, and play their home games at Swindon's Link Centre.

Principal settlements

Wiltshire has twenty-one towns and one city:

A bridge over the River Avon at Bradford-on-Avon Wiltshire.bridge.750pix.jpg
A bridge over the River Avon at Bradford-on-Avon

A list of settlements is at List of places in Wiltshire.


Local TV coverage is covered by BBC West and ITV West Country; [23] however, Swindon [24] and Salisbury [25] receive BBC South and ITV Meridian. [26]

The county's local radio stations are BBC Radio Wiltshire, Heart West, Greatest Hits Radio South West and Greatest Hits Radio South (covering Salisbury and surrounding areas).

County-wide local newspapers are the Gazette and Herald and Wiltshire Times.

Places of interest

The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal Caen.hill.locks.in.devizes.arp.jpg
The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
UKAL icon.svg Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country parks.svg Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
HR icon.svg Heritage railway
HH icon.svg Historic House
AP Icon.svg Places of Worship
Museum icon.svg
Museum icon (red).svg
Museum (free/not free)
NTE icon.svg National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Places of interest in Wiltshire include:

Areas of countryside in Wiltshire include:



Roads running through Wiltshire include The Ridgeway, an ancient route, and Roman roads the Fosse Way, London to Bath road and Ermin Way. National Cycle Route 4 and the Thames Path, a modern long distance footpath, run through the county.

Routes through Wiltshire include:

Canals subject to restoration


Three main railway routes, all of which carry passenger traffic, cross Wiltshire.

Other routes include:

The major junction stations are Salisbury and Westbury, and important junctions are also found at Swindon, Chippenham and Trowbridge.

There is also the Swindon and Cricklade Railway in the Thames Valley.

In general, Wiltshire is well served by rail, with 14 stations within its boundaries, although towns not served include Calne, Marlborough and Devizes. Several destinations on bus routes, including the aforementioned three towns, have integrated through ticketing where one ticket may be bought to cover both the bus and rail journey.


Airfields in Wiltshire include Old Sarum Airfield and Clench Common Airfield. RAF Lyneham was an air transport hub for British forces until its closure in 2012. Airports with scheduled services near Wiltshire include Bournemouth Airport, Bristol Airport, Cardiff Airport, Exeter Airport, Gloucestershire Airport, Oxford Airport, Heathrow Airport and Southampton Airport.

See also

Related Research Articles

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  11. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  12. includes hunting and forestry
  13. includes energy and construction
  14. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
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