Estimates in 2007 state 87.2% of people as White British, 4.8% Other White (inc.1.0% Irish), 3.5% South Asians, 1.5% Mixed Race, 1.6% Black British, 0.7% Chinese, 0.7% Other.
The former south east Civil Defence Region covered the same area as the current government office region.
In unofficial usage, the South East can refer to a varying area – sometimes only to London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, and Surrey; but sometimes to an area corresponding to the former Standard Statistical Region (above).
The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley.
It is also the location for a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, and Wakehurst Place in West Sussex.
The South East England Regional Assembly was based on the A3100 road in Guildford near the London Road railway station.
It was abolished on 31 March 2009 and replaced with South East England Councils in Kingston upon Thames.
The South East of England is the most Conservative voting region of Britain in terms of both seats and votes.
The area also has some seats where there is strong support for other parties, for example, Slough and Oxford for Labour and Brighton Pavilion which is held by the Green Party.
Some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills. The dominant influence on the region's economy is neighbouring London.