West Midlands conurbation
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The West Midlands conurbation is the large
conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolises, cities, large towns, and other urban areas which through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban or industrially developed area. In most cas ...
that includes the cities of
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...

Birmingham
and
Wolverhampton Wolverhampton () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition ...

Wolverhampton
and the towns of
Sutton Coldfield Sutton Coldfield or the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, known locally as Sutton ( ), is a town and civil parish in the City of Birmingham, West Midlands County, West Midlands, England. The town lies around 8 miles northeast of Birmingham city ...

Sutton Coldfield
,
Dudley Dudley is a large market town and administrative centre in the county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England, southeast of Wolverhampton and northwest of Birmingham. Historically an Enclave and exclave, exclave of Worcestershire, t ...

Dudley
,
Walsall Walsall (, or ; locally ) is a market town and administrative centre in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands County, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is located north-west of Birmingham, east ...

Walsall
,
West Bromwich West Bromwich ( ) is a market town in the borough of Sandwell, West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is north-west of Birmingham. West Bromwich is part of the area ...
,
Solihull Solihull (, or ) is a market town and the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in West Midlands County, England. The town had a population of 126,577 at the 2021 Census. Solihull is situated on the River Blyth ...
,
Stourbridge Stourbridge is a market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England, situated on the River Stour, Worcestershire, River Stour. Historic counties of England, Historically in Worcestershire, i ...

Stourbridge
and
Halesowen Halesowen ( ) is a market town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley The Metropolitan Borough of Dudley is a metropolitan borough of West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It was created in 1974 following the Local Government Act ...
in the
English
English
West Midlands. It is also referred to as the Birmingham urban area and is one of the most populated and densely populated built-up areas in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...

United Kingdom
. Not to be confused with the
region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lan ...
or
metropolitan county The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, with populations between 1 and 3 million. They were created in 1974 and are each di ...
of the same name, the conurbation does not include parts of the metropolitan county such as
Coventry Coventry ( or ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is on the River Sherbourne. Coventry has been a large settlement for centuries, although it was not founded and given its ...

Coventry
, but does include parts of the surrounding counties of
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...

Staffordshire
(e.g. Little Aston,
Perton Perton is a large village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is ...
and
Essington Essington is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is the ...
) and
Worcestershire Worcestershire ( , ; written abbreviation: Worcs) is a Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands of England. The area that is now Worcestershire was absorbed into the unified Kingdom of England in 927, at which ...

Worcestershire
(such as
Hagley Hagley is a large village and civil parish in Worcestershire, England. It is on the boundary of the West Midlands (county), West Midlands and Worcestershire counties between the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and Kidderminster. Its estimated po ...
and
Hollywood Hollywood usually refers to: * Hollywood, Los Angeles, a neighborhood in California * Hollywood, a metonym for the cinema of the United States Hollywood may also refer to: Places United States * Hollywood District (disambiguation) * Hollywood, ...
). According to the 2011 Census the area had a population of 2,440,986, making it the third most populated in the United Kingdom behind the
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England#Greater London, administrative area in England governed by the Greater London Authority. It is organised into 33 Districts of England, local government districts: the ...
and the
Urban area An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can rang ...
s of
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
. The conurbation sits within the UK's (and therefore England's) largest
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region that consists of a densely populated urban area, urban agglomeration and its surrounding territories sharing Industry (economics), industries, commercial areas, Transport infrastructure, transport net ...
outside London (known as the Birmingham Metropolitan Area). The conurbation also has several other unofficial names such as Greater Birmingham, the West Midlands Metro Area, the Birmingham conurbation, and the Birmingham-Wolverhampton conurbation. However it is (Greater) Birmingham & The Black Country that has gained the widest traction as an alternative to the generally unpopular official name of the Conurbation. An example of this is the tagline used by BBC Radio WM - “The sound of Birmingham & The Black Country”. The conurbation is polycentric - Birmingham and Wolverhampton have separate
Eurostat Eurostat ('European Statistical Office'; DG ESTAT) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, ...
Larger Urban Zones The larger urban zone (LUZ), or functional urban area (FUA), is a measure of the population and expanse of metropolitan area, metropolitan and surrounding areas which may or may not be exclusively urban. It consists of a city and its commuting zo ...
, and there are separate Travel to Work areas defined for Birmingham, Wolverhampton,
Dudley Dudley is a large market town and administrative centre in the county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England, southeast of Wolverhampton and northwest of Birmingham. Historically an Enclave and exclave, exclave of Worcestershire, t ...

Dudley
&
Sandwell Sandwell is a metropolitan borough of the West Midlands (county), West Midlands county in England. The borough is named after the Sandwell Priory, and spans a densely populated part of the West Midlands conurbation. According to Sandwell Metropo ...
and
Walsall Walsall (, or ; locally ) is a market town and administrative centre in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands County, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is located north-west of Birmingham, east ...

Walsall
&
Cannock Cannock () is a town in the Cannock Chase District, Cannock Chase district in the county of Staffordshire, England. It had a population of 29,018. Cannock is not far from the nearby towns of Walsall, Burntwood, Stafford and Telford. The cities ...
; whilst the extreme south-west corner of the conurbation at
Hagley Hagley is a large village and civil parish in Worcestershire, England. It is on the boundary of the West Midlands (county), West Midlands and Worcestershire counties between the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and Kidderminster. Its estimated po ...
is within the
Kidderminster Kidderminster is a large market town, market and historic minster (church), minster town and civil parish in Worcestershire, England, south-west of Birmingham and north of Worcester, England, Worcester. Located north of the River Stour, Worces ...
Travel to Work Area, and the extreme south-east corner is within the
Warwick Warwick ( ) is a market town, civil parish and the county town of Warwickshire in the Warwick District in England, adjacent to the River Avon, Warwickshire, River Avon. It is south of Coventry, and south-east of Birmingham. It is adjoined wit ...
&
Stratford upon Avon Stratford-upon-Avon (), commonly known as just Stratford, is a market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed ...
TTWA.


Constituent parts

Although the exact boundaries of any conurbation are open to debate, dependent on what criteria are used to determine where an urban area ceases, the
Office for National Statistics The Office for National Statistics (ONS; cy, Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the UK Parliament. Overview The ONS is responsible for ...
defines the West Midlands Built Up Area as including the urban areas of Birmingham, Wolverhampton,
Solihull Solihull (, or ) is a market town and the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in West Midlands County, England. The town had a population of 126,577 at the 2021 Census. Solihull is situated on the River Blyth ...
,
West Bromwich West Bromwich ( ) is a market town in the borough of Sandwell, West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is north-west of Birmingham. West Bromwich is part of the area ...
,
Dudley Dudley is a large market town and administrative centre in the county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England, southeast of Wolverhampton and northwest of Birmingham. Historically an Enclave and exclave, exclave of Worcestershire, t ...

Dudley
, and
Walsall Walsall (, or ; locally ) is a market town and administrative centre in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands County, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is located north-west of Birmingham, east ...

Walsall
amongst others. These settlements are not coterminous with the Metropolitan Boroughs of the same name.
Coventry Coventry ( or ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is on the River Sherbourne. Coventry has been a large settlement for centuries, although it was not founded and given its ...

Coventry
is separated from the West Midlands conurbation by the
Meriden Gap The Meriden Gap is a mostly rural area located in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands between Solihull and Coventry. It serves as a part of the wider West Midlands Green Belt, and separates the latter from the large West Midlands conurbation, ...
, and other urban areas, such as
Cannock Cannock () is a town in the Cannock Chase District, Cannock Chase district in the county of Staffordshire, England. It had a population of 29,018. Cannock is not far from the nearby towns of Walsall, Burntwood, Stafford and Telford. The cities ...
and
Codsall Codsall is a large village in the South Staffordshire district of Staffordshire, England. It is situated 4.5 miles northwest of the city of Wolverhampton and 13 miles east-southeast of Telford. It forms part of the boundary of the Staffordshire- ...
remain separate from the conurbation. Coventry is 19 miles east of
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...

Birmingham
.


Administration

Occasionally the conurbation is seen as being coterminous with the West Midlands Metropolitan county; however, this includes
Coventry Coventry ( or ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is on the River Sherbourne. Coventry has been a large settlement for centuries, although it was not founded and given its ...

Coventry
, which is separate from the main urban area, and excludes the parts of the surrounding counties of
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...

Staffordshire
,
Warwickshire Warwickshire (; abbreviated Warks) is a Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, and the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of W ...
and
Worcestershire Worcestershire ( , ; written abbreviation: Worcs) is a Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands of England. The area that is now Worcestershire was absorbed into the unified Kingdom of England in 927, at which ...

Worcestershire
that fall within the conurbation. For administrative purposes, the vast majority of the conurbation falls within the six
Metropolitan Borough A metropolitan borough (or metropolitan district) is a type of districts of England, local government district in England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as metropolitan distric ...
s of Birmingham,
Dudley Dudley is a large market town and administrative centre in the county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England, southeast of Wolverhampton and northwest of Birmingham. Historically an Enclave and exclave, exclave of Worcestershire, t ...
,
Sandwell Sandwell is a metropolitan borough of the West Midlands (county), West Midlands county in England. The borough is named after the Sandwell Priory, and spans a densely populated part of the West Midlands conurbation. According to Sandwell Metropo ...
,
Solihull Solihull (, or ) is a market town and the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in West Midlands County, England. The town had a population of 126,577 at the 2021 Census. Solihull is situated on the River Blyth ...
,
Walsall Walsall (, or ; locally ) is a market town and administrative centre in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands County, England. Historic counties of England, Historically part of Staffordshire, it is located north-west of Birmingham, east ...
and Wolverhampton. Two Local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) cover the majority of the conurbation area: Black Country LEP comprises the local authorities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton while the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP includes those two authorities and a number of satellite boroughs, many remote from the conurbation and not traditionally associated with it (Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Tamworth and Wyre Forest).


Settlements


2011 Census

The West Midlands Built Up Area consists of the below subdivisions. Due to the change in methodology between the 2001 and 2011 Census, and the amount of change between 2011 Census and previous census data, it is impossible to compare the data directly between 2011 and earlier Censuses. In the 2011 Census, Coleshill and Water Orton are two separate built-up areas with populations of 6,341 and 3,444 respectively. Prior to 2011, they were considered part of the West Midlands Urban Area.


Prior censuses

Prior to the 2011 census, the conurbation was known by the ONS as the West Midlands Urban Area, which contained the following Urban Sub-Divisions: Notes:


See also

* Constituent areas of Birmingham, England * List of areas in Dudley * List of areas in Sandwell * List of areas in Walsall * List of areas in Wolverhampton


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:West Midlands Conurbation Urban areas of England Geography of the West Midlands (county) West Midlands (region)