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Black Country Profile

The Place

  • The Black Country sits at the heart of England and covers 356 sq km, bigger than both Cyprus and Estonia. 
  • It is comprised of the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton. 
  • Easily accessible by all modes of transport, the Black Country is at the heart of the West Midlands transport hub and the M5 and M6 motorways. 
  • The Black Country is surprisingly green with 5,411 hectares of open, public green space including 900 hectares of nature reserves and an extensive canal network, covering 177km.

The People

  • The Black Country is home to over 1.1m people living in 440,000 households and after years of decline, the population is increasing. 
  • We are a very diverse community with some 15% of people from Black, Minority and Ethnic (BME) origins. 
  • GCSE performance in Black Country schools is rising faster than the national rate.

Business

  • Today, some 36,000 businesses generate £17bn of Gross Value Added. The area has a relatively vibrant private sector, including many family owned businesses. 
  • 433,700 people work in the Black Country.
  • Manufacturing remains twice as important in the Black Country compared to nationally accounting for 12% of total businesses & 17% of jobs (6% & 10% nationally).
  • The Black Country has won many major London 2012 contracts when compared to other areas outside London. 

The Black Country is a functional economic area. Over 75% of working Black Country residents now travel to work within the Black Country and a similar proportion of managers and professionals in Black Country companies live in the area.