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Regional Profiles - Social Indicators - West Midlands - February 2012

Released: 29 February 2012 Download PDF

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People in households below the poverty threshold after housing costs, 2007/08 to 2009/10

Percentage of people  in households below the poverty threshold after housing costs: by region, 2007/08 to 2009/10.
Source: Work and Pensions

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The West Midlands has the highest proportion of people with no qualifications and one of the highest proportions of households living in relative poverty.

The percentage of the region’s population having no qualifications in 2010 was 14.0 per cent compared with 10.7 per cent for the UK as a whole.

The median equivalised disposable weekly household income after housing costs in the West Midlands was £333, one of the lowest of all English regions in the three-year period 2007/08 to 2009/10.

In the same period, 25 per cent of people (1.3 million) were in households with incomes below the poverty threshold, one of the highest percentages of all English regions.

Life expectancy at birth in the West Midlands is close to the UK average. The figures were 77.9 years for males and 82.2 years for females in the three-year period 2008 to 2010 compared with 78.2 and 82.3 years respectively for the UK. Within the region life expectancy at birth for males ranged from 75.5 years in Sandwell to 80.6 years in Solihull. For females the range was 80.2 years in Stoke on Trent unitary authority (UA) to 84.3 years in Warwick.

In 2009 the region had one of the lowest proportions in Great Britain of men drinking more than eight units and women drinking more than six units of alcohol on at least one day in the week (16 and 8 per cent respectively).

The median house price in 2009 in the West Midlands region was £142,000, compared with £170,000 for England. Within the region local authority house prices were highest in parts of Warwickshire and Worcestershire such as Stratford upon Avon (£211,000) and Malvern Hills (£194,000). The lowest median house prices were in Sandwell and Wolverhampton (£110,000 and £115,000 respectively).

Crime rates for the West Midlands region were generally similar to the England average with 72 crimes recorded by the police per 1,000 population in 2010/11 compared with an average of 75 per 1,000 population for England.

The household crime rate for 2010/11 was 2,500 per 10,000 households, also close to the England average of 2,520. However, there was an estimated 800 crimes committed against the person per 10,000 adults, one of the lowest of all English regions.

At local authority level the highest rate for selected recorded crimes was in Coventry (55.9 per 1,000 population), more than double the rate in Malvern Hills (22.3 per 1,000 population).

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Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes:

    This profile is based on the latest published data at the time of writing.

    Qualification figures are for male residents aged 16 to 64 and female residents aged 16 to 59. Please note that these estimates, at national or regional level in England, will not agree with National Statistics published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the Post 16 Education and Skills Statistical First Release (see Table 12).

    Disposable household income is net of income tax, National Insurance, contributions to personal pension schemes, child maintenance and Council Tax and is adjusted for household size and composition (equivalised).  The ‘after housing costs’ measure will partly take into account differences in the cost of living between regions as housing costs include rent, water rates, mortgage interest payment, building insurance premiums, ground rent and service charges. The data are a three year average.

    The median is the middle value, so that half of cases are above and half below that value.

    The poverty threshold is household income below 60 per cent of UK contemporary median disposable household income after housing costs. The data are a 3 year average. The Regional Trends article Understanding incomes at small area level (0.98 Mb Pdf)  looks at the distribution of average income within regions, local authorities and Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA).

    Life expectancy figures are based on mortality among those living in the area in calendar years and mid-year population estimates. Rankings of the areas with the highest and lowest life expectancies are based on unrounded data. The data are a three year average.

    Alcohol consumption is age-related, and therefore the population composition of the region affects the results. The proportion of minority ethnic population in each region also has an impact.

    The information on median house price is based on the prices paid for all dwellings (houses/flats) which changed ownership during 2009, excluding those bought at non-market prices.

    The British Crime Survey provides a measure of people’s experience of crime based on responses to a survey of households and does not cover all types of crime, for example fraud or forgery or crimes against commercial property. Recorded crime covers offences reported to and recorded by the police. Population for crime rates covers those aged 16 and over.

    Selected recorded crimes covers: theft of a vehicle, theft from a vehicle, vehicle interference and tampering, domestic burglary, theft of a pedal cycle, theft from a person, criminal damage, common assault, wounding and robbery (of personal property not business property). This set of crimes covers about 60 per cent of all recorded crimes.

  2. Sources:

    Qualification data are derived from the ONS’s Annual Population Survey by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

    Household income data are from the Households Below Average Income series, Department for Work and Pensions.

    Life expectancy figures are calculated by the Office for National Statistics.

    Alcohol consumption data are from the General Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics.

    House prices data are from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    British Crime Survey and Recorded Crime data are from Home Office.

  3. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:
  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Portrait of the West Midlands, July 2011 (Pdf 2255Kb) - The Portrait of the West Midlands presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.