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Regional Profiles: Key Statistics - West Midlands, August 2012

Released: 13 August 2012 Download PDF

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Population density: by local or unitary authority, 2010

Map showing range of population density in local or unitary authority areas within the West Midlands region
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. Mid-year population estimates published on 30 June 2011

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Interactive map

The West Midlands is the only landlocked region in England. With an area of 13,000 square kilometres (sq km), it is the third smallest English region by area, after London and the North East.

The West Midlands had a population of 5.5 million in mid-2010, an increase of 3.3 per cent since 2001, compared with an increase of 5.3 per cent for the UK over the same period.

In mid-2010 the population density was 420 people per sq km, the fourth highest of the nine English regions and higher than the population density for the UK and England (257 and 401 people per sq km respectively).

Birmingham is the largest urban area in England outside London with a population density of 3,872 people per sq km. In contrast the region includes areas of remote countryside within the counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire.

People aged under-16 in the West Midlands in 2010 made up 19.3 per cent of the population, compared with 17.2 per cent for those aged 65 and over. This compares with averages for the UK of 18.6 per cent and 16.6 per cent respectively.

In the West Midlands, 57.4 per cent of pupils achieved five or more grades A*–C at GCSE level or equivalent including English and mathematics in 2010/11, compared with 58.4 per cent for England as a whole. There is an interactive map of GCSE results for unitary authorities in England.

The percentage of the region’s population having no qualifications in 2011 was 14.0 per cent, the second highest proportion in the UK, compared with 11.7 per cent for the UK as a whole.

Life expectancy at birth in the West Midlands in the three-year period 2008 to 2010 was 77.9 years for males and 82.2 years for females compared with 78.2 and 82.3 years respectively for the UK.

In 2010, the region contributed over 7 per cent of the UK’s GVA.

Between 2001 and 2011 the increase of traffic on major roads was higher in the West Midlands (7.0 per cent) than in England (3.9 per cent).

There was a 2.3 per cent decrease in house prices in the West Midlands in 2011.

The employment rate in the region stood at 68.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, lower than the UK rate of 70.5 per cent.

In April 2011, the median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees on adult rates who were resident in the West Midlands was £471, lower than the UK median of £501.

Gross disposable household income (GDHI) of the West Midlands residents was £14,000 per head in 2010.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    All data are published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) unless stated below.

    The data section of this release provides more data.

    Population estimates and population density are for 30 June each year. The mid-2010 population estimates are those published on 30 June 2011.

    GCSE figures relate to pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in Local Authority maintained schools only and are taken from revised (but not final) data published on 26 January 2012. GCSE data are from the Department for Education.

    Qualification estimates are for residents aged 16 to 64 from the Annual Population Survey. 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 (Table 12). Qualification data are obtained from the ONS’s Annual Population Survey via Nomis.

    Life expectancy figures reflect mortality among those living in the area in each time period, rather than mortality among those born in each area. More information is available in Guide to: Life expectancy in the United Kingdom.

    Gross value added (GVA) measures the economic output of an area. The estimates are workplace based, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work.

    Major roads are motorways and A roads. Traffic increase data are from the Department for Transport.

    The House Price Index is based on mix-adjusted house prices, which allow for differences between houses sold (for example type, number of rooms, location). The annual rate of change shown is percentage change between December 2010 and December 2011.

    Employment rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators, for all people aged 16 to 64.

    Median gross weekly earnings are residence-based estimates from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) for full-time employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) is a good indicator of the welfare of residents of an area. It covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments.

  2. 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. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Profiles - Population and Migration - West Midlands, October 2011 - Key facts and figures about population and migration statistics for the West Midlands region.
Regional Profiles - Social Indicators - West Midlands - February 2012 - A range of social statistics for the West Midlands region providing key facts and figures about people, lives, income and lifestyles in the area
Regional Profiles: Economy - West Midlands, May 2012 - Key facts and figures about the economy, employment and unemployment for the West Midlands region.
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.

Related Internet links

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