West Midlands

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West Midlands is a metropolitan county of central England, formed in 1974 from parts of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire; it has a population of 2.6 million. Its name is confusing as the term 'west Midlands' is also applied to a much larger area encompassing the western counties of the English Midlands. The county of West Midlands includes the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton and the districts of Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Solihull. Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall are collectively known as the Black Country, recalling the smokey atmosphere and blackened stonework of the area when it was a major centre for metal-working industries.