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Dudley Borough In Brief

An Introduction to Dudley Borough

Dudley is a metropolitan borough formed in 1974. It is located on the edge of the West Midlands conurbation, approximately 9 miles west of the city of Birmingham and 6 miles south of Wolverhampton. Rural Staffordshire and Worcestershire border Dudley to the west and south.

Being at the heart of the Black Country, which also includes the neighbouring borough’s of Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, Dudley has a rich cultural and economic heritage. The borough is a predominantly urban area, but rather than having one primary centre there are four main towns interspersed with smaller towns and urban villages. This has given rise to a very local feel that is a feature of the Borough’s communities.

The main town centres are: Dudley towards the north of the borough, Stourbridge in the southwest, Halesowen in the southeast and Brierley Hill near the centre. The nationally renowned Merry Hill Shopping Centre and the Waterfront business and leisure complex now form part of Brierley Hill town centre

Location of Dudley Borough

Map of Dudley Borough

Key Facts and Figures

Population: The latest estimates from 2013 show that Dudley Borough has a population of around 314,400. The population has been growing at a modest but sustained rate in recent years, with 9,300 more people in the borough now compared to the 2001 estimate. Dudley is the third largest local authority district in the West Midlands Region based on population.  19% of people are aged under 16 and 19.5% are 65 and over.

Ethnicity: According to the 2011 Census 88.5% of the borough population are White British.  Dudley has become more ethnically diverse since 2001 when the figure was 92.5%.  Asian groups constitute 6.1% of the ethnic minority population, with the largest individual groups in the borough being Pakistani (3.3%) and Indian (1.8%).  1.8% of people are from mixed ethnic groups, 1.5% Black ethnic groups and a further 1.5% from White groups other than British.

Health: Life expectancy at birth for men in Dudley is 79.2 years, marginally below the England figure of 79.4 years.  For women in Dudley the life expectancy is 83.2 years, just greater than the national figure of 83.1 (2011-13 three-year average).  The 2011 Census shows that 78.2% of the borough population consider themselves to be in ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ health.  The corresponding figures for males and females are 79.5% and 76.9% respectively.

Economy: In November 2014 5,880 people in Dudley Borough were claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), which is equivalent to 3.0% of the working age (16-64) population.  The proportion of working age men claiming (3.9%) is greater than for women (2.2%).  Although the claimant rate in Dudley has been on a downward trends since February 2013, it is still above the regional (2.5%) and England (1.9%) figures.  The annual average wage for Dudley residents working full-time was £24,455 in 2013, below the national figure of £27,375.   

Housing: According to council records there were 135,445 residential properties in the borough in March 2014.  Of the 129,867 households occupied at the time of the 2011 Census 68.7% were in owner-occupation, 16.8% were rented from the council, 9.2% were private renting and 3% were rented from other social landlords.  Almost half (48.4%) of accommodation is semi-detached, with 21.5% detached, 16.1% terraced and 11.7% flats.   

Environment: The borough covers 38 square miles / 98 square kilometres. Though predominantly an urban area 25-30% is ‘green’ space, 17% designated green belt and 14% categorised as publicly accessible green spaces.  There are eight Sites Of Special Scientific Interest, of national importance for their geology and/or biodiversity, and seven Local Nature Reserves, plus the river Stour and 16 miles of canal network.  The borough has an extensive road infrastructure and access to the motorway near Dudley and Halesowen.  A train line links Stourbridge to Birmingham and the national rail network.  75.4% of borough residents in employment travel to work by car, 7.9% walk, 7.3% take a bus and 3% a train. 3.5% work mainly from home (2011 Census).

Deprivation: Dudley is ranked as the 104th most deprived of the 326 local authority districts in England (where 1 is most deprived), a lower ranking than five of the other six districts in the West Midlands conurbation.  While this suggests Dudley is relatively affluent, it masks the disparity in levels of deprivation across the borough.  The latest deprivation indices from 2010 showed that 23.9% of the population live in areas in the 20% most deprived in England.  These are principally found in a zone covering Dudley, Pensnett, Netherton and Brierley Hill, but also include parts of Coseley, Lye, Halesowen and Stourbridge.

Further Information

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