Our Local Community
The Black Country comprises parts of the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton.
The origins of the name ‘Black Country’ are attributed to the outcrops of coal that colour the local heathland.
Historically, the area was one of the most industrialised regions in the world.
Today it boasts a thriving aerospace and automotive manufacturing sector, as well as being one of the most friendly areas.
But it scores highly for inequality and financial exclusion: The 2015 deprivation measures for Sandwell and Wolverhampton are in the top 20 local authorities.
The 2016 ONS study put West Bromwich 2nd and Walsall 4th in top 10 most deprived towns.
A recent Money Advice Service report highlighted that 55% of adults living in the West Midlands have less than £100 in savings, with those living in Sandwell having the highest levels of debt.
The West Midlands has the third highest level of indebtedness of any region in the UK at 18%. All four Black Country authorities are in the top 8th most indebtedness in West Midlands:
Sandwell – 24.7% (most over-indebtedness in UK - 8.6% above the national average)
Wolverhampton – 21.1%
Walsall – 20.6%
Dudley – 18.1%
Source: a picture of over-indebtedness – Financial Capability Strategy for the UK