More specifically, Dudley Borough is a large metropolitan borough (98 squarekilometres/38 square miles) located on the western part of the West Midlandsconurbation. It lies at the heart of the Black Country, a part of England richin cultural and economic heritage with 306,600 people living in this area.
The residents’socioeconomic status could be characterised as “low”, as the Median GrossAnnual Full Time Earnings in 2010 were £21,039, amount which is below the WestMidlands average £23,838 and the England average £26,250 (Dudley BoroughEconomic Assessment, 2011). Furthermore, high proportion of residents have loweducation levels as a result low skills and qualifications, thing which has adirect impact on productivity, which is the capacity of the economy to createwealth. The dominance of low wage sectors in the area is reflected in the lowlevel of higher skills which is well below the national average. The degree ofevidenced child poverty (23.8%), is another direct consequence of thesenegative factors.
This is slightly higher than the national rate of children inpoverty – 21.9% but below the West Midlands Region (24.6%) (Dudley BoroughEconomic Assessment, 2011). In Dudley the two biggest causes of prematuremortality are circulatory diseases and cancer. The most important lifestylefactor affecting health is still smoking, though the smoking rate is falling.Alcohol misuse has been rising at a faster rate than the average for Englandbut there are a number of interventions in place to address this. Obesityprevalence continues to rise with current estimates suggesting there are 50,000adults in Dudley with obesity (Dudley Borough Economic Assessment, 2011).