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Northern England (blue) Central England (green) Southern England (yellow)

The Midlands are the central part of England around Birmingham . They roughly correspond to the central English lowlands, the traditional center of coal mining (see the term Black Country ) and to this day industry . The Midlands form the middle between southern England (Bristol - Southampton - London - Norfolk) and northern England (Liverpool - Manchester via Sheffield to the Humber lowlands).

Three regions and twelve to fourteen counties

The counties of Derbyshire , Herefordshire , Leicestershire , Lincolnshire , Northamptonshire , Nottinghamshire , Rutland , Shropshire , Staffordshire , Warwickshire , West Midlands and Worcestershire belong to this area, which extends almost 200 km to the northwest from London's city ​​limits .

Its urban center is the agglomeration of Birmingham , Wolverhampton and Coventry with several million inhabitants.

Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire are now commonly included in the Midlands, albeit at their extreme southern corner. On the other hand, Cheshire could be part of the Midlands, but is often counted as part of the northwest of England.

historical development

The region largely corresponds to the early medieval kingdom of Mercia .

As early as 1790 - with the completion of the Oxford Canal - the Midlands were connected by water with Oxford and London , which significantly simplified the movement of goods and made a significant contribution to the region's economic rise.

In the east, the South Midlands have been defined by the government as a development area. They consist of Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire and northern Buckinghamshire . The latter two are usually not part of the Midlands.

East Midlands and West Midlands are English administrative units, but they do not entirely cover the traditional Midlands region. They exclude parts of northern Lincolnshire that belong to Yorkshire and the Humber (see also Unitary Authority ), as well as Peterborough , which was once part of Northamptonshire, but now belongs to Cambridgeshire in the East of England .

Major cities in the Midlands

(Cities marked in bold have more than 200,000 inhabitants)