Referenced in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Dudelei, Dudley is a Metropolitan Borough formed in 1974.
Located on the edge of the West Midlands conurbation, Dudley is at the heart of the Black Country, which also includes the neighbouring boroughs of Sandwell and Walsall and the city of Wolverhampton.
With a rich cultural and industrial heritage, the Borough is predominantly urban in character, 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.
The population of Dudley is 323,495 with 21.6% aged 0-17, 58.0% aged 18-64 and 20.4% 65+. This is above the national average (20.8%) for the percentage of people aged 0-17 years old and above the England average (18.6%) for people aged 65 years old and over.
17.6% of the population are from ethnic minority groups. These groups include people from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Poland, Yemen.
The latest figure for life expectancy at birth is 78.5 years for men and 82.3 for women, lower than the England figures of 78.7 years for males and 82.8 years for females. Current ‘healthy life expectancy’ – the number of years lived in good health – is 62.9 for men and 62.7 for women, below the England average of 63.1 and 63.9 years respectively.
Dudley is ranked as the 104th most deprived of the 317 local authority districts in England (where 1 is most deprived), ranking it as less deprived than five of the other six districts in the West Midlands conurbation. While this suggests Dudley has relatively low deprivation for an urban area, it masks a disparity in levels of deprivation across the Borough.
The latest national Index of Multiple Deprivation from 2019 showed that 27.2% of the Dudley borough 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.
Dudley Place Partnership
The partnership includes health, social care, voluntary and community organisations who are working together to improve peoples life chances and health outcomes.
They aim to work more closely together to support communities in Dudley and reduce the widening gaps in health inequalities by focusing on not just health but the wider determinants such as employment, education, lifestyle, housing and the local environment.
The partnership includes:
- The voluntary sector, represented by Dudley Council for Voluntary Service
- Healthwatch Dudley
- Primary Care Networks (General Practice)
- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
- Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
- Dudley Borough Council
- Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board