The West Midlands is an official Region of England, covering the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. It contains the second largest British city, Birmingham, and the larger West Midlands conurbation, which includes the city of Wolverhampton and large towns of Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and West Bromwich. The city of Coventry is also located within the West Midlands county, but is separated from the conurbation to the west by a section of green belt.
The region is geographically diverse, from the urban central areas of the conurbation to the rural western counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire which border Wales. The longest river in the country, the River Severn, traverses the region south-eastwards, flowing through the county towns of Shrewsbury and Worcester, and the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region also encompasses five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and one National Park.
UK regional sustainable development indicators
- The West Midlands recycled the highest proportion of total waste arising from construction and demolition, industrial and commercial and municipal waste.
- The proportion of adults who smoked was amongst the lowest of the regions.
- The region had seen the largest increase in the proportion of 19 year olds attaining level 2 qualifications.
- The West Midlands had the highest rate of infant mortality of the regions and the proportion of trips to school made by car was the highest of the regions. / 
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- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, January 31 2008