The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2013 estimated population of 2,783,475. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The county consists of seven metropolitan boroughs: the City of Birmingham, the City of Coventry, and the City of Wolverhampton, as well as Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, and Walsall.
The West Midlands County Council was abolished on 31 March 1986, since then the county's constituent metropolitan boroughs have been effectively unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference. It forms the basis of county-wide bodies such as West Midlands Police, the West Midlands Fire Service and the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, and as a ceremonial county has a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff.
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