Midlands could be in general the central region of any territory. In Britain and Ireland, the term is reseved for the "middle" in the north–south ("vertical") direction (countries that are oriented more east–west use "Mid" with a "horizontal" meaning.)
In the United Kingdom, Scotland and England both have midland areas that are famous enough to be called the "Midlands" (as a name, not just as a description). In Wales the term for the central region is "Mid Wales" (not "The Welsh Midlands").
The rest of this article deals with the English Region known simply as The Midlands, which is more or less the territory of the early-medieval kingdom of Mercia.
The area lies between Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales, and includes the counties of Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire. The 2001 census also included Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in the Midlands but these are not generally considered to be part of the Midlands but East Anglia.
- Part of Northern Lincolnshire is now in Yorkshire and the Humber;
- Peterborough has been removed from Northamptonshire and included with Cambridgeshire in the East of England;
- Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire are now in the South West and South East respectively.
- Bedfordshire is now in the East of England.
The "midland" status of Cheshire is often debated. South Cheshire has strong links with North Staffordshire (definitely in the Midlands), and North Cheshire with Merseyside and Manchester (both definitely in Northern England). Officially Cheshire is now part of the North West region.
The largest Midlands conurbation, which includes the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, is approximately covered by a metropolitan county (which also includes Coventry) also called the West Midlands. Thus, there are two West Midlands, a Region and a (smaller) County.
The South Midlands have an own government for development. They include Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire with northern Buckinghamshire. In other context Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire are not considered part of the Midlands. They are in the administrative regions of the South East and the East of England.
Notable cities and towns change
- Belper, Birmingham, Boston, Burton upon Trent, Buxton
- Chesterfield, Corby, Coventry
- Derby, Dudley
- Gainsborough, Gloucester, Grantham
- Kettering, Kidderminster
- Leamington Spa, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Loughborough
- Mansfield, Matlock
- Newark, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Northampton, Nottingham, Nuneaton
- Redditch, Rugby
- Shrewsbury, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-on-Avon, Solihull
- Tamworth, Telford
- Walsall, Warwick, Wolverhampton, Worcester,