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405px-Bullring & St Martin's Church

St Martin's Church (foreground) and the Selfridges Bullring building in the background, in central Birmingham. Photo credit: G-Man

Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the English West Midlands. Birmingham is the largest of England's core cities, and is generally considered to be the UK's second city. The city's reputation was forged as the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, a fact which led to Birmingham being known as "the workshop of the world" or the "city of a thousand trades".

The City of Birmingham has a population of 992,400 (2004 estimate). It forms part of the larger West Midlands conurbation, which has a population of 2,284,093 (2001 census) and includes several neighbouring towns and cities, such as Solihull, Wolverhampton and the towns of the Black Country.

Birmingham is an ethnically and culturally diverse city. Around 30% of Birmingham's population is of non-white ethnicity; at the time of the 2001 census, 70.4% of the population was White (including 3.2% Irish), 19.5% Asian or Asian British, 6.1% Black or Black British, 0.5% Chinese, and 3.5% of mixed or other ethnic heritage.

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