With less pay, greater disparity between the sexes in terms of earning power and a higher infant mortality rate, the West Midlands - like most of the nation - still lags behind London when it comes to quality of life.
But the region does have the highest number of police officers per head of population and the price of an average semi-detached is half that of one in the capital.
These were among the findings of the Regional Trends report from the Office for National Statistics which analysed the most recent figures available for 2006 and 2007.
According to the research, the prosperity gap between the north and the south of England is widening, with the traditional North-South wealth divide continuing to grow.
The report found: n workers in the West Midlands earn an average of £430.40 per week, compared with £553.50 for full time employees in London. The UK gross average weekly earnings figure is £456.70; n the average GVA (gross value added) per head - a measure of economic performance - in the West Midlands in 2006 was £16,600 compared with £19,100 for the UK as a whole; n in April 2007, male employees in the UK took home on average £498.30 per week - £104.30 more than female employees on just £394.00. In the West Midlands, the figure was again below the national average with £469.20 for men and £368.10 for women.
Paul Vickers, an ONS regional analyst, said: "The South-east and London dominate the gross value added charts.
"London's domination is such that it shows a productivity level nearly 50 per cent higher than the South-east.
"The figures show there might be a slight widening of the North/South divide at the moment."
But despite being the most prosperous region, Londoners had to cope with the highest expenditure among the UK's regions.
Households in the capital spent more than any other region on housing, fuel, and power per week between 2003/06 with a figure of £61, compared with the UK average of £41 and West Midlands figure of £37.
A spokesman for the TUC said: "These figures show that more needs to be done to ensure that all the nations and regions of the UK share in this country's prosperity.
"Although there are no grounds for complacency, there is some better news on employment rates as the gap between the regions and nations has narrowed by 2.3 per cent since 2003.
"It is noticeable that many of the new jobs are spread more equally throughout the UK."
Despite lagging in the economic stakes, the West Midlands does however have more police officers per head of population than the rest of the country.
In March 2007, there were 14,000 police officers in the West Midlands - one for every 382 residents. This compares with a UK average of one for every 391 of the population.
Of these officers, the West Midlands had the second highest proportion of any region of officers from minority ethnic groups - five per cent, compared with a UK average of 3.4 per cent.
Among the more surprising findings were travel trends.
Car travel far outstripped journeys made by other means of transport, but while rail travel increased nationwide between 2003 and 2006, in the West Midlands it was reported to have declined by 37 per cent while compared with a 93 per cent growth in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and a 73 per cent rise in the East Midlands.
Other West Midlands stats:
* infant mortality rates - the most recent figures produced in 2005 placed the West Midlands as having the highest rate in the UK, with 6.4 deaths of infants under one-year-old per 1,000 live births, in contrast with a national figure of 5.1.
* it also has the second highest rate of tuberculosis notifications in the UK with a rate of 18.6 per 100,000 in 2006 - second to London n the region's population increased by 86,000 (1.6 per cent) between 2001 and 2006 to a total of 5.4 million.
* the average price for a semi-detached house in the West Midlands was £159,000 - 14 per cent less than the national average of £185,000. In London, the price for the same type of dwelling was more than double at £360,000 - the highest in England and Wales