In the 18th and 19th centuries there was significant population migration to the areas around the cities of Birmingham and Coventry coinciding with major industrialisation. Birmingham was known as “The City of a Thousand Trades”. Lower levels of industrialisation affected the towns of Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton, and Rugby. The north of the county was important for coal mining. The south of the county was mainly rural, with agriculture being the most important source of employment.
The main transport links, started in the 18th century and centred on Birmingham, were the canals (Birmingham Main Line, Birmingham & Fazeley, Birmingham & Worcester, Grand Union). Railway building, also centred on Birmingham, was started in the 19th century (London & Birmingham, London & North Western, Midland, Great Western ).
The main centres of population were :-
Alcester, Atherstone, Bedworth, Birmingham, Bulkington, Coleshill, Coventry, Henley-in-Arden, Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Polesworth, Rugby, Shipston-on-Stour, Southam, Stratford-upon-Avon, Studley, Warwick, Wellesbourne, Whitnash
Tamworth was partly in Staffordshire and partly in Warwickshire.