Historically in Worcestershire, the town is around 7 miles from Birmingham city centre, and 6 miles from Dudley town centre. The population of the town, as measured by the United Kingdom Census 2001, was 55,273. Halesowen is included in the Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency which is held by the Conservative James Morris.
Halesowen was a detached part of the county of Shropshire but was incorporated into Worcestershire in 1844 by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act. Since the local government reorganisation of 1974 it has formed a part of the West Midlands Metropolitan county and Conurbation, in the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, which it joined at the same time as neighbouring Stourbridge, which had also been in Worcestershire until that point.
Halesowen is located approximately 7 miles (11 km) south-west of Birmingham at the edge of the industrial Midlands.
Although predominantly urban or suburban in character, Halesowen borders on green belt land with excellent access to the countryside, for example the Clent Hills. It has extensive road links including Junction 3 of the M5 motorway, which allow easy commuting to Birmingham, other areas of the Black County or nationwide. The centre of Birmingham is approximately 30 minutes away by car and reachable by the number 9 bus.
The centre of Halesowen is home to a Norman church, a football ground (where non-league Halesowen Town F.C. play) and College of Further Education which was founded in 1939.
Most of the housing stock in Halesowen is privately owned and was built in the 30 years which followed the end of World War II, although some parts of the town are still made up of Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses. The town centre was almost completely rebuilt during the 1960s and 1970s.