What are the Regions of the United States?
The United States is often divided into logical geographical zones, but the country can also be divided into cultural regions, political regions, and other types of divisions to suit the needs of whatever analysis is being made. The general regions of the United States, geographically speaking, are the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest. These regions are defined by geographical features, location, climate, etc., but there are other ways to delineate them, from culture to economy and other features.
The Northeast, which encompasses the states of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, contains all of the states known as New England. This is one of the oldest regions of the US in terms of European settlement; many of the 13 original colonies are in the northeast. This region has four distinct seasons and some of the states border Canada.
The Mid-Atlantic states also include some of the original colonies. This region includes states such as Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., which is not a state but a district. South of the Mid-Atlantic is the Southeast, the last of the regions that make up the Eastern Seaboard. The Southeast United States, sometimes called the South, includes states such as Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and others. Some of the states border the Gulf of Mexico and are therefore sometimes called the Gulf States.
The Midwest is perhaps the largest of the regions of the United States. It encompasses the middle of the country, including what are known as the Plains States because of the abundance of plains and fields. The Midwest stretches from northerly states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin, down to southerly states such as Oklahoma. The Plains States include Kansas, Nebraska, and part of Colorado.
The Southwest United States includes many of the hottest states in the U.S. Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Southern California comprise most of the Southeast. This region is home to the Navajo Nation as well, which encompasses much of Northern Arizona, Southern Utah, and Western New Mexico.
Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, and part of Montana make up the bulk of the Northwest US. This region is known for its wet climate — as in western Washington and Oregon — as well as its natural beauty. Northern California generally has milder temperatures than central California and resembles the climate of Oregon. Some of the Northwest states border Canada, as well.
I'm from the Southeast, and I can tell that these states all share a culture. Restaurants in Tennessee all the way to Florida serve sweet tea and cornbread, while states in other regions don't generally offer these.
I traveled to New York with my husband recently, and what he said was true. The restaurants up there mostly have unsweetened tea, and they serve bagels instead of biscuits. No one eats catfish, because it's considered to be a nasty bottom feeder.
Around here, we have entire restaurants devoted to serving catfish! I don't know whether the fish we raise and catch down here are just better than the ones up in New York or whether people are just afraid to try them.
I always thought that New Jersey was part of New England. I knew it was close to New York, so I just lumped it in with the other New England states.
I think I need to study a regions map. It's one thing to look at the location of states, but it's another to actually know where the dividing line between regions lies.
In cases like this, it's hard to tell. I wonder who decided where each region stopped and another one began.
@seag47 – Both Texas and Louisiana are part of the Southwestern region. Personally, I think of them as Gulf states, because I have vacationed at the beaches of both of them. However, they are classified as Southwestern.
Is Texas considered part of the Midwest? It certainly is a large state. I wouldn't be surprised if it had a region of its own!
Also, what region is Louisiana considered to be a part of? I would assume it is part of the Southeast, but I'm not sure.
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