The US has regions that share distinct geographical, climatic, demographic, and economic characteristics among others. Together with the regions, there are two US states, Alaska and Hawaii, which do not share a land border with the US. Alaska is the biggest US state, bigger than some regions covered below. Lastly, the US has sixteen geographically dispersed territories directly under its jurisdiction. These are mostly small islands states whose security and administration is a responsibility of the US federal government. The boundaries herein are from the US Census Bureau (USCB).
Western United States (also known as the Far West, American West, or simply the West), is the largest region of the country by land area and is comprised of 13 states. The Rocky Mountains are the most distinctive feature of this region, which has a diverse climate including desert, semi-desert, and forests.
The westernmost states in this region, also known as the Pacific States, are geologically active with periodic earthquakes and some volcano prone areas. The total population of this region is 74,254,423 people. Los Angeles is the largest city. The following states are considered to be part of the West:
- New Mexico
The American Midwest occupies the central-eastern part of the US along the Canadian border. It is made up of the following twelve states:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
65,377,684 people people live in the Midwest. Chicago is the economic center as well as the most populated city. The generally flat region has few hilly places and experiences more rainfall on the eastern side than the western side. Economically, due to the rich soils, the agricultural sector leads in employment and export trade on products like veal, beef, pork, and eggs among other dairy products.
The following states are considered to be a part of the American South:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
The southern United States could further be divided into two regions: the southwest and the southeast.
The Southwest region is not quite as well defined as different sources include some Midwestern states in the Southwest. The Southwest has a sparse population, vast deserts, mountains, plateaus, plains, and features like Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. The climate is mostly arid and semi-arid but high-altitude areas receive significant precipitation and may get very cold. Plant species include yucca plants and different cactus varieties while animals that adapt to hot and dry climates like the rattlesnake, bobcat, and Elk dominate the region.
In the southeast, precipitation is high due to tropical air masses that cause hurricanes like hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. There is a boom in the service, manufacturing, technology, and financial sectors based on the number of global automobile plants, tourists, headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, as well as the lowest unemployment rates in the entire US.
The Northeast, bordered by the Southern states to the south, Canada to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the East, and the Midwest to the west, is the country's most economically developed, culturally diverse and densely populated states. Winters are extremely cold while summers are warm and humid in this region. The region's population sits at 55,943,073 with New York as the richest and most populous state. The following states are considered to be part of the northeast:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
What are the Regions of the United States?
The United States can be divided into four regions: the west, the south, the midwest, and the northeast.
About the Author
Mark is a student at Maseno University and community commentator in Kenya. Mark also has interests in geography, African history, and international development.
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