Where Is New England?

New England is well-known for its yearly fall foliage.

Where Is New England?

Despite its name, England and New England are not even merely geographically related as they exist on different continents. England is one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom and is often mistakenly used interchangeably to mean the UK. New England, on the other hand, is a region in the northeastern United States comprised of six states including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The states derived their names from the first English settlers in the region who were known as the Puritans who came to the US from England in search of religious freedom.

Location of New England

New England is bordered by the state of New York, and the Canadian provinces New Brunswick and Quebec. The region borders the state of New York to the east, New Brunswick to the southeast, Quebec to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Maine is the northernmost state in New England and is bordered to the south by the Atlantic Ocean and New Brunswick to the north and northeast. Massachusetts borders the states of Vermont and New Hampshire to the south, New York to the east, Rhode Island to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. New Hampshire is bordered by Quebec to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east while Rhode Island is bordered by Massachusetts to the north, Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean to the South, and Connecticut to the west. Vermont borders the states of Massachusetts to the north, New Hampshire to the west, and New York to east. It also borders Quebec to the north.

Geography of New England

The states that form the New England region occupy a total area of 71,991.8 square miles, slightly larger than England, the UK’s constituent country. The six states that form the region of New England each have a unique geography that collectively form the overall geography of the region. The region is characterized by glacially formed landforms such as rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastlines. Geologically, New England features a beautiful terrain made up of the Appalachian Mountains, highland areas, and lowlands. The mountains are located around the borders of New York and New England. The Appalachians also extend into New Hampshire as the White Mountains. The coastline extends from the state of Connecticut to northeastern Maine. The coast is characterized by hills, lakes, and beautiful sandy beaches. The famous valleys in New England include Connecticut River Valley and Merrick Valley. The longest river in the region is Connecticut River which flows for 407 miles from New Hampshire and empties into the Long Island Sound. Lake Champlain, the largest lake in New England, is wedged between Vermont and New York. Other lakes include Moosehead and Lake Winnipesaukee.

Brief History of New England

New England is the oldest well defined region of the US. The region predates history of the US by about 150 years. Initially inhabited by the Indigenous people of the United States, the region was later inhabited by the English Pilgrim and Puritans who were fleeing the religious persecution in England. The region was long inhabited by Algonquian speakers such as the Abenaki and Wampanoag among other groups. The Puritans who were fleeing the religious persecution arrived in the region in the 1620-1660 era and settled in Plymouth. They quickly outnumbered the Pilgrims who had also settled in the area. In 1616, the region was named "New England" by John Smith, an English explorer, and the name was officially sanctioned in November 1620. The Puritans dominated the region with their religious activities and prospered in farming, merchandising, lumbering, and fishing. By the 1840s, New England was the main center of the American anti-slavery movement. The beginning of the industrial revolution took place in New England, with several industries including textile industries and shops opening by 1830. However, the region experienced a period of declined economic growth in the early part of the 20th century. The downward trend was reversed by university and education workforce in the region. Today, New England is one of the world centers for education, technology, and scientific research.

Demographics and Culture of the New England

According to the 2010 census, New England had a population of 14.4 million people, a 3.8% growth from 2000. The population grew to 14.7 million in 2015. Massachusetts is the most populous of the six states with an estimated population of 6.8 million people while Vermont is the least populated with 626,042 inhabitants. Boston and its metropolitan area is by far the most populous city in the region. The region has an average population density of 234.9 persons per square miles, denser than the US as a whole. The majority of New England’s population is in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhodes Island. The majority of New England residents reported their ancestry as Irish (19.2%), followed by Italians (13.6%), French (13.1%), and English (11.9%). The wave of immigration has shaped the culture of New England. The puritans contributed to the distinctive accent, food, beliefs, and social structure of the region. Cultural divides exist between urban New Englanders and rural New Englanders. The cuisine emphasizes seafood and dairy. The music and dance have been influenced by the Acadian and Quebecois culture with the region being a leading center for classical music.

Economy of New England

The economy is unique compared to other parts of the US due to several factors. The region is relatively small, densely populated, and far from the geographic center of the country. The region has been an important manufacturing center and supplier of natural resources including granite and marine resources. It exports food products such as fish, lobster, potatoes, and maple syrups. The service industries in New England include tourism, education, finance, and insurance services. Agriculture in the area is limited due to rocky soil and a cool climate. Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire are some of the top nuclear power consumers in the US with the regions being energy efficient. The rate of employment in New England is stronger than elsewhere in the US.


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