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The area ceded to the United States in 1783 by Great Britain (in light brown) following the victory of George Washington and the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War is recognized as the Eastern United States.
A video of the Eastern United States taken by the crew of Expedition 29 from the International Space Station as it passed over the region in 2011

The Eastern United States, often abbreviated as simply The East, is a region of the United States located east of the Mississippi River.[1] It includes 26 states and the national capital of Washington, D.C.

As of 2011, the Eastern United States had an estimated population exceeding 179 million, representing the majority, over 58 percent, of the total U.S. population.[2][3][4]

The three most populous cities in the Eastern United States are New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Northeastern United States

Main article: Northeastern United States

New England

Main article: New England

New England is a region of the U.S. located in the northeastern corner of the country bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada, and the state of New York. It includes six states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

In one of the earliest British colonial settlements in the New World, Pilgrims from England first settled in New England in 1620 at Plymouth Colony in and around present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. In the late 18th century, the New England colonies were among the first North American British colonies to support an escalation in the American Revolution against Britain, launching the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773 and later firing the first shots of the American Revolutionary War in the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

New England produced the first examples of American literature and philosophy and was home to the beginnings of free and compulsory public education. In the 19th century, the region played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States. It was the first region of the United States to be transformed by the Industrial Revolution.

As of 2023, New England is home to three of the top ten universities in the nation, according to 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey (first), Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (tied for third), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts (tied for third).[5]

East North Central States

Main article: East North Central States

The Midwestern United States, often referred to as the Midwest, is one of the four geographic regions within the United States that are recognized by the United States Census Bureau. The Census Bureau divides this region into the East North Central States (essentially the Great Lakes States) and the West North Central States. A 2006 Census Bureau estimate put the population at 66,217,736.

The term Midwest has been in common use for over 100 years. Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is "the heartland". Other designations for the region have fallen into disuse, such as the "Northwest" or "Old Northwest", deriving from "Northwest Territory", and "Mid-America". Since the book Middletown appeared in 1929, sociologists have often used Midwestern cities and the Midwest generally as "typical" of the entire nation. The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio, which measures the percentage of employed people at least 16 years old, compared to New England, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt states.

The five East North Central States (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) can also be classified as being part of the Northeastern United States. Chicago is the largest city in the region, followed by Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis. Chicago has the largest metropolitan statistical area, followed by Detroit, and Minneapolis–Saint Paul. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is the oldest city in the region, founded by French missionaries and explorers in 1668.

As of 2023, the East North Central States are home to one of the top ten universities in the nation, according to 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings: the University of Chicago, which is ranked the sixth-best in the nation.[6]


Main article: Mid-Atlantic (United States)

The Mid-Atlantic is a region located in the overlap between the Northeastern and Southeastern states of the United States. It includes seven states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, as well as the nation's capital of Washington, D.C.

The Mid-Atlantic region includes New York City, the largest city in the U.S. and a global center of finance and culture, and Philadelphia, the nation's sixth-largest city and first capital, where the Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall in 1776, formally launching the American Revolutionary War, and later where the U.S. Constitution was drafted and ratified at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1789.

As of 2023, the Mid-Atlantic region is home to five of the top twenty-five universities in the nation, according to 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings: Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Columbia University in New York, New York, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[7]

Southeastern United States

Main article: Southeastern United States

The Southeastern United States is a large region of the country that includes the states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, as well as the nation's capital of Washington, D.C..

Its unique cultural and historic heritage includes the following aspects:[8][9]

These aspects among other things, led to "the South" developing distinctive customs, literature, musical styles, and varied cuisines, that have profoundly shaped traditional American culture.

A shift from mainly a rural society, to more cities and metropolitan areas becoming urbanized, started to largely form following World War II in the 1940s. Since the late 20th century, certain Southeastern states and areas have seen great economic growth. This growth has led to many migrants moving to southeastern states.[10] In 2020, Fortune 500 companies headquartered in southeastern states included: Virginia with 22, Georgia with 18, Florida with 18, North Carolina with 13, and Tennessee with 10.[11]

As of 2023, the Southeast is home to one of the top ten universities in the nation, according to 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings: Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, which is ranked the tenth-best in the nation.[12]

Major population centers

The following is a list of the 25 largest cities in the Eastern United States, based on 2021 population estimates:

See also


  1. ^ "Eastern U.S. states".
  2. ^ Whitaker, John O. (1998). Mammals of the Eastern United States. Hamilton, William J. (William John) Jr., 1902-1990. (3rd ed.). Ithaca: Comstock Pub. Associates. p. 4. ISBN 0-8014-3475-0. OCLC 38438640. eastern United States—that part of the nation east of the Mississippi
  3. ^ Quandt, Sara A. (2009). Latino Farmworkers in the Eastern United States : Health, Safety and Justice. Springer-Verlag New York. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-387-88347-2. OCLC 901254381. The eastern US considered in this volume includes 22 states. This includes the southeastern states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia), the Mid-Atlantic states (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware,New Jersey, and the Ivory Coast), interior states (Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio), and New England (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine).
  4. ^ "MIMAL". The Free Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2022-11-17.
  5. ^ "Best national universities", U.S. News and World World Report
  6. ^ "Best national universities", U.S. News and World World Report
  7. ^ "Best national universities", U.S. News and World World Report
  8. ^ Culture in the Old South | US History | (AY Collection) Archived 2022-11-17 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  9. ^ Wealth and Culture in the South | US History | (AY Collection) Archived 2021-02-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Murphy, Shane. (February 10, 2021). The States People Are Fleeing (and Where They're Going). MoneyWise. Retrieved February 14, 2021. Archived February 23, 2021, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Number of U.S. companies listed in the Fortune 500 ranking 2020, by state Archived 2021-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. Statista. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  12. ^ "Best national universities", U.S. News and World World Report