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The two dark red states are almost always, and the three striped states usually, included as making up the Northwestern United States.

The Northwestern United States, also known as the American Northwest or simply the Northwest, is an informal geographic region of the United States. The region consistently includes the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Some sources include Southeast Alaska in the Northwest. The related but distinct term "Pacific Northwest" generally excludes areas from the Rockies eastward, whereas the term "Inland Northwest" excludes areas west of the Cascades.

The Northwestern United States is a subportion of the Western United States (which is, itself, even more ambiguous). In contrast, states included in the neighboring regions (Southwestern United States and Great Plains) and Utah are not simultaneously considered part of both regions.

Like the southwestern United States, the Northwest definition has moved westward over time. The current area includes the old Oregon Territory (created in 1848–Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and areas in Montana west of the Continental Divide).[1] The region is similar to Federal Region X, which comprises Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

It is home to over 14.2 million people. Some of the fastest growing cities in this region and in the nation include Seattle, Spokane, Bellevue, Tacoma, Kennewick, Pasco, Yakima, Portland, Eugene, Salem, Boise, Idaho Falls, Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings.


As the United States' westward expansion, the country's western border also shifted westward, and consequently, so did the location of the Northwestern and Southwestern United States. In the early years of the United States, newly colonized lands lying immediately west of the Allegheny Mountains were detached from Virginia and given the name Northwest Territory. During the decades that followed, the Northwest Territory covered much of the Great Lakes region east of the Mississippi River.

Centers of population

Seattle, the largest metropolitan area in the Northwest
Portland, the second largest metropolitan area in the Northwest
Boise, the third largest metropolitan area in the Northwest
Spokane, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Northwest

As of 2016, the Northwestern states have a cumulative population of 14,297,316, with Oregon and Washington accounting for 77% of the entire five-state region's population. As of 2016, there are 25 metropolitan statistical areas in the Northwest with populations of 100,000 or more, none of which are in Wyoming. Since adjacent metropolitan areas often function as one combined agglomeration, the U.S. Census Bureau additionally defines nine combined statistical areas across the Northwest, eight of which having populations of 100,000 or more.

Rank Combined or Metropolitan

Statistical Area

State(s) Population


1 SeattleTacoma Washington 4,018,598
2 PortlandVancouverSalem Oregon
3 BoiseMountain HomeOntario Idaho
4 SpokaneSpokane ValleyCoeur d'Alene Washington
5 Eugene-Springfield Oregon 382,986
6 MedfordGrants Pass Oregon 221,844
7 KennewickPascoRichland-Walla Walla Washington 303,501
8 Yakima Washington 251,879
9 Idaho FallsRexburgBlackfoot Idaho 155,361
10 Bellingham Washington 231,016

Presidential elections

Presidential electoral votes in the Northwestern States since 1892
Year Idaho Montana Oregon Washington Wyoming
1892 Weaver Harrison Harrison Harrison Harrison
1896 Bryan Bryan McKinley Bryan Bryan
1900 Bryan Bryan McKinley McKinley McKinley
1904 T. Roosevelt T. Roosevelt T. Roosevelt T. Roosevelt T. Roosevelt|
1908 Taft Taft Taft Taft Taft
1912 Wilson Wilson Wilson T. Roosevelt Wilson
1916 Wilson Wilson Hughes Wilson Wilson
1920 Harding Harding Harding Harding Harding
1924 Coolidge Coolidge Coolidge Coolidge Coolidge
1928 Hoover Hoover Hoover Hoover Hoover
1932 F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt
1936 F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt
1940 F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt
1944 F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt F. Roosevelt Dewey
1948 Truman Truman Dewey Truman Truman
1952 Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower
1956 Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower
1960 Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon
1964 Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson Johnson
1968 Nixon Nixon Nixon Humphrey Nixon
1972 Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon
1976 Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford
1980 Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan
1984 Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan
1988 Bush Bush Dukakis Dukakis Bush
1992 Bush Clinton Clinton Clinton Bush
1996 Dole Dole Clinton Clinton Dole
2000 Bush Bush Gore Gore Bush
2004 Bush Bush Kerry Kerry Bush
2008 McCain McCain Obama Obama McCain
2012 Romney Romney Obama Obama Romney
2016 Trump Trump Clinton Clinton Trump
2020 Trump Trump Biden Biden Trump

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster (1997). Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary. Merriam-Webster. p. 876. ISBN 978-0-87779-546-9. Retrieved November 30, 2010.

Further reading

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