The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest.

The region consists of 12 states in the north-central and north-eastern United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.[1] A 2006 Census Bureau estimate put the population at 66,217,736. Both the population center and the geographic center of the contiguous United States are in the Midwest.

Chicago is the largest city in the region, followed by Indianapolis, Columbus, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Chicago and its suburbs form the largest metropolitan statistical area, followed by Metro Detroit, the Twin Cities, and the Metro St. Louis area.[2] Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is the oldest city in the region, having been founded by French missionaries and explorers in 1668.

The term Midwest has been in common use for over 100 years. A variant term, "Middle West", has been in use since the 19th century and remains relatively common.[3] Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is "the heartland".[4] Other designations for the region have fallen into disuse, such as the "Northwest" or "Old Northwest" (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.[5] The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio (the percentage of employed people at least 16 years old) than the Northeast, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt states.[6]

The Census Bureau further divides this region into East North Central States (essentially the Great Lakes States) and West North Central States.

Midwest Roller Derby LeaguesEdit

Illinois Edit








North DakotaEdit


South Dakota Edit



  2. Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United States and Puerto Rico: 1990 and 2000 (pdf). U.S. Census Bureau. December 30, 2003. Retrieved November 20, 2007.
  3. Examples of the use of "Middle West" include: Template:Cite book Template:Cite book Template:Cite book and Template:Cite book; among many others.
  4. Merriam-Webster online
  5. Sisson (2006) pp 69-73; Richard Jensen, "The Lynds Revisited," Indiana Magazine of History (Dec 1979) 75: 303-319, online at [1]
  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010-03-04). Retrieved on 2010-10-03.
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