There are dozens of ways that organizations split up the United States into specific regions. Sports teams do it one way, the government does it about ten different ways, and some Americans don’t even know what region they live in. In this article, we’re going to take a brief look at the nine regions of the United States as they are divided by the United States Census Bureau.
The Pacific region is one of the nine regions as determined by the Census Bureau. Five states are part of this region: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. These are the only states that have any borders on the Pacfiic Ocean. This region is considered to be a subregion of the Western United States, but is divided from the Mountain States because of vast differences in climate and ideologies between the two subregions. Many students will travel to the Pacific Region due to the diversity and perceived “open-mindedness” of this region.
The Mountain States
The Mountain States are another region as determined by the Census Bureau. The name for this region comes from the proximity of the Rocky Mountain range to each of these states. In some cases, these states are further separated into the Northwest Mountain States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) and the Southwest United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah). These states have higher elevations than anywhere in the United States. Several of the Mountain States have excellent schools that many international students consider attending.
The East North Central Region
The East North Central region contains Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Many people will refer to this area and its West North Central counterpart as the “Midwest” region of the United States. Historically, many of these states were part of the Northwest Territory. This region also borders on the Great Lakes, which makes the region a bit more temperate (it has four seasons, unlike other regions of the United States). This region is known for being one of the more inexpensive areas in the country to live, work, and/or study.
West North Central Region
The West North Central region consists of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Mississippi River separates the West North Central region from its eastern counterpart. Many of the states in the West North Central region have rich farmland, and that has helped to develop the nickname “the Heartland.” The West North Central region is a popular location for students to live because of the low unemployment rates and abundance of affordable housing.
New England is the northeastern corner of the United States; there are six states in this region (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut). New England was part of the original 13 colonies that became the United States after the Revolutionary War. The earliest English settlements were located in this region (around Boston, Massachusetts). This region is historically rich and has a number of excellent universities that you can choose from. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive areas of the United States to reside, but that should not discourage you from studying in the New England region.
The Mid-Atlantic region of the United States is located in the “middle” of what is referred to as the East Coast. There is some debate (depending on the source) as to what is included in this region, but traditionally, these states are Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Mid Atlantic is considered to be the “stereotypical American” region due to its influence on culture, commerce, trade, industry, and innovation. This region is also incredibly diverse, which makes it an ideal place for an international student to consider.
South Atlantic Region
The South Atlantic Region consists of the following states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is one of the regions that is considered to be part of “the South.” This region has a warmer climate than its North Atlantic counterparts. The South Atlantic Region has a lot of places that are popular with international students, especially in the state of Florida, where many international students will consider studying.
East South Central States
The East South Central States, along with the South Atlantic and the West South Central States, are considered to be part of “the south.” These states include Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. This region is referred to as “Old Dixie” by several books. This region is known as being part of the core of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and all four of these states are very similar in topography and culture. There are several high-quality universities in the East South Central region that international students consider for their education.
West South Central States
The last region we will discuss is the West South Central region. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas are the four states that make up this region. This region is incredibly diverse, especially in Texas, and many of the residents of this region are “traditional southerners.” Many of these people have independent spirits and much of the culture reflects that mindset. There are several excellent universities in this region that people from all over the world attend for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
As you can see, each of these regions is unique in terms of geography, history, culture, and education. This will be very important to understand when determining where in the United States you want to study. In this guide, we will do our best to give you an overview of what you can expect throughout the United States, instead of trying to focus on each region individually.