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Which States Are in the Midwest?

Which States Are in the Midwest FiveThirtyEight


There are a lot of things here worth looking into. First, many people aren’t too sure about where the core of the Midwest is. Everybody selected at least one state for the question. But even Illinois — home of the preeminent Midwestern city, Chicago — was identified as Midwestern by just about 80 percent of respondents.

Contrast this with our soon-to-be-released Southern survey, in which people were somewhat adamant about which states make the group.

One potential, albeit anecdotal, source of this? Several self-proclaimed Midwestern sources I spoke with have a very limited definition of the Midwest: namely, their state and any state bordering it. Minnesotans thought they made up the true Midwest; Hoosiers thought they did. I can’t say either way.

Second, the potential Midwest spans further south than I thought. If half of our respondents thought Missouri and a quarter thought Oklahoma were in the Midwest, I probably should have asked about Arkansas, if only to pinpoint how far south people think the region expands. This Yankee regrets the error.

Stashed in: America!, Maps!, Chicago!

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Arkansas is where Midwest meets South.

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