Oct 23, 2023 - News

Some Coloradans think we live in the Midwest, despite our Mountain West ties

Share who say they live in the Midwest
Note: Includes 22 states traditionally considered part of or surrounding the Midwest. Data: Middle West Review, Emerson College Polling; Map: Axios Visuals

To the 42% of Coloradans who said we live in the Midwest, we need to talk.

Driving the news: Emerson College and the Middle West Review published a report last week asking 11,000 people in 22 states if they considered themselves Midwest residents.

Threat level: 42% of respondents from Colorado said yes β€” despite our geographical location and state's features, from its mountains to its former and current cow towns, that are tied deeply to the American West's iconography.

Of note: Iowa and Minnesota had the highest rate of respondents who identify as Midwesterns (97%).

  • Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania were among states not traditionally considered to be part of the region that were included in the study.

Context: The census puts Colorado in the West region, along with states like California, Arizona and Washington.

  • Our state is also grouped into a subregion, Mountain, including states like Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The other side: Eastern Colorado does feel a bit like the Midwest, with its vast, open plains and mountainless terrain.

  • One of Denver's nicknames is the Queen City of the Plains, which may be confusing given our proximity to the Rockies.

πŸ’­ Esteban's thought bubble: As someone born in California and raised in Colorado, my roots to this region are deep β€” so I can say definitively we live in the West, not the Midwest, a region with vastly different cultural traditions and experiences.

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