The unsettled debate about who's in the "Midwest"
A few weeks ago, we asked Axios Indianapolis readers to define what states are in the Midwest, and boy, did they deliver.
Quick take: Despite what many of you in our inbox think, it's far from settled.
Catch up quick: Emerson College and the Middle West Review surveyed 11,000 people in 22 states, asking them if they consider themselves to be living in the Midwest.
- Nearly 92% of respondents place Indiana at the heart of the Midwest along with Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and (to a lesser extent) Michigan.
- The vast majority of residents in North Dakota (93.8%), South Dakota (92.2%) and Nebraska (92.8%) also lump themselves into the Midwest.
- More than half of people in Wyoming (??) and 42% of Colorado (???) residents do, too.
Who's right? Here's what some Axios Indianapolis readers had to say:
👀 Dan H. thought we were throwing some shade at Nebraska and the Dakotas and threw some right back.
- "By all technical definitions these states are in the Midwest and apparently the people know where they live."
✋ Thomas I. says not so fast, though. According to him, the Dakotas, Nebraska and the states south of them are in the Plains region, followed westward by the Mountain West.
- "The Midwest is MN, IA, MO (kinda), WI, IL, MI, IN and OH."
😵💫 Dave W. thinks the Midwest starts "somewhere in midstate Ohio" and continues through to Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas — and no farther.
- "It is insane that anyone in Idaho, anyone at all, thinks they're in the Midwest."
🏀 Amanda L. looks to sports for help defining the region, using the (original) Big Ten states.
- "That is it. No more, more less. This is the Midwest."
🔥 Scott M. has a hot take: "Western Pennsylvania is arguably Midwest, as well as northwestern West Virginia."
🌊 Craig P. wonders why we're even arguing about the Midwest — a term he finds antiquated and an area too large to accurately encapsulate a people.
- "I'm of the preference of rebranding Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin as the Great Lakes States instead of the Midwest."
🤯 Jim F. thinks we're all wrong.
- "I've always thought that calling Indiana in the Midwest is a misnomer and/or a lack of viewing the U.S. map. We are more in the Mideast region."
🗺️ Andrea K. learned in grad school that "the Midwest is defined as the original Northwest Territory."
- That would be … [checks notes, and by notes we mean Wikipedia] ... Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and (a bit of) Minnesota.
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