Nov 6, 2023 - Culture

We've located Idaho, and it's not in the Midwest

Illustration of the state of Idaho flipped around and stylized as a question mark.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to Axios Seattle readers: How the heck do a quarter of Idaho residents (according to a recent poll) think they live in the Midwest?

They had a range of opinions about where exactly Idaho is. But all agreed: Midwest, it is not.

What they're saying: Reader Susan A. described the state as "mentally Midwest, physically PNW."

  • Others said they consider Idaho part of the Northwest, but not the Pacific Northwest, as it doesn't border the ocean. (Fair point.)

A few more readers identified the state as part of the Mountain West, which struck us as accurate.

Plus: Some had questions about what exactly they're teaching people over there.

  • "It's definitely NOT part of the Midwest. Not even a little bit. Do they have U.S. maps in Idaho?" asked reader Kathryn C.

A few more people concluded it's more about mindset than actual maps.

  • "Just maybe the folks in ID feel closer to the folks in IN, but politics ain't geography," David M. wrote, using the state abbreviations for Idaho and Indiana.

The bottom line: Idaho isn't a Midwestern state. Axios Seattle readers — including some former Idahoans — have spoken.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Seattle.

More Seattle stories