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The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical
region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wor ...
of the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
. On the Atlantic coast of North America,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocea ...

Canada
is to its North, the
Southern United States The southern United States, also known as the American South, the southern states, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural List of regions of the United States#Official regions of the United States, region of the United States. It is ...
is to its south, and to its west is the
Midwestern United States The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four Census Bureau Region, census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of the United States ...
. The Northeast is one of the four regions defined by the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, f ...
for the collection and analysis of statistics. The Census Bureau–defined region has a total area of with of that being
land mass Land is the solid surface of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several ...
. Although it lacks a unified
cultural identity Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differ ...
, the Northeastern region is the nation's most economically developed,
densely populated
densely populated
, and
culturally diverse Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to monoculture Monoculture is the agricultural practice of growing a single crop A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively ...
region. Of the nation's four census regions, the Northeast has the second-largest percentage of residents living in an urban setting, with 85 percent, and is home to the nation's
largest metropolitan area The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or the ...
. The Northeast is home to most of the Northeast megalopolis, the most economically significant and second most-populated of eleven mega regions within the United States, accounting for 20% of US GDP.


Composition

Geographically there is some debate as to where the Northeastern United States begins and ends. The vast area from central
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States, between the East Coast of the United St ...

Virginia
to northern
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
, and from western
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( ) ( pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, and Appalachia, Appalachian regions of the ...

Pennsylvania
(
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. An estimated population of about 300,286 residents live within the city limits as of 2019, makin ...

Pittsburgh
) to the , have all been loosely grouped into the Northeast at one time or another. Much of the debate has been what the
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...
,
economic An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consum ...
and
urban Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities. Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
aspects of the Northeast are, and where they begin or end as one reaches the borders of the region. Using the Census Bureau's definition of the Northeast, the region includes ten states: they are
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
,
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ...
,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The sta ...
,
Vermont Vermont () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York (state), New York to the west, and the Provinces and territories of ...

Vermont
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island ...

Massachusetts
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode ...
,
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of human development behind Massachusetts, and highest median household ...
,
New Hampshire New Hampshire () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the nort ...

New Hampshire
, and
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( ) ( pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, and Appalachia, Appalachian regions of the ...

Pennsylvania
. The region is often subdivided into
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York (state), New York to the west and by the Cana ...

New England
(the six states east of New York State) and the
Mid-Atlantic states The Middle Atlantic states, commonly shortened to Mid-Atlantic states, is a region of the United States generally located in the overlap between the Northeastern United States, Northeastern and Southeastern United States, Southeastern U.S. state, S ...
(New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). This definition has been essentially unchanged since 1880 and is widely used as a standard for data tabulation. However, the Census Bureau has acknowledged the obvious limitations of this definition and the potential merits of a proposal created after the 1950 census, that would include changing regional boundaries to include
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The sta ...
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its nor ...

Maryland
, and the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Washington Metro, National Air and Space Museum, A ...
with the Mid-Atlantic states, but ultimately decided that "the new system did not win enough overall acceptance among data users to warrant adoption as an official new set of general-purpose State groupings. The previous development of many series of statistics, arranged and issued over long periods of time on the basis of the existing State groupings, favored the retention of the summary units of the current regions and divisions." The Census Bureau confirmed in 1994 that it would continue to "review the components of the regions and divisions to ensure that they continue to represent the most useful combinations of States and State equivalents." Many organizations and reference works follow the Census Bureau's definition for the region. In the history of the United States, the
Mason–Dixon line The Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason's and Dixon's line, is a demarcation line separating four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (part of Virginia u ...
between Pennsylvania (
the North North is a cardinal direction or compass point. North or The North may also refer to: Places * North, South Carolina, a town in the United States * North (London sub region), a sub-region of the London Plan * Northern Canada or the North, northe ...
) and Maryland ( the South) traditionally divided the regions, but in modern times, various entities define the Northeastern United States in somewhat different ways. The
Association of American Geographers The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a non-profit scientific and educational society aimed at advancing the understanding, study, and importance of geography and related fields. Its headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The ...
divides the Northeast into two divisions: "New England", which is the same as the Census Bureau; and it has the same "Middle States" but adds Delaware. Similarly, the
Geological Society of America The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences. History The society was founded in Ithaca, New York, in 1888 by Alexander Winchell, John J. Stevenson, Charles Henry Hitchco ...
defines the Northeast as these same states but with the addition of Maryland and the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Washington Metro, National Air and Space Museum, A ...
. The narrowest definitions include only the states of New England. Other more restrictive definitions include New England and New York as part of the Northeast United States, but exclude Pennsylvania and New Jersey. States beyond the Census Bureau definition are included in Northeast Region by various other entities: * Various organizations include: Delaware, Maryland and District of Columbia. * The US
EPA The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States ...

EPA
and
NOAA The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere An atmosphere ...

NOAA
include in their Northeast Region: Delaware, Maryland and
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Bureau ...
. * The National Fish and Wildlife Service includes in their Northeast Region: Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Virginia. * The National Park Service includes in their Northeast Region: Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia (though small parts are also in the National Capital Region).


History


Indigenous people

Anthropologists recognize the "Northeastern Woodlands" as one of the
cultural regions Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...
that existed in the Western Hemisphere at the time of European colonists in the 15th and later centuries. Most did not settle in North America until the 17th century. The cultural area, known as the " Northeastern Woodlands", in addition to covering the entire Northeast U.S., also covered much of what is now Canada and others regions of what is now the
eastern United States 300px, This video was taken by the crew of ISS. The pass goes over the eastern United States.">International_Space_Station.html" ;"title="Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station">ISS. The pass goes over the eastern United States. ...
. Among the many tribes that inhabited this area were those that made up the and the numerous
Algonquian peoples The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcont ...
. In the United States of the 21st century, 18
federally recognized tribes This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily lo ...
reside in the Northeast. For the most part, the people of the Northeastern Woodlands, on whose lands European fishermen began camping to dry their codfish in the early 1600s, lived in villages, especially after being influenced by the agricultural traditions of the Ohio and Mississippi valley societies.


Colonial history

All of the states making up the Northeastern region were among the original
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
, though Maine, Vermont, and Delaware were part of other colonies before the United States became independent in the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies formed independent states that defeated the First British Empire, British in ...
. The two cultural and geographic regions that form parts of the Northeastern region have distinct histories.


New England

The first Europeans to settle New England were Pilgrims from
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...

England
, who landed in present-day Massachusetts in 1620. The Pilgrims arrived on the ship ''
Mayflower ''Mayflower'' was an English ship that transported a group of English families known today as the Pilgrims from England to the New World in 1620. After a grueling 10 weeks at sea, ''Mayflower'', with 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, rea ...

Mayflower
'' and founded
Plymouth Colony Plymouth Colony (sometimes Plimouth) was an British America, English colonial venture in America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith (explorer), John Smith. The settlement served as th ...
so they could practice religion freely. Ten years later, a larger group of
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. ...

Puritan
s settled north of Plymouth Colony in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unite ...
to form
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the ''Prov ...
. In 1636, colonists established
Connecticut Colony The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States ...
and
Providence Plantations Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island. It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams and Dr. John Clarke who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with ...
. Providence was founded by
Roger Williams Roger Williams (c. 21 December 1603 – between 27 January and 15 March 1683) was a Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintai ...
, who was banished by Massachusetts for his beliefs in freedom of religion, and it was the first colony to guarantee all citizens freedom of worship.
Anne Hutchinson Anne Hutchinson (née Marbury; July 1591 – August 1643) was a Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Ch ...
, who was also banished by Massachusetts, formed the town of
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a port The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port A_port_is_a_ Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port">Trieste.html"_;"title="Barco ...
. Providence, Portsmouth and two other towns (
Newport Newport most commonly refers to: *Newport, Wales, UK *Newport, Rhode Island, US Newport or New Port may also refer to: Places Asia *Newport City, Metro Manila, a Philippine district in Pasay Europe Ireland *Newport, County Mayo, a town on ...
and
Warwick Warwick ( ) is a market town and the county town of Warwickshire, England, adjacent to the River Avon, Warwickshire, River Avon. It is south of Coventry, and south-east of Birmingham. It is adjoined with Leamington Spa and Whitnash. It has anc ...
) consolidated to form the
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded by Roger Williams. It was an British America, English colony f ...
. Although the first settlers of New England were motivated by religion, in more recent history, New England has become one of the least religious parts of the United States. In a 2009 Gallup survey, less than half of residents in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts reported religion as an important part of their daily life. In a 2010 Gallup survey, less than 30% of residents in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts reported attending church weekly, giving them the lowest church attendance among U.S. states. New England played a prominent role in early American education. Starting in the 17th century, the larger towns in New England opened
grammar schools A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countr ...
, the forerunner of the modern
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (age 12 to 15) and upper secondary educatio ...

high school
. The first public school in the English colonies was the
Boston Latin School The Boston Latin School is a public exam school in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonweal ...
, founded in 1635. In 1636, the colonial legislature of Massachusetts founded
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate education, undergraduate college of Harvard University, an Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636, Harvard College is the original school of Harvard University, the oldest i ...
, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.


Mid-Atlantic

The first European explorer known to have explored the Atlantic shoreline of the Northeast since the
Norse Norse is demonym for Norsemen, a medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group ancestral to modern Scandinavians, defined as speakers of Old Norse from about the 9th to the 13th centuries. Norse may also refer to: Culture and religion * Norse m ...
was
Giovanni da Verrazzano Giovanni da Verrazzano ( , , often misspelled Verrazano in English; 1485–1528) was an Italian (Florentine) explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Di ...
in 1524. His ship ''La Dauphine'' explored the coast from what is now known as Florida to New Brunswick.
Henry Hudson Henry Hudson ( – disappeared 23 June 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator during the early 17th century, best known for his explorations of present-day Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...
explored the area of present-day New York in 1609 and claimed it for the Netherlands. His journey stimulated Dutch interest, and the area became known as
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic that was located on what is now the east coast of the United States. The claimed territories extended from the Delmarva Peninsula to so ...
. In 1625, the city of
New Amsterdam New Amsterdam ( nl, Nieuw Amsterdam, or ) was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most dense ...
(the location of present-day New York City) was designated the capital of the province. The Dutch New Netherland settlement along the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York in the United States. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley t ...

Hudson River
and, for a time, the
New Sweden New Sweden ( sv, Nya Sverige; fi, Uusi Ruotsi; la, Nova Svecia) was a Swedish colony along the lower reaches of the Delaware River in America from 1638 to 1655, established during the Thirty Years' War when Swedish Empire, Sweden was a great mi ...
settlement along the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast of the United States. It drains an area of in four U.S. states: Delaware, New Jersey, New York (state), New York and Pennsylvania. Rising in two branches in New York sta ...
divided the English settlements in the north and the south. In 1664,
Charles II of England Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651, and King of Scotland, King of England, England and King of Ireland, Ireland from the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy until his death in 1685. Charles II w ...
formally annexed New Netherland and incorporated it into the
English colonial empire English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
. The territory became the colonies of
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
and
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ...
. New Jersey was originally split into
East Jersey The Province of East Jersey, along with the Province of West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702 in accordance with the Quintipartite Deed were two distinct political divisions of the Province of New Jersey, which became the U.S. state of New Jersey. The ...
and
West Jersey thumbnail, 300px, 1698 map showing West Jersey and Pennsylvania West Jersey and East Jersey were two distinct parts of the Province of New Jersey. The political division existed for 28 years, between 1674 and 1702. Determination of an exact lo ...
until the two were united as a royal colony in 1702. In 1681,
William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, a North American colony of English overseas poss ...

William Penn
, who wanted to give
Quakers Quakers, also called Friends, belong to a historically Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Ch ...

Quakers
a land of religious freedom, founded
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( ) ( pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, and Appalachia, Appalachian regions of the ...
and extended freedom of religion to all citizens. Penn strongly desired access to the sea for his Pennsylvania Province and leased what then came to be known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware" from the Duke. Penn established representative government and briefly combined his two possessions under one General Assembly in 1682. However, by 1704 the Province of Pennsylvania had grown so large that their representatives wanted to make decisions without the assent of the Lower Counties and the two groups of representatives began meeting on their own, one at
Philadelphia Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2019 estimated population ...

Philadelphia
, and the other at New Castle. Penn and his heirs remained proprietors of both and always appointed the same person Governor for their Province of Pennsylvania and their territory of the Lower Counties. The fact that Delaware and Pennsylvania shared the same governor was not unique. From 1703 to 1738, New York and New Jersey shared a governor. Massachusetts and New Hampshire also shared a governor for some time.


Environment

Cape Cod Bay, a leading tourist destination in Massachusetts


Topography

While most of the Northeastern United States lie in the
Appalachian Highlands The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician, Ordovician Period. They once reached ...
physiographic region, some are also part of the
Atlantic coastal plain Wheat field near Centreville on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with flat terrain typical of the Atlantic coastal plain The Atlantic coastal plain is a physiographic region Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining Earth ...

Atlantic coastal plain
which extends south to the southern tip of Florida. The coastal plain areas (including
Cape Cod Cape Cod is a cape (geography), geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism ...
in Massachusetts,
Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. At New York Harbor, it begins approximately east of Manhattan, Manhattan Island and exten ...
in New York, most of New Jersey, Delaware and the
Chesapeake Bay The Chesapeake Bay ( ) is the largest estuary in the United States. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula (including the parts: the E ...
in Maryland and Virginia) are generally low and flat, with sandy soil and marshy land. The highlands, including the
Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...
and the
Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can als ...
, are generally heavily forested, ranging from rolling hills to summits greater than , and pocked with many lakes. The highest peak in the Northeast is
Mount Washington (New Hampshire) Mount Washington, called Agiocochook by some Native American tribes, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States The northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a g ...
, at .


Land use

, forest-use covered approximately 60% of the Northeastern states (including Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia), about twice the national average. About 11% was cropland and another 4% grassland pasture or range. There is also more urbanized land in the Northeast (12%) than any other region in the U.S.


Climate

The climate of the Northeastern United States varies from northernmost
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
to southernmost
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its nor ...

Maryland
. The climate of the region is created by the position of the general west to east flow of weather in the middle latitudes that much of the USA is controlled by and the position and movement of the subtropical highs. Summers are normally warm in northern areas to hot in southern areas. In summer, the building
Bermuda HighThe Azores High ( pt, Anticiclone dos Açores) also known as North Atlantic (Subtropical) High/Anticyclone or the Bermuda-Azores High, is a large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure typically found south of the Azores in ...
pumps warm and sultry air toward the Northeast, and frequent (but brief) thundershowers are common on hot summer days. In winter the subtropical high retreats southeastward, and the polar jet stream moves south bringing colder air masses from up in Canada and more frequent storm systems to the region. Winter often brings both rain and snow as well as surges of both warm and cold air. The basic climate of the Northeast can be divided into a colder and snowier interior (western Maryland, most of Pennsylvania, most of northern New Jersey,
Upstate New York Upstate New York is a geographic region consisting of the portion of New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
, and most of New England), and a milder coast and coastal plain from
Cape Cod Cape Cod is a cape (geography), geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism ...
and southern
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode ...
southward, including
Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. At New York Harbor, it begins approximately east of Manhattan, Manhattan Island and exten ...
,
New Haven New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. With a population o ...
,
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the L ...

New York City
, ,
Philadelphia Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2019 estimated population ...

Philadelphia
,
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...
, and
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prope ...
. In the latter region the
hardiness zone Global Plant Hardiness Zones, 250px A hardiness zone is a geographic area defined to encompass a certain range of climatic conditions relevant to plant growth and survival. The original and most widely used system, developed by the United States ...
s are 7a and 7b. Annual mean temperatures range from the low 50s F from Maryland to southern Connecticut, to the 40s F in most of New York State, New England and northern Pennsylvania. Most of the Northeast has a
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic region defined by Russo-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1900, typified by four distinct seasons and large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold ( ...
(''Dfa''/''Dfb''). The region's
humid subtropical A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cold to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitudes 25° and 40° (sometimes 45°) a ...
zone (''Cfa''/''Do'') begins on
Martha's Vineyard Martha's Vineyard (Massachusett language, Wampanoag: ; often simply called the Vineyard) is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts in the United States in North America that is known for being a popular summer colony. Martha's Vi ...
and
Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. At New York Harbor, it begins approximately east of Manhattan, Manhattan Island and exten ...
and extends southward through central and eastern Maryland. The
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification of climate typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring mild summers ...
(''Cfb''/''Do'') only exists on
Block Island Block Island is an American island in the state of Rhode Island located in Block Island Sound approximately south of the mainland and east of Montauk Point, Long Island, New York, named after Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. It is part of Washing ...
and
Nantucket Nantucket is an island about by ferry south from Cape Cod Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massa ...

Nantucket
.


Wildlife

The Northeast has 72
National Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge System is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the system of public lands and waters set aside to ...

National Wildlife Refuge
s, encompassing more than of habitat and designed to protect some of the 92 different threatened and
endangered species An endangered species is a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactio ...
living in the region.


Demographics

As of the 2020 United States census, the population of the region totaled 57,609,148. With an average of 345.5 people per square mile, the Northeast is 2.5 times as densely populated as the second-most dense region, the
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
. Since the last century, the U.S. population has been shifting away from the Northeast (and
Midwest The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of ...
) toward the
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
and
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
. The two U.S. Census Bureau divisions in the Northeast (
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York (state), New York to the west and by the Cana ...

New England
and
Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and American English *Mid-Atlantic Region (Little League World Series), one of the United States geographic divisions of ...
) rank #2 and #1 among the 9 divisions in population density according to the 2013 population estimate. The South Atlantic region (233.1) was very close behind New England (233.2). Due to the faster growth of the South Atlantic region, it will take over the #2 division rank in population density in the next estimate, dropping New England to 3rd position. New England is projected to retain the number 3 rank for many, many years, as the only other lower-ranked division with even half the population density of New England is the East North Central division (192.1) and this region's population is projected to grow slowly.


Economy

, the Northeast accounts for approximately 23% of U.S.
gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period. List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita, GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect ...
. The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is an independent agency of the United States government tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy. Established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, the NRC began operat ...
oversees 34 nuclear reactors, eight for research or testing and 26 for in the Northeastern United States.
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the L ...

New York City
, considered a global financial center, is the most populous city in the United States and the Northeast. The
Federal Bureau of Prisons The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Justice responsible for the care, custody, and control of incarcerated individuals. History The federal prison system had existed f ...
maintains 17 federal prisons and two affiliated private facilities in the region.


Transportation


Rail

Rail is an important mode of transport in locations such as the New York City metropolitan area, where it is inconvenient to own a car. Reference- All the commuter Rail Systems from Northern Virginia to Massachusetts


Bus


Airports

The following table includes all eight airports categorized by the
FAA The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the largest modern transportation agency and a governmental body of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a c ...
as large hubs located in the Northeastern states (New England and Eastern regions):


Culture

One geographer,
Wilbur Zelinsky Wilbur Zelinsky (21 December 1921 – 4 May 2013) was an American cultural geographer. He was most recently a professor emeritus ''Emeritus'' (; female: ''Emerita''), in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired chair, profe ...
, asserts that the Northeast region lacks a unified cultural identity, but has served as a "culture hearth" for the rest of the nation. Several much smaller geographical regions within the Northeast have distinct cultural identities.


Landmarks

Almost half of the
National Historic Landmark A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government ...
s maintained by the National Park Service are located in the Northeastern United States.


Religion

According to a 2009
Gallup poll Gallup, Inc. is an American analytics and advisory company based in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on t ...
, the Northeastern states differ from most of the rest of the U.S. in religious affiliation, generally reflecting the descendants of immigration patterns of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many Catholics arriving from Ireland, Italy, French Canada - Quebec, Portugal and east-central Europe. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey are the only states in the nation where
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ri ...

Catholics
outnumber
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
s and other
Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a name, peculiar history, organization, leadership ...
s. More than 20% of respondents in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont declared no religious identity. Compared to other U.S. regions, the Northeast, along with the Pacific Northwest, has the lowest regular religious service attendance and the fewest people for whom religion is an important part of their daily lives.


Sports

The Northeast region is home to numerous professional sports franchises in the "Big Four" leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB), with more than 100 championships collectively among them. * New York metropolitan area:
Giants Giant or Giants may refer to: Mythology and religion *Giant **Giants (Greek mythology) **Giants (Norse mythology) **Giants (Welsh folklore) **Giants (esotericism) **Nephilim, a Hebrew term loosely translated as giants in some Bibles Arts, ente ...

Giants
, Jets (NFL),
Yankees The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. Wi ...
, New York Mets, Mets (MLB), New York Knicks, Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Nets (NBA), New York Rangers, Rangers, New York Islanders, Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Devils (NHL) * Philadelphia: Philadelphia Eagles, Eagles (NFL), Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies (MLB), Philadelphia 76ers, 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Flyers, Flyers (NHL) * Boston: New England Patriots, Patriots (NFL), Boston Red Sox, Red Sox (MLB), Boston Celtics, Celtics (NBA), Boston Bruins, Bruins (NHL) * Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers (NFL), Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates (MLB), Pittsburgh Penguins, Penguins (NHL) * Buffalo: Buffalo Bills, Bills (NFL), Buffalo Sabres, Sabres (NHL) Major League Soccer features four Northeastern teams: New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union. The region also has three Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA teams: Connecticut Sun, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. Notable golf tournaments in the Northeastern United States include the Deutsche Bank Championship, The Barclays, and Atlantic City LPGA Classic. The US Open (tennis), US Open, held in New York, is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Notable Northeastern motorsports tracks include Watkins Glen International, Pocono Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Lime Rock Park, which have hosted Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR and International Motor Sports Association races. Also, drag strips such as Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New England Dragway, Epping and Maple Grove Raceway, Reading have hosted NHRA national events. Belmont Park at New York hosts the Belmont Stakes horse races, which is part of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (United States), Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The region has also been noted for the prevalence of the traditionally Northeastern sports of ice hockey and lacrosse.


Health

The rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations in the Northeastern United States fell from 2005 to 2011 for overall conditions, acute conditions, and chronic conditions.


Politics

The Northeastern United States tended to vote Republican Party (United States), Republican in federal elections through the first half of the 20th century, but the region has since the 1990s shifted to become the most Democratic Party (United States), Democratic in the nation. Results from a 2008
Gallup poll Gallup, Inc. is an American analytics and advisory company based in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on t ...
indicated that eight of the top ten Democratic states were located in the region, with every Northeastern state having a Democratic Party affiliation advantage of at least ten points. The following table demonstrates Democratic support in the Northeast as compared to the remainder of the nation. The following table of United States presidential election results since 1920 illustrates that over the past seven presidential elections, only three Northeastern states supported a Republican candidate (New Hampshire voted for George W. Bush in 2000; Pennsylvania and Maine's 2nd congressional district voted for Donald Trump in 2016). 2004 is so far the only election in U.S. history in which the winner did not win any northeastern state. Bolded entries indicate that party's candidate also won the general election. The following table shows the breakdown of party affiliation of governors, attorneys general, state legislative houses and U.S. congressional delegation for the Northeastern states, . (Demographics reflect registration-by-party figures from that state's registered voter statistics.)


See also

* Atlantic Northeast * Jersey Shore * New England–Acadian forests * Northeast Corridor * Northeast megalopolis * Northeastern coastal forests * Rust Belt


Notes


References


External links

* {{Coord, 42, -73, region:US_dim:1000km, display=title Northeastern United States, Demographic history of the United States Census regions of the United States