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The two dark red states are almost always included, and the three striped states are usually considered part of the Northwestern United States as well.

The Northwestern United States is an informal geographic region of the "United States. The region consistently includes the states of "Oregon, "Washington and "Idaho—and usually "Montana and "Wyoming. Some sources include "Southeast Alaska in the Northwest. The related but distinct term ""Pacific Northwest" generally excludes areas from the Rockies eastward.

The Northwestern United States is a subportion of the "Western United States (which is, itself, even more ambiguous). In contrast, states included in the neighboring regions ("Southwestern United States and "Great Plains) and Utah are not simultaneously considered part of both regions.

Like the southwestern United States, the Northwest definition has moved westward over time. The current area includes the old "Oregon Territory (created in 1848–Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and areas in Montana west of the "Continental Divide).[1] The region is similar to "Federal Region X, which comprises Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

It is home to over 14.2 million citizens. Some of the fastest growing cities in this region and in the nation include Seattle, Spokane, Bellevue, Tacoma, Vancouver, Kennewick, Pasco, Yakima, Portland, Eugene, Salem, Boise, Missoula, and Billings.



As the "United States' westward expansion, the country's "western border also shifted westward, and consequently, so did the location of the Northwestern and "Southwestern United States. In the early years of the United States, "newly colonized lands lying immediately west of the Allegheny Mountains were "detached from Virginia and given the name "Northwest Territory. During the decades that followed, the Northwest Territory covered much of the "Great Lakes region east of the Mississippi River.

Centers of population[edit]

"Seattle, the largest metropolitan area in the Northwest
"Portland, the second largest metropolitan area in the Northwest
"Boise, the third largest metropolitan area in the Northwest

As of 2016, the Northwestern states have a cumulative population of 14,297,316, with "Oregon and "Washington accounting for 77% of the entire five-state region's population. As of 2016, there are 25 "metropolitan statistical areas in the Northwest with populations of 100,000 or more, none of which are in "Wyoming. Since adjacent metropolitan areas often function as one combined agglomeration, the "U.S. Census Bureau additionally defines nine "combined statistical areas across the Northwest, eight of which having populations of 100,000 or more.

Rank Combined or Metropolitan

Statistical Area

State(s) Population


1 "Seattle-"Tacoma "Washington 4,684,516
2 "Portland-"Vancouver-"Salem "Oregon
3 "Boise-"Mountain Home-"Ontario "Idaho
4 "Spokane-"Spokane Valley-"Coeur d'Alene "Washington
5 "Eugene "Oregon 369,519
6 "Medford-"Grants Pass "Oregon 302,431
7 "Kennewick-"Pasco-"Richland "Washington 283,846
8 "Yakima "Washington 249,636
9 "Idaho Falls-"Rexburg-"Blackfoot "Idaho 239,764
10 "Bellingham "Washington 216,800
11 "Bend-"Redmond-"Prineville "Oregon 203,877
12 "Billings "Montana 169,728
13 "Wenatchee "Washington 117,665
14 "Missoula "Montana 116,130
15 "Moses Lake-"Othello "Washington 112,784
16 "Roseburg "Oregon 108,457
17 "Twin Falls "Idaho 106,508
18 "Bozeman "Montana 104,502

The Northwestern states in presidential elections[edit]

Presidential electoral votes in the Northwestern States since 1952
Year Idaho Montana Oregon Washington Wyoming
"1952 "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower
"1956 "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower "Eisenhower
"1960 "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon
"1964 "Johnson "Johnson "Johnson "Johnson "Johnson
"1968 "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon "Humphrey "Nixon
"1972 "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon "Nixon
"1976 "Ford "Ford "Ford "Ford "Ford
"1980 "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan
"1984 "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan "Reagan
"1988 "Bush "Bush "Dukakis "Dukakis "Bush
"1992 "Bush "Clinton "Clinton "Clinton "Bush
"1996 "Dole "Dole "Clinton "Clinton "Dole
"2000 "Bush "Bush "Gore "Gore "Bush
"2004 "Bush "Bush "Kerry "Kerry "Bush
"2008 "McCain "McCain "Obama "Obama "McCain
"2012 "Romney "Romney "Obama "Obama "Romney
"2016 "Trump "Trump "Clinton "Clinton "Trump


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster (1997). Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary. Merriam-Webster. p. 876. "ISBN "978-0-87779-546-9. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

"Coordinates: 46°N 117°W / 46°N 117°W / 46; -117

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