East North Central States

East North Central States


The division contains five states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It is one of two divisions used to categorize the region of the U.S. generally called the "Midwest"; the other such division is the West North Central States (The Great Plains States). The region closely matches the area of the Northwest Territory, excepting a portion of Minnesota.

The East North Central division is strongly identified with the Rust Belt, although the latter also encompasses upstate New York and western Pennsylvania. Other alternate names for the division include the Great Lakes Region (although this designation may more usually refer to all states and the Canadian province bordering the Lakes, therefore including New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ontario), and the "North Coast," offered up as a non-pejorative substitute for "Rust Belt" and alluding to the fact that the Great Lakes provide access to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway, or by the New York State Barge Canal and the Hudson River or via the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River and the Illinois Waterway (indeed, Chicago, the division's largest city, is by far the largest fresh-water port in the United States, and one of the largest such ports in the entire world).

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