Northwestern United States

Northwestern United States
Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are almost always included, while the striped states are usually considered part of the Northwestern United States as well.
Seattle, the largest metropolitan area in the Northwest.
Portland, the second largest metropolitan area in the Northwest.
Spokane, the third largest metropolitan area in the Northwest.

The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included. News stories and weather reports for Alaskan cities are often included on the regional news network Northwest Cable News. The term "Northwestern United States" does not connote a formal geographic or geopolitical region.

"The Northwest" is home to over 13 million citizens, and is usually called the "Pacific Northwest" (abbreviated PNW or PacNW) by people in the United States. This term is often used to mean Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Internationally, however, this term includes parts of Canada — see Pacific Northwest.

Like the southwestern United States, the idea of what the Northwest comprised was pushed farther west over time. The original Northwest (usually termed the "Old Northwest") comprised the Northwest Territory and gradually pushed across the Midwest to its current definition. The current area can generally be understood to include the old Oregon Territory (created in 1848 – Oregon, Washington, Idaho and areas in Montana west of the Continental Divide).[1]

Some of the fastest growing cities in this region and in the nation include Seattle, Bellevue, Vancouver (WA), Kennewick, Pasco, and Yakima, Washington, and Boise, Idaho.


Together, these states have a combined population of 13,654,456. The largest cities and metropolitan areas in the Northwest are:

Rank City State Population Metro Population
1 Seattle Washington &10000000000608660000000608,660 &100000000034398090000003,439,809
2 Portland Oregon &10000000000583776000000583,776 &100000000022260090000002,226,009
3 Boise Idaho &10000000000205671000000205,671 &10000000000616561000000616,561
4 Spokane Washington &10000000000208916000000208,916 &10000000000471221000000471,221
5 Tacoma Washington &10000000000198397000000198,397 &100000000034398090000003,439,809
6 Vancouver Washington &10000000000161791000000161,791 &100000000022260090000002,226,009
7 Eugene Oregon &10000000000156185000000156,185 &10000000000351715000000351,715
8 Salem Oregon &10000000000154637000000154,637 &10000000000390738000000390,738
9 Bellevue Washington &10000000000122363000000122,363 &100000000034398090000003,439,809
10 Billings Montana &10000000000104170000000104,170 &10000000000158050000000158,050


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster (1997). Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary. Merriam-Webster. p. 876. ISBN 9780877795469. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 

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

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