The U.S. Census Bureau divides the northern United States into two regions – Northeastern and Midwestern – for population census purposes. These two regions have four divisions; New England, Middle Atlantic, East North Central and West North Central. Also, the term “northern states” identifies states that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. Most of the nation's largest cities are in the north, including New York City and Chicago.
The New England division is in the northeastern corner of the United States. This division falls under the nation's Northeastern Region. New England's states are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The largest city in New England is Boston, with a population of 617,594 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. New England is also home to the smallest U.S. state, Rhode Island. This state's total area is 1,214 square miles. Vermont and New Hampshire are home to the Green and White Mountains, respectively.
The Middle Atlantic division of the United States features New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Middle Atlantic division is also in the Northeastern Region. This division includes New York City, the most-populated city in America with more than eight million residents according to the 2010 Census. New York is the largest state in the Middle Atlantic division, with a total area of 54,556 square miles. Pennsylvania is home to Philadelphia and the Poconos Mountains, while New Jersey offers gaming opportunities in Atlantic City and swimming at the Jersey Shore.
East North Central
The East North Central division is in the United States' Midwestern Region. This division's states include Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. East North Central borders four out of five of the Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. The largest city in East North Central is Chicago, which has a population of 2,695,598 residents according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Illinois also the most-populous state in the region with more than 12 million people. East North Central's largest state is Michigan, which boasts approximately 56,800 square miles. Wisconsin and Illinois' western borders meet the Mississippi River, one of the longest rivers in the world.
West North Central
The U.S. Midwestern Region features the West North Central division, which includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. These states are often referred to as the “Farm Belt” due to the division's high amount of agriculture production. Kansas City, Mo., is the most-populous city in the region with a 2010 Census population of 482,299 residents. Also, Missouri has nearly six million residents, making it the most populous state in the division. However, the largest state in the West North Central division in terms of total size is Minnesota at approximately 87,000 square miles. Some West North Central attractions are Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and Kansas' Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge.