Northwestern United States

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The dark red states 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
Boise, the third largest metropolitan area in the Northwest

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 U.S. region (which is, itself, even more ambiguous). In contrast, states included in the neighboring regions and Utah Southwestern U.S. and Great Plains are not simultaneously considered part of both regions.

Like the southwestern United States, the Northwest definition has moved westward over time. The 19th century Northwest (usually termed the "Old Northwest") comprised the Northwest Territory and gradually migrated across the Midwest to its current definition. 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.[dubious ] 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.


Together, these states have a combined population of 14,273,965. The largest cities and metropolitan areas in the Northwest are:

Rank City State Population Metro Population
1 Seattle Washington 608,660 3,439,809
2 Portland Oregon 583,776 2,226,009
3 Spokane Washington 208,916 535,724
4 Boise Idaho 205,671 616,561
5 Tacoma Washington 198,397 3,439,809
6 Vancouver Washington 161,791 2,226,009
7 Eugene Oregon 156,185 351,715
8 Salem Oregon 154,637 390,738
9 Bellevue Washington 122,363 3,439,809
10 Gresham Oregon 105,594 2,226,009

The Northwestern states in presidential elections

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


  1. Merriam-Webster (1997). Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary. Merriam-Webster. p. 876. ISBN 978-0-87779-546-9. Retrieved 30 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Lavender, David. Land of Giants: The Drive to the Pacific Northwest, 1750- 1950 (1958) online
  • Schwantes, Carlos. The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History (1996) online
  • Warren, Sidney. Farthest Frontier: The Pacific Northwest (1949) online
  • Winther, Oscar Osburn. The great northwest: a history (Greenwood Press, 1981)

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