DENVER (KDVR) — Is Colorado in the West or Midwest? Ask anyone living in the state, and you will get different answers.
Emerson College Polling and the Middle West Review conducted what they called the “largest-ever study on Midwestern boundaries and identity.” The study surveyed 22 states: those that are traditionally considered to be in the Midwest and surrounding states.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the country is split into four regions known as the Census Regions and Divisions of the United States, the Midwest region is comprised of North Central states along the Great Lakes and plains.
The study found that those living in these states consider themselves as living in the Midwest.
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
This data matches the Census Bureau’s regions except for Wyoming and Oklahoma, which were placed in the West and South, respectively.
So, is Colorado a Western or Midwestern state?
Colorado has always been on the border about what region it belongs to.
According to the Census Bureau, the Centennial State has always been in the West. However, the Emerson College Polling survey challenges that belief.
Per the poll, the Midwest extends further than the conventional boundaries. Of the people polled, 42.1% of Coloradans consider themselves Midwestern.
However, it seems Colorado is split down the middle. A majority of those who live on the Eastern Plains consider themselves Midwestern, while those on the Western Slope are in the West. This would make sense, as those on the plains are closer to the Midwest region.
“It is traditional to use the 100th meridian as a dividing line between the agrarian Midwest and the high plains,” said Jon Lauck, the editor of Middle West Review. “But this data indicates that the Midwest extends farther west toward the Rockies and that few people identify as plainsmen. More than 40% of Coloradoans, mostly on the Eastern slope and closer to the Midwest, consider themselves Midwestern. Over half of Wyomingites do.”
Emerson College Polling surveyed from Oct. 1-4.