When working in or traveling to the United States it is important to know what part of the country you will be dealing with. Each has it’s own customs, stereotypes, and ways of doing things. I will breakdown the general characteristics of the four main regions in United States considering the Census Bureau classification. Keep in mind that within those regions, each state also has it’s own laws, traditions, dialect, and demographics.Regions in United States
Regions in United States
The West (Coast)
It consists of California, Oregon, Washington, and to lesser extend Alaska and Hawaii. The West in general also includes, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This region is a very affluent region, which includes business capitals such as San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. It is characterized as being socially and politically liberal, democratic, and well educated. Political correctness, equality, and human rights and especially important here, especially in the very liberal cities like Portland and San Francisco. The non-coastal states are somewhat more conservative. These states are also much more casual in attire, both socially and professionally, and tend to speak slower. Outdoor activities are abundant and sports and health are very important. Emphasis on healthy lifestyles and eating is popular. Focus on modernity, innovation, and technology. Temperatures are temperate with less snow and more moderate weather.
The East Coast
The East Coast includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. These states are also known as New England, as they are the first states developed by immigrants from England. It includes business epicenters such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Hartford. Generally, the East coast is moderate to liberal socially and politically, although not always as liberal as the West Coast, well educated, and affluent. The East Coast is much faster paced, business runs faster and people speak faster. Attire is much more formal, the most in the country, and on trend. Architecture and traditions are much older and focus is more on cultural activities. Weather is extremely cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer.
The Midwestern sates are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Midwest is generally more conservative socially and politically, less educated, and less affluent. Except for Illinois, in which Chicago is a major economic city. Midwesterners speak with a district accent. Agriculture is a major industry and the landscape is flat and open allowing for extensive farmlands. There are more small towns. It is cold in the winter with lots of snow and hot in the summer.
It includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and West Virginia. The largest cities are Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and New Orleans. The South is by far the most conservative region in the United States and also the most religious. A popular name for this region is also the ‘bible belt’ because of the number of churches and the important of religion in all aspects of society. The religion is Christianity, mostly Baptist and Presbyterian. The South has the strongest accents of the regions, and has a particular culture in terms of traditions, food, and manners. Southerners are considered to be extremely polite and friendly, something known as ‘southern charm’. However, the dark history of the South and its loss in the civil war against the North to keep slavery has unfortunate lasting residue.
Enjoy your travels or business in the US. Each region has great people, food, customs, and natural beauty to explore!
*Map: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1350986