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Northeastern United States facts for kids

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US Northeastern states
The states shown in the two darkest red shades are included in the United States Census Bureau Northeast Region. The Bureau subdivides the Northeast into:      New England      Middle Atlantic States in lighter shades are included in other regional definitions.

The Northeastern United States, or simply the Northeast, is a region defined by the US Census Bureau. It consists of New England, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The border States of Delaware and Maryland and other states are sometimes included in other definitions of the Northeast. Cities in the Northeast include Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.


High Point Monument and Lake Marcia framed
High Point Monument as seen from Lake Marcia at High Point, Sussex County, the highest elevation in New Jersey at 1,803 feet (550 m) above sea level
Sunset on Cape Cod Bay
Cape Cod Bay, a leading tourist destination in Massachusetts
Palisades Sill from Palisades Parkway
The Palisades along the Hudson River, New Jersey
Appalachian Throughway
U.S. Route 220 as it passes through Lamar Township, Pennsylvania


While most of the Northeastern United States lie in the Appalachian Highlands physiographic region, some are also part of the Atlantic coastal plain which extends south to the southern tip of Florida. The coastal plain areas (including Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Long Island in New York, most of New Jersey, Delaware, and the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia) are generally low and flat, with sandy soil and marshy land. The highlands, including the Piedmont and the Appalachian Mountains, are generally heavily forested, ranging from rolling hills to summits greater than 5,000 feet (1,500 m), and pocked with many lakes. The highest peak in the Northeast is Mount Washington (New Hampshire), at 6,288 feet (1,917 m).

Land use

As of 2007, forest-use covered approximately 60% of the Northeastern states (including Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia), about twice the national average. About 12% was cropland and another 4% grassland pasture or range. There is also more urbanized land in the Northeast (11%) than any other region in the U.S.


The climate of the Northeastern United States varies from northernmost Maine to southernmost Maryland. The climate of the region is created by the position of the general west to east flow of weather in the middle latitudes that much of the USA is controlled by and the position and movement of the subtropical highs. Summers are normally warm in northern areas to hot in southern areas. In summer, the building Bermuda High pumps warm and sultry air toward the Northeast, and frequent (but brief) thundershowers are common on hot summer days. In winter the subtropical high retreats southeastward, and the polar jet stream moves south bringing colder air masses from up in Canada and more frequent storm systems to the region. Winter often brings both rain and snow as well as surges of both warm and cold air.

The basic climate of the Northeast can be divided into a colder and snowier interior (Pennsylvania, New York State, and New England), and a milder coast and coastal plain from southern Rhode Island southward, including, New Haven, CT, New York City, Philadelphia, Trenton, Wilmington, Baltimore...etc.). Annual mean temperatures range from the low 50s F from Maryland to southern Connecticut, to the 40s F in most of New York State, New England, and northern Pennsylvania.


The Northeast has 72 National Wildlife Refuges, encompassing more than 500,000 acres (780 sq mi; 2,000 km2) of habitat, and designed to protect some of the 92 different threatened and endangered species living in the region.


Top of Rock Cropped
New York City, the most populous city in the Northeast and all of the United States
Philly skyline
Philadelphia, the second most populous city in the Northeast and the fifth most populated city in the United States
WashMonument WhiteHouse
Washington, D.C., the third most populous city in the Northeast and the capital of the United States
Boston Skyline Over the Charles River
Boston, the most populated city in Massachusetts and New England and the fourth most populated city in the Northeast

As of the July 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the population of the region totaled 55,943,073. With an average of 345.5 people per square mile, the Northeast is 2.5 times as densely populated as the second-most dense region, the South. Since the last century, the U.S. population has been shifting away from the Northeast (and Midwest) toward the South and West.

State 2017 Estimate 2010 Census Change Area Density
Connecticut 3,588,184 3,574,097 &10000000000000000394141+0.39% 4,842.35 sq mi (12,541.6 km2) 741/sq mi (286/km2)
Maine 1,335,907 1,328,361 &10000000000000000568068+0.57% 30,842.90 sq mi (79,882.7 km2) 43/sq mi (17/km2)
Massachusetts 6,859,819 6,547,629 &10000000000000004767985+4.77% 7,800.05 sq mi (20,202.0 km2) 879/sq mi (339/km2)
New Hampshire 1,342,795 1,316,470 &10000000000000001999665+2.00% 8,952.64 sq mi (23,187.2 km2) 150/sq mi (58/km2)
Rhode Island 1,059,639 1,052,567 &10000000000000000671881+0.67% 1,033.81 sq mi (2,677.6 km2) 1,025/sq mi (396/km2)
Vermont 623,657 625,741 Template:Number table sorting/negative−0.33% 9,216.65 sq mi (23,871.0 km2) 68/sq mi (26/km2)
New England 14,810,001 14,444,865 &10000000000000002527791+2.53% 62,688.4 sq mi (162,362 km2) 236/sq mi (91/km2)
New Jersey 9,005,644 8,791,894 &10000000000000002431216+2.43% 7,354.21 sq mi (19,047.3 km2) 1,225/sq mi (473/km2)
New York 19,849,399 19,378,102 &10000000000000002432111+2.43% 47,126.36 sq mi (122,056.7 km2) 421/sq mi (163/km2)
Pennsylvania 12,805,537 12,702,379 &10000000000000000812115+0.81% 44,742.67 sq mi (115,883.0 km2) 286/sq mi (110/km2)
Middle Atlantic 48,674,696 47,543,861 &10000000000000002378508+2.38% 110,879.01 sq mi (287,175.3 km2) 376/sq mi (145/km2)
Total 63,484,697 61,988,726 &10000000000000002413295+2.41% 173,567.41 sq mi (449,537.5 km2) 366/sq mi (141/km2)
Delaware 961,939 897,936 &10000000000000007127790+7.13% 1,948.54 sq mi (5,046.7 km2) 494/sq mi (191/km2)
Maryland 6,052,177 5,773,785 &10000000000000004821655+4.82% 9,707.24 sq mi (25,141.6 km2) 623/sq mi (241/km2)
District of Columbia 693,972 601,767 &10000000000000015322375+15.32% 61.05 sq mi (158.1 km2) 11,367/sq mi (4,389/km2)
Total (Census + DE/MD/DC) 71,192,785 69,262,214 &10000000000000002787336+2.79% 185,284.24 sq mi (479,884.0 km2) 384/sq mi (148/km2)


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversees 34 nuclear reactors, eight for research or testing and 26 for power production in the Northeastern United States.

New York City, considered a global financial center, is in the Northeast.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains 17 federal prisons and two affiliated private facilities in the region.


The following table includes all eight airports categorized by the FAA as large hubs located in the Northeastern states (New England and Eastern regions):

Rank Metro area served Airport
Airport name Largest airline
1 New York JFK John F Kennedy International JetBlue (37%)
2 New York EWR Newark Liberty International United (49%)
3 Philadelphia PHL Philadelphia International American (80%)
4 Boston BOS General Edward Lawrence Logan International JetBlue (29%)
5 New York LGA La Guardia Delta (21%)
6 Baltimore/Washington BWI Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Southwest (65%)
7 Washington IAD Washington Dulles International United (41%)
8 Washington DCA Ronald Reagan Washington National American (50%)


One geographer, Wilbur Zelinsky, asserts that the Northeast region lacks a unified cultural identity, but has served as a "culture hearth" for the rest of the nation. Several much smaller geographical regions within the Northeast have distinct cultural identities.


Almost half of the National Historic Landmarks maintained by the National Park Service are located in the Northeastern United States.

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