The Midwestern United States, also known as the American Midwest or the Midwest, is among the four geographic regions of the country. The region comprises 12 American states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The Midwest is divided into two divisions by the Census Bureau: East North Central Division and West North Central Division. ENC division is composed of five states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, which are also included in the Great Lakes region. Remaining seven states—Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—come under WNC division. Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota lie within the Great Plains region of the country.
Michigan is the largest Midwestern state by area and Indiana is the smallest state. In terms of population, Illinois is the most populous and North Dakota the least. Chicago is the most populated city in the Midwest and the third most populous in the US. Chicago metropolitan area is considered the economic and financial heartbeat of the region. Indianapolis, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Omaha, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Wichita, and St. Louis are other large cities in the Midwest.
Economically, the region relies on heavy industry and agriculture; in fact, it is famously known as “Agricultural Heartland.” Geographically, the landscape is low, flat to rolling terrain of the Interior Plains. The eastern Midwest near the Appalachian foothills, the Great Lakes Basin, the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri, the Driftless Area of northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin & Minnesota are major physical features in the Midwestern US. From east to west, the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River, and the Missouri River are major rivers in the region.