Regions of the U.S.

The United States is divided into five different regions, each home to different states with their own unique characteristics. When moving to the US, it is important to understand the ways in which these five regions differ and what characteristics you are looking for in a place to call your new home. Do you prefer cold or warm weather? Big cities or countryside living? Bustling activity or a slower way of life? Whatever you are seeking from your new locale, you can find it somewhere in the United States. 

The Northeast

The Northeast region is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC. 

The Northeast region of the United States is home to beautiful landscapes, scenic outdoor activities, historical landmarks and museums, bustling nightlife, and delicious cuisine. Though this region is geographically the smallest, it’s big on population diversity. You can find both quieter, rural locations in the Northeast as well as the nation’s largest metropolitan area. With 85% of the region’s population residing in dense, urban areas, the Northeast is the US’s most economically developed, densely populated, and culturally diverse region. Because the Northeast has many urban and rural areas to live in, the lifestyles and values of each area can differ greatly from town to town.

Spanning from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic coastline, the Northeast is home to some incredible environmental diversity. Broad valleys, rolling hills, and serene beaches make the Northeast a popular destination for travelers and new residents alike. This broad geographical region enjoys all four seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Even in the frigid winter months, Northeasterners embrace a lifestyle of hustle and individualism, tending to live a more fast-paced life than those in other parts of the country. 

The Southeast

The Southeast region is made up of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

There’s no place more welcoming than the South. From year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, and infamous Southern hospitality, there is plenty to love about living in the Southeast. In most parts of the Southeast, the beach and the mountains are a short drive away, their miles of untouched coastline home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. This makes weekend getaways and short vacations possible for busy, working residents. Similarly, most of this region enjoys a humid, subtropical climate. While the Southeast faces an occasional wintry mix, the majority of the region experiences a mostly mild winter, making the area even more popular for those who prefer the warmth. 

The Southeast is notorious for its hospitality. Guests are often welcomed with open arms, making it a desirable destination for newcomers. You may find your neighbors spending their time sitting outside on the porch, listening to music, and enjoying a glass of sweet tea. Southerners are big on their food, encompassing diverse food traditions from around the world and growing into a creatively cultivated cuisine that is loved by many today. 

Another major draw of the Southeast is the lower cost of living compared to the rest of the country. This affordability in all aspects of life makes it an attractive place to move, especially for those new to the US. The year-round warmer weather and longer growing seasons create an agricultural hub, which contributes significantly to the local economy. 

The Southwest

The Southwest region is made up of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

The Southwest shares similar characteristics to the Southeast, with Southern hospitality, delicious food, and gorgeous landscapes carrying over throughout both regions. While year-round sunshine is a draw for many, the Southwest is the hottest and driest region in the US; its weather defines the rolling landscape and modern economy. The Southwest region is known for its arid deserts, red rock landscapes, rugged mountains, and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon. The diversity of people who have lived and moved to the Southwest gives it a distinctive culture and history that continues to grow and evolve today.

The Southwestern lifestyle combines the slower way of life associated with the Southeast with an appreciation for the bountiful natural beauty of the area. The abundance of natural landmarks and parks make outdoor recreation and extreme sports popular, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting.

The Midwest

The Midwest region is made up of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

The Midwest has a reputation for friendly people, affordable land, and a relaxed pace of life that differs dramatically from other regions in the US. People have begun to flock to the Midwest because of its affordability and wide, open spaces. Low cost of living is an attractive attribute to many; seven of the states that make up the Midwest make the country’s top ten most affordable states to live in.

Whatever the weather is in the Midwest, it leans toward extremes. Because there are no oceans to regulate temperatures, this region experiences the largest annual variations in temperature in the country. As a result, the summers can be swelteringly hot and the winters outrageously cold. Even so, the agricultural industry dominates the Midwest due to its generally flat topography. This contributes to the slower way of life that is recognized throughout the region, with many residents enjoying a relatively happy and stress-free lifestyle. 

The West

The West region is made up of California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Western region of the United States is one of the most sought-after areas to live in as of late. The area’s geography is incredibly diverse, including coastlines, mountain ranges, volcanoes, fertile valleys, deserts, and even rainforests. Being the largest region in the US, and with such diverse geography throughout, the climate can range drastically even within the same state. For example, states with higher elevations, like Wyoming and Colorado, experience heavy snowfalls that last months, while states like California and Nevada face the highest temperatures in the country. Similarly, many states in the area are susceptible to extreme weather events like tornadoes and earthquakes. Because of the great variety in weather patterns, there is ample opportunity for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, and kayaking. 

The West is home to many of the United States’ most famous tourist attractions, national landmarks, and sought-after areas to live in, making it a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. However, this also makes it one of the most expensive regions in the country to live in, with considerably higher living costs than you would find elsewhere. Nevertheless, quality of life is high overall in this region as residents tend to have a deeper connection with nature and health and take time to enjoy themselves. 

Take Your Nursing Career To The US

As part of our Partnership Program, Global Nurse Partners supports nurses and their families throughout their transition to life in the US and offers guidance every step of the way, including a cultural acclimation program. Learn more about our partnership program here.