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Central United States: Map


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The Central United States is sometimes conceived as between the Eastern United Statesmarker and Western United States as part of a three-region model, roughly coincident with the Midwestern United States plus the western and central portions of the Southern United States; the term is also sometimes used more or less as a synonym for the Midwest, omitting all or most of the South.

Somewhat misleadingly, the central states are not in the exact center, but a bit towards the East Coast - states such as Coloradomarker, geographically very close to the center of the continental United States, are almost never considered the central US, while Ohiomarker, a relative stones' throw from the East Coast, is.

4 of 9 Census Bureau Divisions have names containing "Central", though they are not grouped as a region. They include 20 states and 39.45% of the US population as of July 1, 2007.
West North Central States East North Central States
West South Central States East South Central Statesmarker

Almost all of the area of these 20 states is in the Gulf of Mexicomarker drainage basin, and most of that is in the Mississippi Basin. Small areas near the Great Lakesmarker drain into the Great Lakes and eventually the St. Lawrence Rivermarker; the Red River Basin is centered on the North Dakotamarker-Minnesotamarker border and drains to Hudson Baymarker.

The Central Time Zone is the same area plus the Florida Panhandle, minus Ohiomarker, Michiganmarker, most of Indianamarker (seasonal), westernmost fringes of Great Plainsmarker states, eastern and northern Kentuckymarker, eastern Tennesseemarker, and El Pasomarker, Texasmarker.

Central regions defined by organizations

Organizations that need to subdivide the US are free to define a "Central" region to fit their needs.


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