Northeastern United States (sometimes called
simply the Northeast) is a region of the United States. According to the definition used by the
United States Census
Bureau, the Northeast region consists of nine states: the
England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode
Island and Connecticut; and the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Major cities in this area include New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo.
coastal corridors of Delaware and Maryland (including Baltimore) are included in the Northeast megalopolis, and are
economically very similar to the CB defined Northeast states, but
the Census Bureau classifies the states as part of the South Atlantic region, part of the
States. Other organizations, such as the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, United States Department of
Energy, and United States Fish and
Wildlife Service consider Delaware, Maryland, and usually
D.C. to be part of the Northeast.
Map of Northeastern United States;
regional definitions vary
The Northeast is the wealthiest region of the United States; New
Jersey and Connecticut have the highest median incomes in the
country after Maryland, while Massachusetts is ranked fifth.
Pennsylvania also ranks high in per capita income. With Chester
County coming in on the list of wealthiest counties. It also
accounts for approximately 25% of U.S. gross domestic product as of
2007. All eight Ivy League
located in the Northeast. New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
Massachusetts rank in the top 15 states in terms of
The Northeast is the smallest in area of the four Census
Bureau-defined regions of the US. The region's landscape varies from the
rocky coast of New
England to the fertile farmland of the Ohio River Valley behind the Allegheny Front in Pennsylvania.
Shoals near the Maine/New Hampshire border begin the rocky Atlantic coastline of the
Northeast. Jagged cliffs rise up to a hundred feet above
the ocean on Maine's northern coast; south of West Quoddy
Head Peninsula in Maine, the easternmost point in the
United States, the coastline subsides to sandy beaches which extend
through the rest of the Northeast's Atlantic
Four major rivers' mouths
coastline to empty into the Atlantic: the Delaware
at the New Jersey/Delaware border,
at the New York/New Jersey
border, the Connecticut
Connecticut, and the Kennebec
Kennebec River extends over sixty miles from the thick pine forests
of Maine past Augusta,
Maine to the Atlantic. Two of the Great Lakes, Lake
Ontario and Lake Erie, also border the region.
Connecticut River flows south, running along the border of New
Hampshire and Vermont between the Green Mountains and White
Mountains, before flowing through Springfield,
Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, on its way to empty into Long Island
Sound. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire is
Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in the Northeast and the
windiest location in the United States. The White Mountains
were also the location of the geological formation called the
Old Man of
the Mountain, which collapsed in 2003. To the west of the
Green Mountains on the New York/Vermont border, and extending into
Canada, is the glacier-formed Lake
Vermont's largest city Burlington is located. The Lake Champlain area drains north into
Lawrence river valley.
Hudson rises in the Adirondack
Mountains in Upstate New York,
passes between the
Berkshires and the
Catskill Mountains, then empties
into New York Harbor in the New York
metropolitan area. The Mohawk River
flows eastward from its source near Utica, New York between the Catskills and the Adirondacks before
merging with the Hudson north of Albany.
Delaware River flows from its source between the Pocono Mountains and the Catskills down, forming
the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and passing through
the Lehigh Valley, Trenton, and Philadelphia areas before emptying into Delaware Bay on the Delaware/New Jersey Border.
Susquehanna River begins in
New York and winds down a valley between the Allegheny Plateau and the Pocono Mountains
in Pennsylvania before crossing the border into Maryland, and
emptying into the Chesapeake
North and West of the Susquehanna are the Finger Lakes of New York, so called because they resemble human
fingers, and the Northeast's borders with the Great
Lakes of Lake
Ontario in New York and Lake Erie in both Pennsylvania and New York.
isthmus between the two Great Lakes on the New York/Ontario border near Buffalo is Niagara
Falls. The St. Lawrence River flows northeast out of Lake Ontario alongside
northern New York and then through Canada to the Atlantic
South, flowing out of the Allegheny Plateau to the southwest is the
Ohio River, formed by the confluence of
the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburgh.
It flows west and becomes the border
between Upper South
states such as
Kentucky and Midwestern states such as Ohio, then merges with the
Despite being geographically one of the smallest regions of the
United States, the northeastern states possess a wide range of
climates. Rainfall varies from over annually in some
coastal areas, to in the western part of Pennsylvania and New
Snowfall can range from over per year in
Upstate New York
to only trace
amounts in the coastal areas of southern New Jersey.
Generally, northern New England, the parts
of New York north of the Mohawk River,
highland areas in the Appalachians and some coastal areas possess a warm summer
humid continental climate
classification Dfb), with warm, humid summers and
snowy, often bitterly cold winters. Cities in this zone
NY; Burlington, VT; and Portland,
Portland's winters are softened because it
is on the coast.
Below this line, much of the region (except for the higher
elevations) has a hot summer humid continental climate
), with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.
Much of New England and the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic
States have this climate. Boston,
CT and Pittsburgh, PA have this climate. Portions of extreme
southern New York
State including New York City, southern New Jersey, extreme southeastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia,
PA, and southwestern Connecticut have a humid subtropical climate (Koppen
Cfa), with hot, humid summers and more mild
The Census Bureau classifies Delaware and Maryland as part of the
South Atlantic region, part of the South
Southern United States
had a colonial immigrant history associated with the Chesapeake Bay
Colony, similar economy for
years, and more extensive slavery
contributed to a different culture and demographic pattern for
centuries from that of most of the Northeast. Between the American Revolution
and the eve of the
, however, because of changing
agricultural needs, Delaware freed most of its slaves, and close to
half the blacks in Maryland were also free by 1860.
New England is perhaps the best-defined region of the U.S., with
more uniformity and more of a shared heritage than other regions of
the country. New England has played a dominant role in American
history. From the late 17th century to the mid to late 18th
century, New England was the nation's cultural leader in political,
educational, cultural and intellectual thought. During this time,
it was the country's economic center.
earliest European settlers of New England were English Protestants who came
in search of religious liberty.
They gave the region its
distinctive political format — town
(an outgrowth of meetings held by church elders), in
which citizens gathered to discuss issues of the day. Town meetings
still function in many New England communities today and have been
revived as a form of dialogue in the national political
of the region's strongest legacies. The cluster of top-ranking universities
and colleges in New England—including four of the eight schools of
the Ivy League, as well as MIT, NESCAC schools, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Brandeis University, Tufts
University, and numerous other elite colleges and
universities—is unequaled by any other region. America's first
college, Harvard, was founded at Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636, its third, Yale in
Connecticut in 1701, and Brown University, the nation's seventh oldest and third oldest in
New England, is located in Providence, Rhode Island.
Many of the graduates from these
schools end up settling in the region after school, providing the
area with a well-educated populace and its most valuable resource,
as the area is relatively lacking in natural resources other than
"ice, rocks, and fish".Soon after many descendants of original New
England settlers migrated westward in search of land, new waves of
immigrants from Canada, Ireland, Italy, and
eastern Europe moved into the region
to take industrial jobs.
Many of their descendants became
educated and joined the middle classes. Despite a changing
population, New England has maintained a distinct cultural
identity. As a whole, the area of New England has tended to be
liberal in its politics. It is has been strongly supportive of
education and community-building.
Certain architecture and sights have come to stand as New England
icons: the simple woodframe houses and white church steeples that
are features of many small towns, and lighthouses that dot the
Atlantic coast. New England is well known for its mercurial
weather, its crisp chill, and vibrantly colored foliage in autumn.
In colonial times, the colder weather killed off germs and gave the
region a healthier environment than that of the Chesapeake Bay
Colony, where settlers suffered from summer illnesses and mortality
was much higher. The region is a popular tourist destination.
These areas provided the young United States with heavy industry
and served as the "melting pot" of new immigrants
from Europe. Cities grew along major
shipping routes and waterways. Such flourishing cities included
Philadelphia on the Delaware River and New York City on the Hudson
Dutch immigrants moved into the lower Hudson River Valley
in what is now New Jersey and New York State.
sect, the Friends (Quakers
), settled Pennsylvania. In time, all these
settlements came under English control. With the great shipping
ports of Philadelphia and, later, New York City, the region
continued to be a magnet for business, industry, and peoples of
Early settlers were mostly farmers and traders, and the region
served as a bridge between North and South. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania midway between the northern and southern colonies,
was the site of the Continental
Congress, the convention of delegates from the original
colonies that organized the American
The same city was the birthplace of the
in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution
The Mid-Atlantic, with two of America's largest cities, New York
City and Philadelphia, has been an industrial powerhouse and major
center for international trade. With New York as the center of
finance, it continues as important economically. A major center of
finance, pharmaceutical industry, technology, universities
(including four of the eight Ivy League
universities), business, media, education, the arts, and cuisine,
the area is one of America's most prominent regions. Many
immigrants are attracted to the region. New York, Pennsylvania, and
New Jersey are rich in immigrant culture. Still rich in cultures
influenced by European heritage, the region has recently attracted
more Asian and Hispanic immigrants. African immigrants also have
many centers in urban and suburban areas.
Language, ethnicity, and religion
Culturally, the Northeast is somewhat different from the rest of
the United States. In contrast to the South which has been
, since the 19th
century, the Northeast has developed into a region with a high
percentage of Catholics in seven of nine states. Each Northeastern
state has a plurality of Catholics, with Rhode Island having the highest percentage of Catholics in the United
States at 63%. This is chiefly due to substantial
immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Hungary, southern France, Quebec, Puerto Rico and Latin
The Northeast states contain the highest
concentration of Irish Americans
In 2008, the number of self-identified Catholics in the Northeast
was 36%, down from 43% in 1990.
The Northeast is home to many other religious groups. For example, New York, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania have the highest percentage of Jewish Americans in the nation, descended
from late 19th and early 20th century immigrants from Germany and eastern
Their tradition of social activism and education
has strongly contributed to the region's leadership. Connecticut and Massachusetts also have a significant percentage of Jewish Americans relative to most other U.S.
The Northeast contains the greatest accent
diversity in the country,
The Northeast is an ethnically diverse region, with numerous
, Hispanic Americans
, and Asian Americans
, though it has generally low
numbers of Native
. The high level of diversity has much to do
with the magnet of New York
City, which was and still is an entry point for many
The other major cities of the region have
significant ethnic diversity as well. The three largest
cities in the Census-defined Northeast: (New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston) have the
same four largest ethnic groups: African American, Italian, Irish, and Puerto Rican.
the Northeast. Many Northeasterners frequently identify with their
ethnic heritage more strongly than do U.S.-born whites from other
U.S. regions, particularly the Deep
. The Northeast has a high percentage of people of
, and French
The Northeast has the second largest Asian-American
population in the nation,
after the West
. Numerous groups are of Indian
, and Cambodian
The Northeast has the third largest Hispanic-American
population, after the
. Unlike the West,
Northeast Hispanics are chiefly of Puerto Rican
descent. They live mostly in
the states of New
York, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. In 2006, the population of Lawrence,
Massachusetts, a city of approximately 70,000 people, was
estimated to be 72.3% of Latino descent, chiefly those Dominican or
Puerto Rican ancestry.
The Northeast has the most people in
the nation of "Other Hispanic" descent: the majority of Dominican
, Central American, and Colombian
descent. The Northeast has the
second-largest population of Cuban
outside of the South. They are dispersed through the
region, but many originally immigrated through New York. Hudson County
, New Jersey has the largest
South Florida.While the Northeast has one of the smallest
populations of Mexican Americans
the number of immigrants are increasing at a rate faster than that
of any region in the country. Many cities and towns have
significant populations of Hispanic-Americans
, attracted to jobs in
The Northeast also has the largest population of African-Americans
outside the South.
the African American population
resides in New
York, Pennsylvania, or New
Jersey. New York has more African Americans than any other state;
Pennsylvania is ranked tenth in number of African Americans; and
Jersey is ranked fifteenth. Massachusetts and Connecticut also have large black populations.
ancestors of most of the current populations moved north in the
Great Migration of the early decades of the 20th century, seeking
jobs and opportunities in the rapidly industrializing cities, as
well as the chance to escape the segregation and disfranchisement
of the South.
Northeast also contains most of the more recent African and West Indian immigrants. The largest neighborhood in Boston,
Dorchester, has a surging Cape Verdean-American
population. Dorchester, along with Brockton, Fall River and New Bedford in Southeastern Massachusetts, is
the capital of the Cape Verde Diaspora. Rhode Island has the highest percentage of Cape Verdeans in the
nation; Massachusetts has the highest population and second highest
percentage of Cape Verdeans.
The Northeast has the largest concentration and percentage of
in the nation.
most notable in the areas of Philadelphia, New York
City, and southern New England.
The region also
has the highest number of Hindus
in the nation, with slight more than
the West. The Northeast has more people of Indian descent
than any other part of the country, and it has the highest
population in the world outside India.
The region is also home to many residents who are Muslim
faiths. Due to increased immigration from eastern European nations
in the last three decades, the region has the highest number of
Eastern Orthodox Christians
in the nation.
much of the region is highly diverse, the Northeast also contains
the three states with the highest percentage of European Americans: Maine (96.9%
white), Vermont (96.9%), and
Most are descendants of colonial and 19th century
immigrants from the British Isles and Europe; these three states
also have high concentrations of French
The Northeast has from colonial times had a strong fishing and
The result has been a developed seafood sector with two centuries
of experience. Maine's lobster
shipped around the nation. Boston, one of the
oldest seaports in America, makes what the locals consider clam chowder in the United States.
New England is also offers fried and
. Many restaurants around the
Chesapeake Bay boast crab cakes made from locally caught blue crab
Philadelphia's large immigrant population has contributed to a
large mixture of tastes to mingle and develop.
This city is
known for its soft pretzels
, and hoagies, but also has many
fine Italian and continental restaurants, supplemented by more
recent Vietnamese and Cambodian restaurants founded by 20th c.
immigrants. From an earlier period, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are
also known for their citizens' traditionally enthusiastic
consumption of scrapple
, a breakfast food
mostly unknown outside of the region. Philadelphia has also been
ranked as one the top restaurant cities in the U.S.
Urban, suburban, and rural
The entire population of the northeastern United States is
estimated at 54,680,626. Much of the history of the Northeast is
characterized by archetypical medium and large manufacturing
cities. The sometimes urban character of the region gives it a
strange mix of reputations, and many view Northeastern cities as
places of economic opportunity. In major Northeastern cities,
ethnic enclaves are common. Most of the cities have large, and at
times, provocative, artistic
Older religious and ethnic factionalism have become relatively
minor concerns. At the same time, the major cities are expensive
and have large economic disparities, often giving them a reputation
of being impersonal and aloof.
The deindustrialization of the mid to late 20th century caused
major job losses in the Northeast. Notable examples of cities left damaged
and often severely depopulated from loss of manufacturing include
Yonkers, Utica, Buffalo, Syracuse, and even parts of New York City in New York state; Newark, Trenton and Paterson in New Jersey; Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester and Springfield in Massachusetts; Hartford and Bridgeport in Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Scranton, Allentown, Reading and Harrisburg in Pennsylvania; and Providence in Rhode Island.
However, examples dot
the entire region and much of the neighboring region of the
Some of these cities, though, have enjoyed revivals in the last
generation, replacing their economic reliance on manufacturing with
job development in the medical, technical and educational
industries. Pittsburgh, for example, now counts 23% of its workforce in
blue collar occupations, according to a 2005 report from the
Bureau of Labor
The last of the city's steel mills closed in
Though it generally is seen as having a very urban
character, at least in its most populated
areas, the Northeast was one of the first regions to undergo heavy
post-World War II suburbanization
. The most notable of
these early suburbs was Levittown in the Long Island region of New York, east of New York City; Levittown is often regarded as the archetype of
the "cookie-cutter" suburb.
Since its early years, however,
successions of owners have added to and altered their houses to
introduce considerable variation. New Jersey also has suburban sprawl
and some urban decay
. It does have the region's lowest
murder rate in the United States.
Today, suburbanization is a rampant trend in United States housing
development outside of the Northeast, driven by widespread use of
and de-emphasis on
and commuter railroads
as popular forms of
transportation. Nonetheless, the iconic New York subway system is widely used, as is the
PATH system connecting Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Manhattan. The New York metropolitan area's Long Island Rail
Road, Metro-North Railroad,
and New Jersey Transit commuter rail are the
three largest regional rail systems in the country and together
transport about one-third of commuters who use rail transportation
in the United States each day.
Many of the major and secondary cities in the region also utilize
mass transit. Systems that provide both rail and bus service
include Boston's Massachusetts Bay
(MBTA), Buffalo's Niagara Frontier
(NFTA), Philadelphia's SEPTA
Authority of Allegheny County
(PAT). Many other smaller cities
have smaller, bus-only systems. In Pennsylvania, new commuter rail projects, such as CorridorOne, are being undertaken to expand
service between Harrisburg and Lancaster.
Three states - Connecticut, New Jersey, and
Rhode Island - have public transit providers that cover much or all
of their respective states.
||State(s) and/or Territory
||July 1, 2007
||CT, NJ, NY, PA
||DE, MD, NJ, PA
||State(s) and/or Territory
||July 1, 2007
The Northeast as a megalopolis
Today, the coastal Northeast is said to resemble a megalopolis
, or megacity, an interdependent network
of cities and suburbs that blend into each other. Economically, the
region provides many of the financial and government services the
rest of the country and much of the world depends on, from New
Street to Boston's academia
to Washington's K Street
lobbying firms. It is linked largely by the I-95 Interstate, which runs from
Virginia, around Washington, D.C., through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and up to Boston and into Maine.
rail, the cities are linked by Amtrak
. Suburbs of Boston as
far north as New
Hampshire and even
Maine, as well as Washington's suburbs in Northern Virginia are all part of the
Political scientists Ruy Teixeira
John B. Judis
argue that city and suburbs in the
northeast and in other regions of the country are moving towards a
state of economic and cultural seamlessness. Teixeira and Judis use
the increasingly similar voting and demographic patterns of city
and suburbs to make their argument. It is also evidenced in
increasing population density and tightly linked infrastructure.
Along New Jersey's Gold
, the area across the Hudson
from New York City, population density has become so
great that the state built the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
decrease traffic congestion. This system complements the PATH
system, New Jersey Transit commuter bus and rail service, a complex
highway transportation system, and Port Authority Airports.
expansion of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail may go to Staten
Island in New York City to the south, and throughout
County to the north.
Similarly, since the 19th
century both Boston's and Philadelphia's have connected their
cities with surrounding suburbs by rail and bus. Further, much of
the Northeast region is heavily linked by state-run commuter trains
Despite the heavy urban/suburban characteristics of the coastal
region, many rural areas survive. Much of Upstate New York, and even parts of
Westchester County closer to New York City, have decidedly rural
characteristics. The Pine Barrens and the part of northwestern New Jersey known as
the Skylands are known as retreats from the urban areas of the
In fact, New Jersey is more rural than most
people realize despite its stereotype of urban and suburban sprawl.
Both Long Island and western New York have well-known
wine-producing regions. New York is a heavily agricultural state.
York City's boroughs of Queens and Staten
Island had farm production well into the late 20th
century. Small towns and cities dot western
Massachusetts' Berkshire region, as well as Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
While formerly important rural industries like farming and mining
have decreased in importance in recent decades, they persist.
Artisan dairy and cheese producers and organic farmers are becoming
more important in upstate New York and New England, where they are
building relationships with major universities and urban farmers'
markets. Pennsylvania also emphasizes programs for farmers' markets
and community-supported agriculture in the "Buy Fresh; Buy Local"
Until World War II, the Northeast's economy was largely driven by
industry. In the second half of the 20th century, most of New
England's traditional industries have relocated to states or
foreign countries where goods can be made more cheaply. In more
than a few factory towns, skilled workers have been left without
jobs. The gap has been partly filled by the microelectronics,
computer and biotech industries, fed by talent from the region's
prestigious educational institutions.
Like New England, the Mid-Atlantic region has seen much of its
heavy industry relocate elsewhere. Other industries, such as drug
manufacturing and communications, have taken up the slack.
economy of the New York
City sub-regions is more complex; its fortunes are
heavily (but far from completely) dependent on the financial
industry and the stock market.
As the service sector
dependent on heavy labor than the formerly dominant industrial sector
, the incentives
unskilled immigrants and unskilled laborers once had to move to the
Northeast have diminished. They lack the skills to compete in, for
example, the financial, technical, educational, and medical
markets. However, the Northeast remains a magnet for skilled
workers from around the world.
The Northeast area is the wealthiest region of the country.
East Side of the New York
City borough of Manhattan hosts the largest concentration of individual
wealth in the world.
Connecticut and New Jersey are the
wealthiest states in the union in terms of both per capita and
household income. Also, in history, the Northeast was always known
for its trading because of its location on the Atlantic Ocean, and
its abundance of harbors.
In December 2008, sales of existing homes dropped 10% from the
preceding year. The median home price fell 8% to $268,200.
The northeast led the nation in nursing home costs in 2009. A
private room in Connecticut averaged $125,925 annually. A
one-bedroom in an assisted living facility averaged $55,137 in
Massachusetts. Both are national highs.
The Northeast region has been known recently for its political
. For example, every state in
the region had a majority vote for John
in the 2004 election
in the 2008 election
However, both Pennsylvania and New Hampshire were considered
"battleground states" in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential
elections, meaning that they were seen as winnable by both
political parties. New Hampshire did vote Republican in 2000, as
George W. Bush
won the state by a close one percentage
point. Pennsylvania voted for Al Gore
2000 by a 51-47% margin. In 2004, both New Hampshire and
Pennsylvania gave Democratic candidate John
a 51-49% victory. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama
easily carried both states; he won
Pennsylvania with 55% and New Hampshire with 54% of the vote. In
addition to the region's increasing loyalty to the Democratic Party
at the presidential level, the region is also increasingly
Democratic at the state and congressional levels as well. After the
2008 congressional elections, the Republicans do not hold a single
congressional seat from the six-state New England region. Of the
twelve U.S. Senators from New England, three are Republicans.
Colonial to 1960s
The Northeast was a Federalist
Whig and Republican
from 1800 to the late 19th century.
During the early 19th century, the Republicans appealed to the
Northeast by advocating public education, freedom of movement,
entrepreneurial solutions, and open markets. They tried to
encourage industrialization and endorsed the concept that laborers
have the right to sell their labor in exchange for wages. In part
because the North developed a different labor market, its residents
were able to abolish slavery locally with little economic impact,
although its wealth had been built on trading, shipping and
manufacturing linked directly to the slave economy.
Abolitionists became active in the Northeast. Republicans generally
opposed labor unions
. Greater New England voted Republican in
Presidential elections from 1856 until the 1960s. The 60s marked
major cultural and political realignments across the nation. The
Republican regional identification was even stronger at the
From the American Civil War
the Great Depression
and Midwestern Republicans and allied business interests tended to
dominate American politics. The wealth and power of the Northeast
during this period generated animosity in regions of the country
with more agrarian
interests, in part
because of Republican domination.
Most immigrants and working class residents of major cities were
organized by, and therefore more likely to support the rival
Then often became linked to powerful political machines
that dished out
patronage. The Tammany
Hall machine in New
York City continued
its dominance into the 1960s.
Immigration to Northeastern
cities rapidly pushed the population of the region upwards from the
1790s until World War II
. However, it
was not until the 1920s and 1930s that ethnic voters became more
important to the Democratic Party in the north. The Democratic
Party often won the support of immigrants through aid and political
In the 20th century, there were major demographic changes from two
waves of the Great Migration of African Americans, from 1910-1970
overall. In multiple acts of passive resistance, African Americans
fled the lynchings, segregation and disfranchisement of the South
to move to northern and midwestern
for new industrial jobs and better opportunities for
education. During this period, half the African-American population
went from being rural to becoming urbanized. They joined and
greatly expanded black populations that had increased after the
Civil War in cities like New York and Boston, and also migrated to
such cities as Philadelphia, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Hartford,
New Haven and Pittsburgh. In the 1920s New York's Harlem became a
center of black intellectual and artistic life for the nation. A
total of seven million blacks migrated to the North, Midwest, and
West, especially to California. From the administration of FDR
during the Great Depression on, many African Americans became
Democrats. Before that they had been allied with the Republicans,
the party of Lincoln.
1960s to present
When the Democrats began softening their economic policies in the
early 1990s, suburban northeastern voters responded favorably and
became more supportive of them. On the federal level, sufficient
northeastern voters abandoned the Republican Party, resulting in
Democratic victories. Even though the local Republican Party in
much of the Northeast tends to be more socially liberal than in
other regions of the country.
Since the late 20th century, the region's politics have been
largely explained v by a strong coalition of demographics
predominant in the North that are overwhelmingly Democratic.
groups include the majority Catholic
population with a significant urban, Democratic legacy (this would
apply to the Jewish population as well),
artists, educators, and intellectuals of New York City, Boston, New
Haven, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and Ivy League
university towns; the large minority populations of those same
cities; a large socially conservative but economically liberal
blue-collar population throughout the
region; and the often socially liberal suburbanites of New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
Pro-business policies espoused by the
national Democratic Party since the election of Bill Clinton
in 1992 have drawn many
upper-class white professionals into the Democratic fold who would
have been Republicans as late as the 1980s.
This also continues its contrast and rivalry with the more
, where a majority of
white conservatives have supported national Republican candidates
in recent decades. Within the Northeast, there are significant
political and demographic differences between the cities and the
suburbs that surround them, with even more differences from the
more thinly populated outlying areas. This is particularly
prominent in Philadelphia, and New York City (which even has a secession movement).
must compete with the suburbs and rural areas for state
However, because of the increasing integration of the Northeast megalopolis
the more centrist Democratic Leadership
's appeal to free trade advocates, ideological
differences have softened between city and suburb in recent
decades, strengthening the Democratic Party overall. Residents of
first-tier suburbs have begun facing changes once regarded as
uniquely urban, such as gangs, urban crowding, and drug abuse,
while becoming increasingly ethnically diverse. In addition, they
often found that unbroken Republican Party leadership resulted in
corruption and poor practices, as in Nassau County on Long Island.
Both Nassau County and Suffolk County have elected Democratic
County Executives in recent years.
Post-war migration patterns weakened the Northeast's power
considerably. Industry often relocated to the West Coast
and South since
land was less expensive, the areas were less crowded, and they were
little unionized. By the 1970s, California had surpassed New York as the most populous state, and by 1994 Texas had pushed New York to third place.
City remains by far the largest city in the United
States and a large recipient of immigrants, most immigration now
goes elsewhere. Secondary cities in the northeast region,
such as Buffalo, never regained their economic foothold after the
decline of industry.
Larger cities such as New York, Boston,
and Philadelphia have developed service and knowledge industry
In 2007 the population was approximately 50 million, compared to
434,373 in 1790.
- US Regional Divisions, accessed 16 Apr 2008
- Income 2006 - Two-Year-Average Median Household
Income by State: 2001-2006
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State
- Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877, New York:
Hill and Wang, Paperback, 1994, p.82
- Murder Rates 1996 - 2006
New Jersey Skylands Guide
- David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways
in America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989,
- David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways
in America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989,
paperback, 1991, pp.856-880