What exactly is the Midwest?

Real people, with real jobs are spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out the answer to this vague yet seemingly simple question.

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Okay...there's a relatively easy way to find out the real answer, and that is by just straight up Googling "what is the Midwest?"

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the official definition for the region we call home is;

"Midwest, also called Middle West or North Central Statesregion, northern and central United States, lying midway between the Appalachians and Rocky Mountains and north of the Ohio River and the 37th parallel."

And the United States Federal government defines the Midwest as the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

While we have a somewhat concrete definition for where the Midwest is, the Washington Post went on a bit of a hunt to define WHAT it is.

And apparently this entire line of questioning sprung from a frustration with Airbnb. The journalist claims that when he initially was looking for a place to stay in Nebraska, all of the Airbnb's vaguely all alluded to some sort of "Midwestern charm."

Turns out, after compiling data and analyzing about 500,000 Airbnb listings and description, the Washington Post discovered which state is "the most Midwest."

Again this is all according to some sort of science...

Iowa was determined to be the most Midwestern state in the country. They determined this by finding that Iowa has the most shared Airbnb listings that mention Midwest.

Another interesting find is that Walleye and Heartland are "the most Midwestern things on the planet."

Read more about this study here.

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