Why do 42% of Coloradans think they live in the Midwest? Or 31% of Kentuckians? The Middle West Review, a history and literature magazine, recently hired Emerson College Polling to ask 11,000 people in 22 states: “Do you consider yourself to live in the Midwest?” And the answers they got were all over the place.
The survey attempted to define a regional ethos by geography, but mental states don’t always transcend state borders. Sure, more than 96% of Iowans and Minnesotans believe they live in the Midwest, as do 93% of Wisconsin and Illinois residents and more than 92% of North and South Dakotans. But when more than 25% of people in Arkansas and Idaho and 9% in Tennessee and Pennsylvania think they live in the Midwest, self-identity has lost touch with geography.
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