Western United States

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"American West" redirects here. Western United States_sentence_0

For the similarly named airline, see America West Airlines. Western United States_sentence_1

"Western territories" redirects here. Western United States_sentence_2

For the part of Poland, see Recovered Territories. Western United States_sentence_3

For the western territories of other countries and continents, see West (disambiguation). Western United States_sentence_4

Western United States_table_infobox_0

Western United StatesWestern United States_header_cell_0_0_0
CountryWestern United States_header_cell_0_1_0 United StatesWestern United States_cell_0_1_1
StatesWestern United States_header_cell_0_2_0 Western United States_cell_0_2_1
AreaWestern United States_header_cell_0_3_0
TotalWestern United States_header_cell_0_4_0 1,873,251.63 sq mi (4,851,699.4 km)Western United States_cell_0_4_1
LandWestern United States_header_cell_0_5_0 1,751,053.31 sq mi (4,535,207.3 km)Western United States_cell_0_5_1
Population (2019 est.)Western United States_header_cell_0_6_0
TotalWestern United States_header_cell_0_7_0 78,347,268Western United States_cell_0_7_1
DensityWestern United States_header_cell_0_8_0 42/sq mi (16/km)Western United States_cell_0_8_1
GDP (nominal)Western United States_header_cell_0_9_0
TotalWestern United States_header_cell_0_10_0 $5.619 trillion (2019)Western United States_cell_0_10_1
per capitaWestern United States_header_cell_0_11_0 $71,719 (2019)Western United States_cell_0_11_1

The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Western United States_sentence_5

As American settlement in the U.S. expanded westward, the meaning of the term the West changed. Western United States_sentence_6

Before about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. Western United States_sentence_7

The frontier moved westward and eventually the lands west of the Mississippi River were considered the West. Western United States_sentence_8

The U.S. Census Bureau's definition of the 13 westernmost states includes the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin to the Pacific Coast, and the mid-Pacific islands state, Hawaii. Western United States_sentence_9

To the east of the Western United States is the Midwestern United States and the Southern United States, with Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south. Western United States_sentence_10

The West contains several major biomes, including arid and semi-arid plateaus and plains, particularly in the American Southwest; forested mountains, including two major ranges, the American Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains; the long coastal shoreline of the American Pacific Coast; and the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Western United States_sentence_11

Defining the West Western United States_section_0

Further information: American frontier Western United States_sentence_12

The Western U.S. is the largest region of the country, covering more than half the land area of the contiguous United States. Western United States_sentence_13

It is also the most geographically diverse, incorporating geographic regions such as the temperate rainforests of the Northwest, the highest mountain ranges (including the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascade Range), numerous glaciers, and the western portions of the Great Plains. Western United States_sentence_14

It also contains the majority of the desert areas located in the United States. Western United States_sentence_15

The Mojave and Great Basin deserts lie entirely within the Western region, along with parts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts (the latter extends significantly into Texas). Western United States_sentence_16

Given this expansive and diverse geography it is no wonder the region is difficult to specifically define. Western United States_sentence_17

Sensing a possible shift in the popular understanding of the West as a region in the early 1990s, historian Walter Nugent conducted a survey of three groups of professionals with ties to the region: a large group of Western historians (187 respondents), and two smaller groups, 25 journalists and publishers and 39 Western authors. Western United States_sentence_18

A majority of the historian respondents placed the eastern boundary of the West east of the Census definition out on the eastern edge of the Great Plains or on the Mississippi River. Western United States_sentence_19

The survey respondents as a whole showed just how little agreement there was on the boundaries of the West. Western United States_sentence_20

Subregions Western United States_section_1

The region is split into two smaller units, or divisions, by the U.S. Census Bureau: Western United States_sentence_21

Western United States_description_list_0

Other classifications distinguish between Southwest and Northwest. Western United States_sentence_22

Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, and the Oklahoma panhandle are typically considered to be the Southwest states. Western United States_sentence_23

Meanwhile, the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington can be considered part of the Northwest or Pacific Northwest. Western United States_sentence_24

The term West Coast is commonly used to refer to just California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, whereas Hawaii is more geographically isolated from the continental U.S. and do not necessarily fit in any of these subregions. Western United States_sentence_25

Western United States_table_general_1

StateWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_0 2019 EstimateWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_1 2010 CensusWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_2 ChangeWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_3 AreaWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_4 DensityWestern United States_header_cell_1_0_5
ArizonaWestern United States_cell_1_1_0 7,278,717Western United States_cell_1_1_1 6,392,017Western United States_cell_1_1_2 +13.87%Western United States_cell_1_1_3 113,594.08 sq mi (294,207.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_1_4 64/sq mi (25/km)Western United States_cell_1_1_5
ColoradoWestern United States_cell_1_2_0 5,758,736Western United States_cell_1_2_1 5,029,196Western United States_cell_1_2_2 +14.51%Western United States_cell_1_2_3 103,641.89 sq mi (268,431.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_2_4 56/sq mi (21/km)Western United States_cell_1_2_5
UtahWestern United States_cell_1_3_0 3,205,958Western United States_cell_1_3_1 2,763,885Western United States_cell_1_3_2 +15.99%Western United States_cell_1_3_3 82,169.62 sq mi (212,818.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_3_4 39/sq mi (15/km)Western United States_cell_1_3_5
NevadaWestern United States_cell_1_4_0 3,080,156Western United States_cell_1_4_1 2,700,551Western United States_cell_1_4_2 +14.06%Western United States_cell_1_4_3 109,781.18 sq mi (284,332.0 km)Western United States_cell_1_4_4 28/sq mi (11/km)Western United States_cell_1_4_5
New MexicoWestern United States_cell_1_5_0 2,096,829Western United States_cell_1_5_1 2,059,179Western United States_cell_1_5_2 +1.83%Western United States_cell_1_5_3 121,298.15 sq mi (314,160.8 km)Western United States_cell_1_5_4 17/sq mi (7/km)Western United States_cell_1_5_5
IdahoWestern United States_cell_1_6_0 1,787,065Western United States_cell_1_6_1 1,567,582Western United States_cell_1_6_2 +14.00%Western United States_cell_1_6_3 82,643.12 sq mi (214,044.7 km)Western United States_cell_1_6_4 22/sq mi (8/km)Western United States_cell_1_6_5
MontanaWestern United States_cell_1_7_0 1,068,778Western United States_cell_1_7_1 989,415Western United States_cell_1_7_2 +8.02%Western United States_cell_1_7_3 145,545.80 sq mi (376,961.9 km)Western United States_cell_1_7_4 7/sq mi (3/km)Western United States_cell_1_7_5
WyomingWestern United States_cell_1_8_0 578,759Western United States_cell_1_8_1 563,626Western United States_cell_1_8_2 +2.68%Western United States_cell_1_8_3 97,093.14 sq mi (251,470.1 km)Western United States_cell_1_8_4 6/sq mi (2/km)Western United States_cell_1_8_5
MountainWestern United States_cell_1_9_0 24,854,998Western United States_cell_1_9_1 22,065,451Western United States_cell_1_9_2 +12.64%Western United States_cell_1_9_3 855,766.98 sq mi (2,216,426.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_9_4 29/sq mi (11/km)Western United States_cell_1_9_5
CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_1_10_0 39,512,223Western United States_cell_1_10_1 37,254,523Western United States_cell_1_10_2 +6.06%Western United States_cell_1_10_3 155,779.22 sq mi (403,466.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_10_4 254/sq mi (98/km)Western United States_cell_1_10_5
WashingtonWestern United States_cell_1_11_0 7,614,893Western United States_cell_1_11_1 6,724,540Western United States_cell_1_11_2 +13.24%Western United States_cell_1_11_3 66,455.52 sq mi (172,119.0 km)Western United States_cell_1_11_4 115/sq mi (44/km)Western United States_cell_1_11_5
OregonWestern United States_cell_1_12_0 4,217,737Western United States_cell_1_12_1 3,831,074Western United States_cell_1_12_2 +10.09%Western United States_cell_1_12_3 95,988.01 sq mi (248,607.8 km)Western United States_cell_1_12_4 44/sq mi (17/km)Western United States_cell_1_12_5
HawaiiWestern United States_cell_1_13_0 1,415,872Western United States_cell_1_13_1 1,360,301Western United States_cell_1_13_2 +4.09%Western United States_cell_1_13_3 6,422.63 sq mi (16,634.5 km)Western United States_cell_1_13_4 220/sq mi (85/km)Western United States_cell_1_13_5
AlaskaWestern United States_cell_1_14_0 731,545Western United States_cell_1_14_1 710,231Western United States_cell_1_14_2 +3.00%Western United States_cell_1_14_3 570,640.95 sq mi (1,477,953.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_14_4 1/sq mi (0/km)Western United States_cell_1_14_5
PacificWestern United States_cell_1_15_0 53,492,270Western United States_cell_1_15_1 49,880,669Western United States_cell_1_15_2 +7.24%Western United States_cell_1_15_3 895,286.33 sq mi (2,318,781.0 km)Western United States_cell_1_15_4 60/sq mi (23/km)Western United States_cell_1_15_5
WestWestern United States_cell_1_16_0 78,347,268Western United States_cell_1_16_1 71,946,120Western United States_cell_1_16_2 +8.90%Western United States_cell_1_16_3 1,751,053.31 sq mi (4,535,207.3 km)Western United States_cell_1_16_4 45/sq mi (17/km)Western United States_cell_1_16_5

Outlying areas Western United States_section_2

The three inhabited Pacific U.S. Western United States_sentence_26 territories (American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) are sometimes considered part of the Western United States. Western United States_sentence_27

American Samoa is in Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean, while Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are in the Mariana Islands in the western North Pacific Ocean. Western United States_sentence_28

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have district courts within the 9th Circuit, which includes western states such as California and Nevada. Western United States_sentence_29

(See District Court of Guam and District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands). Western United States_sentence_30

American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are also considered part of the western U.S. by the U.S. Western United States_sentence_31 National Park Service, the Federal Reserve Bank system, FEMA, and the USGS. Western United States_sentence_32

Western United States_table_general_2

TerritoryWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_0 2020 Population

EstimateWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_1

2010 Census
populationWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_2
ChangeWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_3 AreaWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_4 DensityWestern United States_header_cell_2_0_5
American SamoaWestern United States_cell_2_1_0 49,437Western United States_cell_2_1_1 55,519Western United States_cell_2_1_2 −10.95%Western United States_cell_2_1_3 224 km (86 sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_1_4 221/km (572/sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_1_5
GuamWestern United States_cell_2_2_0 168,485Western United States_cell_2_2_1 159,358Western United States_cell_2_2_2 +5.73%Western United States_cell_2_2_3 544 km (210 sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_2_4 310/km (802/sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_2_5
Northern Mariana IslandsWestern United States_cell_2_3_0 51,433Western United States_cell_2_3_1 53,833Western United States_cell_2_3_2 −4.46%Western United States_cell_2_3_3 464 km (179 sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_3_4 111/km (287/sq mi)Western United States_cell_2_3_5

Demographics Western United States_section_3

The population distribution by race in the Western United States (2010): Western United States_sentence_33

Western United States_unordered_list_1

As defined by the United States Census Bureau, the Western region of the United States includes 13 states with a total 2013 estimated population of 74,254,423. Western United States_sentence_34

The West is one of the most sparsely settled areas in the United States with 49.5 inhabitants per square mile (19/km). Western United States_sentence_35

Only Texas with 78.0 inhabitants/sq mi. Western United States_sentence_36

(30/km), Washington with 86.0 inhabitants/sq mi. Western United States_sentence_37

(33/km), and California with 213.4 inhabitants/sq mi. Western United States_sentence_38

(82/km) exceed the national average of 77.98 inhabitants/sq mi. Western United States_sentence_39

(30/km). Western United States_sentence_40

The entire Western region has also been strongly influenced by European, Hispanic or Latino, Asian and Native Americans; it contains the largest number of minorities in the U.S. Western United States_sentence_41

While most of the studies of racial dynamics in America such as riots in Los Angeles have been written about European and African Americans, in many cities in the West and California, Whites and Blacks together are less than half the population because of the preference for the region by Hispanics and Asians. Western United States_sentence_42

African and European Americans, however, continue to wield a stronger political influence because of the lower rates of citizenship and voting among Asians and Hispanics. Western United States_sentence_43

The West also contains much of the Native American population in the U.S., particularly in the large reservations in the Mountain and Desert States. Western United States_sentence_44

The largest concentrations for African Americans in the West can be found in San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and Colorado Springs. Western United States_sentence_45

The Western United States has a higher sex ratio (more males than females) than any other region in the United States. Western United States_sentence_46

Because the tide of development had not yet reached most of the West when conservation became a national issue, agencies of the federal government own and manage vast areas of land. Western United States_sentence_47

(The most important among these are the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management within the Interior Department, and the U.S. Western United States_sentence_48 Forest Service within the Agriculture Department.) Western United States_sentence_49

National parks are reserved for recreational activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, and boating, but other government lands also allow commercial activities like ranching, logging, and mining. Western United States_sentence_50

In recent years, some local residents who earn their livelihoods on federal land have come into conflict with the land's managers, who are required to keep land use within environmentally acceptable limits. Western United States_sentence_51

The largest city in the region is Los Angeles, located on the West Coast. Western United States_sentence_52

Other West Coast cities include San Diego, San Bernardino, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento, Seattle, Tacoma, Anchorage, and Portland. Western United States_sentence_53

Prominent cities in the Mountain States include Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Boise, El Paso, and Billings. Western United States_sentence_54

Natural geography Western United States_section_4

Along the Pacific Ocean coast lie the Coast Ranges, which, while not approaching the scale of the Rocky Mountains, are formidable nevertheless. Western United States_sentence_55

They collect a large part of the airborne moisture moving in from the ocean. Western United States_sentence_56

East of the Coast Ranges lie several cultivated fertile valleys, notably the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys of California and the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Western United States_sentence_57

Beyond the valleys lie the Sierra Nevada in the south and the Cascade Range in the north. Western United States_sentence_58

Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states, is in the Sierra NevadaThe Cascades are also volcanic. Western United States_sentence_59

Mount Rainier, a volcano in Washington, is also over 14,000 feet (4,300 m). Western United States_sentence_60

Mount St. Helens, a volcano in the Cascades erupted explosively in 1980. Western United States_sentence_61

A major volcanic eruption at Mount Mazama around 4860 BC formed Crater Lake. Western United States_sentence_62

These mountain ranges see heavy precipitation, capturing most of the moisture that remains after the Coast Ranges, and creating a rain shadow to the east forming vast stretches of arid land. Western United States_sentence_63

These dry areas encompass much of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Western United States_sentence_64

The Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert along with other deserts are found here. Western United States_sentence_65

Beyond the deserts lie the Rocky Mountains. Western United States_sentence_66

In the north, they run almost immediately east of the Cascade Range, so that the desert region is only a few miles wide by the time one reaches the Canada–US border. Western United States_sentence_67

The Rockies are hundreds of miles (kilometers) wide, and run uninterrupted from New Mexico to Alaska. Western United States_sentence_68

The Rocky Mountain Region is the highest overall area of the United States, with an average elevation of above 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Western United States_sentence_69

The tallest peaks of the Rockies, 54 of which are over 14,000 feet (4,300 m), are found in central and western Colorado. Western United States_sentence_70

East of the Rocky Mountains is the Great Plains, the western portions (for example, the eastern half of Colorado) of which are generally considered to be part of the western United States. Western United States_sentence_71

The West has several long rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean, while the eastern rivers run into the Gulf of Mexico. Western United States_sentence_72

The Mississippi River forms the easternmost possible boundary for the West today. Western United States_sentence_73

The Missouri River, a tributary of the Mississippi, flows from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains eastward across the Great Plains, a vast grassy plateau, before sloping gradually down to the forests and hence to the Mississippi. Western United States_sentence_74

The Colorado River snakes through the Mountain states, at one point forming the Grand Canyon. Western United States_sentence_75

The Colorado River is a major source of water in the Southwest and many dams, such as the Hoover Dam, form reservoirs along it. Western United States_sentence_76

So much water is drawn for drinking water throughout the West and irrigation in California that in most years, water from the Colorado River no longer reaches the Gulf of California. Western United States_sentence_77

The Columbia River, the largest river in volume flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America, and its tributary, the Snake River, water the Pacific Northwest. Western United States_sentence_78

The Platte runs through Nebraska and was known for being a mile (2 km) wide but only a half-inch (1 cm) deep. Western United States_sentence_79

The Rio Grande forms the border between Texas and Mexico before turning due north and splitting New Mexico in half. Western United States_sentence_80

According to the United States Coast Guard, "The Western Rivers System consists of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Cumberland, Arkansas, and White Rivers and their tributaries, and certain other rivers that flow towards the Gulf of Mexico." Western United States_sentence_81

The Ohio River portion of the system includes parts of several Atlantic coastal states, from Georgia to New York. Western United States_sentence_82

Climate and agriculture Western United States_section_5

Most of the public land held by the U.S. Western United States_sentence_83 National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management is in the Western states. Western United States_sentence_84

Public lands account for 25 to 75 percent of the total land area in these states. Western United States_sentence_85

The climate of the West is semi-arid, yet parts of the region get high amounts of rain or snow. Western United States_sentence_86

Other parts are true desert which receive less than 5 inches (130 mm) of rain per year. Western United States_sentence_87

The climate is unstable, as areas that are normally wet can be very dry for years and vice versa. Western United States_sentence_88

The seasonal temperatures vary greatly throughout the West. Western United States_sentence_89

Low elevations on the West Coast have warm summers and mild winters with little to no snow. Western United States_sentence_90

The desert southwest has very hot summers and mild winters. Western United States_sentence_91

While the mountains in the southwest receive generally large amounts of snow. Western United States_sentence_92

The Inland Northwest has a continental climate of warm to hot summers and cold to bitterly cold winters. Western United States_sentence_93

Annual rainfall is greater in the eastern portions, gradually tapering off until reaching the Pacific Coast where it increases again. Western United States_sentence_94

In fact, the greatest annual rainfall in the United States falls in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. Western United States_sentence_95

Drought is much more common in the West than the rest of the United States. Western United States_sentence_96

The driest place recorded in the U.S. is Death Valley, California. Western United States_sentence_97

Violent thunderstorms occur east of the Rockies. Western United States_sentence_98

Tornadoes occur every spring on the southern plains, with the most common and most destructive centered on Tornado Alley, which covers eastern portions of the West, (Texas to North Dakota), and all states in between and to the east. Western United States_sentence_99

Agriculture varies depending on rainfall, irrigation, soil, elevation, and temperature extremes. Western United States_sentence_100

The arid regions generally support only livestock grazing, chiefly beef cattle. Western United States_sentence_101

The wheat belt extends from Texas through The Dakotas, producing most of the wheat and soybeans in the U.S. and exporting more to the rest of the world. Western United States_sentence_102

Irrigation in the Southwest allows the growth of great quantities of fruits, nuts, and vegetables as well as grain, hay, and flowers. Western United States_sentence_103

Texas is a major cattle and sheep raising area, as well as the nation's largest producer of cotton. Western United States_sentence_104

Washington is famous for its apples, and Idaho for its potatoes. Western United States_sentence_105

California and Arizona are major producers of citrus crops, although growing metropolitan sprawl is absorbing much of this land. Western United States_sentence_106

Many varieties of chile peppers are grown in the valleys of New Mexico. Western United States_sentence_107

Starting in 1902, Congress passed a series of acts authorizing the establishment of the United States Bureau of Reclamation to oversee water development projects in seventeen western states. Western United States_sentence_108

During the first half of the 20th century, dams and irrigation projects provided water for rapid agricultural growth throughout the West and brought prosperity for several states, where agriculture had previously only been subsistence level. Western United States_sentence_109

Following World War II, the West's cities experienced an economic and population boom. Western United States_sentence_110

The population growth, mostly in the Southwest states of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, has strained water and power resources, with water diverted from agricultural uses to major population centers, such as the Las Vegas Valley and Los Angeles. Western United States_sentence_111

Geology Western United States_section_6

Plains make up much of the eastern portion of the West, underlain with sedimentary rock from the Upper Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras. Western United States_sentence_112

The Rocky Mountains expose igneous and metamorphic rock both from the Precambrian and from the Phanerozoic eon. Western United States_sentence_113

The Inter-mountain States and Pacific Northwest have huge expanses of volcanic rock from the Cenozoic era. Western United States_sentence_114

Salt flats and salt lakes reveal a time when the great inland seas covered much of what is now the West. Western United States_sentence_115

The Pacific states are the most geologically active areas in the United States. Western United States_sentence_116

Earthquakes cause damage every few to several years in California. Western United States_sentence_117

While the Pacific states are the most volcanically active areas, extinct volcanoes and lava flows are found throughout most of the West. Western United States_sentence_118

History Western United States_section_7

Main articles: American frontier and Timeline of the American Old West Western United States_sentence_119

The Western United States has been populated by Native Americans since at least 11,000 years ago, when the first Paleo-Indians arrived. Western United States_sentence_120

Pre-Columbian trade routes to kingdoms and empires such as the Mound Builders existed in places such as Yellowstone National Park since around 1000 AD. Western United States_sentence_121

Major settlement of the western territories developed rapidly in the 1840s, largely through the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush of 1849. Western United States_sentence_122

California experienced such a rapid growth in a few short months that it was admitted to statehood in 1850 without the normal transitory phase of becoming an official territory. Western United States_sentence_123

One of the largest migrations in American history occurred in the 1840s as the Latter Day Saints left the Midwest to build a theocracy in Utah. Western United States_sentence_124

Both Omaha, Nebraska and St. Western United States_sentence_125 Louis, Missouri laid claim to the title, "Gateway to the West" during this period. Western United States_sentence_126

Omaha, home to the Union Pacific Railroad and the Mormon Trail, made its fortunes on outfitting settlers; St. Western United States_sentence_127 Louis built itself upon the vast fur trade in the West before its settlement. Western United States_sentence_128

The 1850s were marked by political battles over the expansion of slavery into the western territories, issues leading to the Civil War. Western United States_sentence_129

The history of the American West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries has acquired a cultural mythos in the literature and cinema of the United States. Western United States_sentence_130

The image of the cowboy, the homesteader, and westward expansion took real events and transmuted them into a myth of the west which has shaped much of American popular culture since the late 19th century. Western United States_sentence_131

Writers as diverse as Bret Harte and Zane Grey celebrated or derided cowboy culture, while artists such as Frederic Remington created western art as a method of recording the expansion into the west. Western United States_sentence_132

The American cinema, in particular, created the genre of the western movie, which, in many cases, use the West as a metaphor for the virtue of self-reliance and an American ethos. Western United States_sentence_133

The contrast between the romanticism of culture about the West and the actuality of the history of the westward expansion has been a theme of late 20th and early 21st century scholarship about the West. Western United States_sentence_134

Cowboy culture has become embedded in the American experience as a common cultural touchstone, and modern forms as diverse as country and western music have celebrated the sense of isolation and independence of spirit inspired by the frontiersmen on "virgin land". Western United States_sentence_135

20th century Western United States_section_8

The advent of the automobile enabled the average American to tour the West. Western United States_sentence_136

Western businessmen promoted Route 66 as a means to bring tourism and industry to the West. Western United States_sentence_137

In the 1950s, representatives from all the western states built the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center to showcase western culture and greet travelers from the East. Western United States_sentence_138

During the latter half of the 20th century, several transcontinental interstate highways crossed the West bringing more trade and tourists from the East. Western United States_sentence_139

Oil boom towns in Texas and Oklahoma rivaled the old mining camps for their rawness and wealth. Western United States_sentence_140

The Dust Bowl forced children of the original homesteaders even further west. Western United States_sentence_141

The movies became America's chief entertainment source featuring western fiction, later the community of Hollywood in Los Angeles became the headquarters of the mass media such as radio and television production. Western United States_sentence_142

California has emerged as the most populous state and one of the top 10 economies in the world. Western United States_sentence_143

Massive late 19th–20th century population and settlement booms created two megalopolis areas of the Greater Los Angeles/Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area/Northern California regions, one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas and in the top 25 largest urban areas in the world. Western United States_sentence_144

Four more metropolitan areas of San Bernardino-Riverside, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle have over a million residents, while the three fastest growing metro areas were the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, the Las Vegas metropolitan area; and the Portland metropolitan area. Western United States_sentence_145

Los Angeles has the largest Mexican population outside of Mexico, while San Francisco has the largest Chinese community in North America and also has a large LGBT community, and Oakland, California has a large percentage of residents being African-American, as well as Long Beach, California which also has a significant Black community. Western United States_sentence_146

The state of Utah has a Mormon majority (estimated at 62.4% in 2004), while some cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Spokane, Washington; and Tucson, Arizona are located near Indian Reservations. Western United States_sentence_147

In remote areas there are settlements of Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians. Western United States_sentence_148

Culture Western United States_section_9

Facing both the Pacific Ocean and the Mexican border, the West has been shaped by a variety of ethnic groups. Western United States_sentence_149

Hawaii is the only state in the union in which Asian Americans outnumber white American residents. Western United States_sentence_150

Asians from many countries have settled in California and other coastal states in several waves of immigration since the 19th century, contributing to the Gold rush, the building of the transcontinental railroad, agriculture, and more recently, high technology. Western United States_sentence_151

The border states—California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas—and other southwestern states such as Colorado, Utah, and Nevada all have large Hispanic populations, and the many Spanish place names attest to their history as former Spanish and Mexican territories. Western United States_sentence_152

Mexican-Americans have also had a growing population in Northwestern states of Oregon and Washington, as well as the southern states of Texas and Oklahoma. Western United States_sentence_153

In the Pacific states, the wide areas filled with small towns, farms, and forests are supplemented by a few big port cities which have evolved into world centers for the media and technology industries. Western United States_sentence_154

Now the second largest city in the nation, Los Angeles is best known as the home of the Hollywood film industry; the area around Los Angeles also was a major center for the aerospace industry by World War II, though Boeing, located in Washington state would lead the aerospace industry. Western United States_sentence_155

Fueled by the growth of Los Angeles, as well as the San Francisco Bay area, including Silicon Valley, the center of America's high tech industry, California has become the most populous of all the 50 states. Western United States_sentence_156

Alaska—the northernmost state in the Union—is a vast land of few people, many of them native, and of great stretches of wilderness, protected in national parks and wildlife refuges. Western United States_sentence_157

Hawaii's location makes it a major gateway between the United States and Asia, as well as a center for tourism. Western United States_sentence_158

Oregon and Washington have also seen rapid growth with the rise of Boeing and Microsoft along with agriculture and resource based industries. Western United States_sentence_159

The desert and mountain states have relatively low population densities, and developed as ranching and mining areas which are only recently becoming urbanized. Western United States_sentence_160

Most of them have highly individualistic cultures, and have worked to balance the interests of urban development, recreation, and the environment. Western United States_sentence_161

Culturally distinctive points include the large Mormon population in the Mormon Corridor, including southeastern Idaho, Utah, Northern Arizona, and Nevada; the extravagant casino resort towns of Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; and the numerous American Indian tribal reservations. Western United States_sentence_162

Major metropolitan areas Western United States_section_10

These are the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with a population above 500,000 in the 13 Western states with population estimates as of July 1, 2015 as defined by the United States Census Bureau: Western United States_sentence_163

Western United States_table_general_3

Rank

(West)Western United States_header_cell_3_0_0

Rank

(USA)Western United States_header_cell_3_0_1

MSAWestern United States_header_cell_3_0_2 PopulationWestern United States_header_cell_3_0_3 State(s)Western United States_header_cell_3_0_4 Western United States_header_cell_3_0_5
1Western United States_cell_3_1_0 2Western United States_cell_3_1_1 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSAWestern United States_cell_3_1_2 13,340,068Western United States_cell_3_1_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_1_4 Western United States_cell_3_1_5
2Western United States_cell_3_2_0 11Western United States_cell_3_2_1 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSAWestern United States_cell_3_2_2 4,656,132Western United States_cell_3_2_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_2_4 Western United States_cell_3_2_5
3Western United States_cell_3_3_0 12Western United States_cell_3_3_1 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAWestern United States_cell_3_3_2 4,574,531Western United States_cell_3_3_3 ArizonaWestern United States_cell_3_3_4 Western United States_cell_3_3_5
4Western United States_cell_3_4_0 13Western United States_cell_3_4_1 San Bernardino-Riverside-Ontario MSAWestern United States_cell_3_4_2 4,489,159Western United States_cell_3_4_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_4_4 Western United States_cell_3_4_5
5Western United States_cell_3_5_0 15Western United States_cell_3_5_1 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSAWestern United States_cell_3_5_2 3,733,580Western United States_cell_3_5_3 WashingtonWestern United States_cell_3_5_4 Western United States_cell_3_5_5
6Western United States_cell_3_6_0 17Western United States_cell_3_6_1 San Diego-Carlsbad MSAWestern United States_cell_3_6_2 3,299,521Western United States_cell_3_6_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_6_4 Western United States_cell_3_6_5
7Western United States_cell_3_7_0 19Western United States_cell_3_7_1 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSAWestern United States_cell_3_7_2 2,814,330Western United States_cell_3_7_3 ColoradoWestern United States_cell_3_7_4 Western United States_cell_3_7_5
8Western United States_cell_3_8_0 23Western United States_cell_3_8_1 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSAWestern United States_cell_3_8_2 2,389,228Western United States_cell_3_8_3 Oregon

WashingtonWestern United States_cell_3_8_4

Western United States_cell_3_8_5
9Western United States_cell_3_9_0 27Western United States_cell_3_9_1 Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade MSAWestern United States_cell_3_9_2 2,274,194Western United States_cell_3_9_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_9_4 Western United States_cell_3_9_5
10Western United States_cell_3_10_0 29Western United States_cell_3_10_1 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise MSAWestern United States_cell_3_10_2 2,114,801Western United States_cell_3_10_3 NevadaWestern United States_cell_3_10_4 Western United States_cell_3_10_5
11Western United States_cell_3_11_0 35Western United States_cell_3_11_1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSAWestern United States_cell_3_11_2 1,976,836Western United States_cell_3_11_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_11_4 Western United States_cell_3_11_5
12Western United States_cell_3_12_0 48Western United States_cell_3_12_1 Salt Lake City MSAWestern United States_cell_3_12_2 1,170,266Western United States_cell_3_12_3 UtahWestern United States_cell_3_12_4 Western United States_cell_3_12_5
13Western United States_cell_3_13_0 53Western United States_cell_3_13_1 Tucson MSAWestern United States_cell_3_13_2 1,010,025Western United States_cell_3_13_3 ArizonaWestern United States_cell_3_13_4 Western United States_cell_3_13_5
14Western United States_cell_3_14_0 54Western United States_cell_3_14_1 Honolulu MSAWestern United States_cell_3_14_2 998,714Western United States_cell_3_14_3 HawaiiWestern United States_cell_3_14_4 Western United States_cell_3_14_5
15Western United States_cell_3_15_0 56Western United States_cell_3_15_1 Fresno MSAWestern United States_cell_3_15_2 974,861Western United States_cell_3_15_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_15_4 Western United States_cell_3_15_5
16Western United States_cell_3_16_0 60Western United States_cell_3_16_1 Albuquerque MSAWestern United States_cell_3_16_2 907,301Western United States_cell_3_16_3 New MexicoWestern United States_cell_3_16_4 Western United States_cell_3_16_5
17Western United States_cell_3_17_0 61Western United States_cell_3_17_1 Bakersfield-Delano MSAWestern United States_cell_3_17_2 882,176Western United States_cell_3_17_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_17_4 Western United States_cell_3_17_5
18Western United States_cell_3_18_0 66Western United States_cell_3_18_1 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura MSAWestern United States_cell_3_18_2 850,536Western United States_cell_3_18_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_18_4 Western United States_cell_3_18_5
19Western United States_cell_3_19_0 77Western United States_cell_3_19_1 Stockton-Lodi MSAWestern United States_cell_3_19_2 726,106Western United States_cell_3_19_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_19_4 Western United States_cell_3_19_5
20Western United States_cell_3_20_0 80Western United States_cell_3_20_1 Colorado Springs MSAWestern United States_cell_3_20_2 697,856Western United States_cell_3_20_3 ColoradoWestern United States_cell_3_20_4 Western United States_cell_3_20_5
21Western United States_cell_3_21_0 81Western United States_cell_3_21_1 Boise City MSAWestern United States_cell_3_21_2 676,909Western United States_cell_3_21_3 IdahoWestern United States_cell_3_21_4 Western United States_cell_3_21_5
22Western United States_cell_3_22_0 86Western United States_cell_3_22_1 Ogden-Clearfield MSAWestern United States_cell_3_22_2 642,850Western United States_cell_3_22_3 UtahWestern United States_cell_3_22_4 Western United States_cell_3_22_5
23Western United States_cell_3_23_0 93Western United States_cell_3_23_1 Provo-Orem MSAWestern United States_cell_3_23_2 585,799Western United States_cell_3_23_3 UtahWestern United States_cell_3_23_4 Western United States_cell_3_23_5
24Western United States_cell_3_24_0 100Western United States_cell_3_24_1 Spokane-Spokane Valley MSAWestern United States_cell_3_24_2 547,824Western United States_cell_3_24_3 WashingtonWestern United States_cell_3_24_4 Western United States_cell_3_24_5
25Western United States_cell_3_25_0 102Western United States_cell_3_25_1 Modesto MSAWestern United States_cell_3_25_2 538,388Western United States_cell_3_25_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_25_4 Western United States_cell_3_25_5
26Western United States_cell_3_26_0 106Western United States_cell_3_26_1 Santa Rosa MSAWestern United States_cell_3_26_2 502,146Western United States_cell_3_26_3 CaliforniaWestern United States_cell_3_26_4 Western United States_cell_3_26_5

Other population centers Western United States_section_11

Western United States_unordered_list_2

Politics Western United States_section_12

Further information: Coastal California § Politics, and Left Coast Western United States_sentence_164

The region's distance from historical centers of power in the East, and the celebrated "frontier spirit" of its settlers offer two clichés for explaining the region's independent, heterogeneous politics. Western United States_sentence_165

Historically, the West was the first region to see widespread women's suffrage, with women casting votes in Utah and Wyoming as early as 1870, five decades before the 19th Amendment was ratified by the nation. Western United States_sentence_166

California birthed both the property rights and conservation movements, and spawned such phenomena as the Taxpayer Revolt and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Western United States_sentence_167

It has also produced three presidents: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. Western United States_sentence_168

The prevalence of libertarian political attitudes is widespread. Western United States_sentence_169

For example, the majority of Western states have legalized medicinal marijuana (all but Utah and Wyoming) and some forms of gambling (except Utah); Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Montana have legalized physician-assisted suicide; most rural counties in Nevada allow licensed brothels, and voters in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Western United States_sentence_170

California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii and New Mexico lean toward the Democratic Party. Western United States_sentence_171

In recent times, as seen in the 2020 United States presidential election, Arizona & Nevada. Western United States_sentence_172

are leaning towards the Democratic Party too. Western United States_sentence_173

San Francisco's two main political parties are the Green Party and the Democratic Party. Western United States_sentence_174

One of the Democratic leaders of the Congress is from the region: Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California. Western United States_sentence_175

Alaska and most Mountain states are more Republican, with Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming being Republican strongholds, and Nevada and Arizona being swing states. Western United States_sentence_176

The state of Nevada is considered a political bellwether, having correctly voted for every president except twice (in 1976 and 2016) since 1912. Western United States_sentence_177

New Mexico too is considered a bellwether, having voted for the popular vote winner in every presidential election since statehood, except in 1976. Western United States_sentence_178

The state of Arizona has been won by the Republican presidential candidate in every election except three times since 1948, but in 2020 Arizona voted Democratic. Western United States_sentence_179

Also, in 2018 and 2020, the GOP lost both Arizona Senate seats to the Democrats. Western United States_sentence_180

The states of Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming have been won by the Republican presidential candidate in every election since 1964. Western United States_sentence_181

Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah have been some of the country's most Republican states. Western United States_sentence_182

As the fastest-growing demographic group, after Asians, Latinos are hotly contested by both parties. Western United States_sentence_183

Immigration is an important political issue for this group. Western United States_sentence_184

Backlash against undocumented immigrants led to the passage of California Proposition 187 in 1994, a ballot initiative which would have denied many public services to them. Western United States_sentence_185

Association of this proposal with California Republicans, especially incumbent governor Pete Wilson, drove many Hispanic voters to the Democrats. Western United States_sentence_186

The following table shows the breakdown of party affiliation of governors, attorneys general, state legislative houses, and U.S. congressional delegation for the Western states, as of 2019. Western United States_sentence_187

Western United States_table_general_4

StateWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_0 GovernorWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_1 Attorney GeneralWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_2 Upper House MajorityWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_3 Lower House MajorityWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_4 Senior U.S. SenatorWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_5 Junior U.S. SenatorWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_6 U.S. House DelegationWestern United States_header_cell_4_0_7
AKWestern United States_header_cell_4_1_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_1_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_1_2 Republican

13-7Western United States_cell_4_1_3

Republican

23-16-1Western United States_cell_4_1_4

RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_1_5 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_1_6 Republican

1-0Western United States_cell_4_1_7

AZWestern United States_header_cell_4_2_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_2_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_2_2 Republican

17-13Western United States_cell_4_2_3

Republican

31-29Western United States_cell_4_2_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_2_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_2_6 Democratic

5-4Western United States_cell_4_2_7

CAWestern United States_header_cell_4_3_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_3_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_3_2 Democratic

29-11Western United States_cell_4_3_3

Democratic

61-19Western United States_cell_4_3_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_3_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_3_6 Democratic

42-11Western United States_cell_4_3_7

COWestern United States_header_cell_4_4_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_4_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_4_2 Democratic

19-16Western United States_cell_4_4_3

Democratic

41-24Western United States_cell_4_4_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_4_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_4_6 Democratic

4-3Western United States_cell_4_4_7

HIWestern United States_header_cell_4_5_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_5_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_5_2 Democratic

24-1Western United States_cell_4_5_3

Democratic

46-5Western United States_cell_4_5_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_5_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_5_6 Democratic

2-0Western United States_cell_4_5_7

IDWestern United States_header_cell_4_6_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_6_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_6_2 Republican

28-7Western United States_cell_4_6_3

Republican

56-14Western United States_cell_4_6_4

RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_6_5 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_6_6 Republican

2-0Western United States_cell_4_6_7

MTWestern United States_header_cell_4_7_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_7_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_7_2 Republican

30-20Western United States_cell_4_7_3

Republican

58-42Western United States_cell_4_7_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_7_5 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_7_6 Republican

1-0Western United States_cell_4_7_7

NVWestern United States_header_cell_4_8_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_8_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_8_2 Democratic

13-8Western United States_cell_4_8_3

Democratic

29-13Western United States_cell_4_8_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_8_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_8_6 Democratic

3-1Western United States_cell_4_8_7

NMWestern United States_header_cell_4_9_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_9_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_9_2 Democratic

26-16Western United States_cell_4_9_3

Democratic

46-24Western United States_cell_4_9_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_9_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_9_6 Democratic

2-1Western United States_cell_4_9_7

ORWestern United States_header_cell_4_10_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_10_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_10_2 Democratic

19-11Western United States_cell_4_10_3

Democratic

38-22Western United States_cell_4_10_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_10_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_10_6 Democratic

4-1Western United States_cell_4_10_7

UTWestern United States_header_cell_4_11_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_11_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_11_2 Republican

23-6Western United States_cell_4_11_3

Republican

59-16Western United States_cell_4_11_4

RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_11_5 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_11_6 Republican

4-0Western United States_cell_4_11_7

WAWestern United States_header_cell_4_12_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_12_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_12_2 Democratic

28-21Western United States_cell_4_12_3

Democratic

57-41Western United States_cell_4_12_4

DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_12_5 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_4_12_6 Democratic

7-3Western United States_cell_4_12_7

WYWestern United States_header_cell_4_13_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_13_1 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_13_2 Republican

27-3Western United States_cell_4_13_3

Republican

50-9-1Western United States_cell_4_13_4

RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_13_5 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_4_13_6 Republican

1-0Western United States_cell_4_13_7

The following table shows the breakdown of party affiliation of governors, attorneys general, state legislative houses, and U.S. congressional delegation for the outlying areas of the Western United States, as of 2020. Western United States_sentence_188

Western United States_table_general_5

TerritoryWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_0 GovernorWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_1 Attorney GeneralWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_2 Upper House MajorityWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_3 Lower House MajorityWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_4 Senior U.S. SenatorWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_5 Junior U.S. SenatorWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_6 U.S. House DelegationWestern United States_header_cell_5_0_7
ASWestern United States_header_cell_5_1_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_5_1_1 Western United States_cell_5_1_2 Non-Partisan

18-0Western United States_cell_5_1_3

Non-Partisan

21-0Western United States_cell_5_1_4

NoneWestern United States_cell_5_1_5 NoneWestern United States_cell_5_1_6 Republican

1-0Western United States_cell_5_1_7

GUWestern United States_header_cell_5_2_0 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_5_2_1 IndependentWestern United States_cell_5_2_2 Democratic

10-5 (unicameral)Western United States_cell_5_2_3

NoneWestern United States_cell_5_2_5 NoneWestern United States_cell_5_2_6 Democratic

1-0Western United States_cell_5_2_7

MPWestern United States_header_cell_5_3_0 RepublicanWestern United States_cell_5_3_1 DemocraticWestern United States_cell_5_3_2 Republican

6-0-3Western United States_cell_5_3_3

Republican

13-0-7Western United States_cell_5_3_4

NoneWestern United States_cell_5_3_5 NoneWestern United States_cell_5_3_6 Independent

1-0Western United States_cell_5_3_7

Health Western United States_section_13

The Western United States consistently ranks well in health measures. Western United States_sentence_189

The rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations in the Western United States was consistently lower than other regions from 2005 to 2011. Western United States_sentence_190

While the proportion of maternal or neonatal hospital stays was higher in the Western United States relative to other regions, the proportion of medical stays in hospitals was lower than in other regions in 2012. Western United States_sentence_191

See also Western United States_section_14

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western United States.