Northeastern United States
The Census Bureau-defined region[Note 1] comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. While other entities use this definition,[Note 2] not all definitions of the Northeastern U.S. or groupings of states as constituting the Northeastern U.S. are the same as that of the Census Bureau.[Note 3]
As defined by the Census Bureau, the Northeastern United States is bounded to the north by Canada, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the American South, and to the west by the American Midwest. The Census-defined region occupies a total area of 181,324 sq mi (469,630 km2).
All of the states making up the Northeast as defined by the Census Bureau were among the original Thirteen Colonies, though Maine and Vermont were part of other colonies before the United States became independent. The two regions that form parts of the Northeast have distinct histories.
New England 
The first Europeans to settle New England were Pilgrims from England, who landed in present-day Massachusetts in 1620. The Pilgrims arrived by the Mayflower and founded Plymouth Colony so they could practice religion freely. Ten years later, a larger group of Puritans settled north of Plymouth Colony in Boston to form Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1636, the colonies of Connecticut and Providence were established. Providence was founded by Roger Williams, who was banished by Massachusetts for his beliefs in freedom of religion, and it was the first colony to guarantee all citizens freedom of worship. Anne Hutchinson, who was also banished by Massachusetts, formed the town of Portsmouth. Providence, Portsmouth, and two other towns consolidated to form the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
Although the first settlers of New England were motivated by religion, in more recent history, New England has become one of the most irreligious parts of the United States. In a 2009 Gallup survey, less than half of residents in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts viewed religion as an important part of their daily life. In a 2010 Gallup survey, less than 30% of residents in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts reported attending church weekly, giving them the lowest church attendance among U.S. states.
New England played a prominent role in early American education. Starting in the 17th century, the larger towns in New England opened grammar schools, the forerunner of the modern high school. The first public school in the English colonies was the Boston Latin School, founded in 1635. In 1636, the colonial legislature of Massachusetts founded Harvard College, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
Henry Hudson explored the area of present-day New York in 1609 and claimed it for the Dutch. His journey stimulated Dutch interest, and the area became known as New Netherland. In 1625, the city of New Amsterdam (the location of present-day New York City) was designated the capital of the province. The Dutch New Netherland settlement along the Hudson River and, for a time, the New Sweden settlement along the Delaware River divided the English settlements in the north and the south. In 1664, Charles II of England formally annexed New Netherland and incorporated it into the English colonial empire. The territory became the colonies of New York and New Jersey. New Jersey was originally split into East Jersey and West Jersey until the two were united as a royal colony in 1702.
|Rank||Metropolitan Area||State(s) and/or Territory||2010 Census Population|
|1||New York||CT, NJ, NY, PA||18,897,109|
|2||Philadelphia||DE, MD, NJ, PA||5,965,343|
|3||Boston||MA, NH, RI||4,552,402|
|Rank||City||State(s) and/or Territory||2010 Census Population|
|1||New York City||NY||8,175,133|
See also 
- The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis." Others have noted the pervasiveness of the Census Bureau definition.
- For example, the Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Energy Modeling System both use the Census definitions of the Northeast. Gale's almanac of associations and regional, state, and local organizations also takes the same nine states as comprising the Northeast.
- For example, the administrative regions of the U.S. National Park Service include a "Northeast Region" consisting of the nine states defined by the Census Bureau, plus Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, though the District of Columbia, and parts of Maryland and Virginia are also part of the "National Capital Region". The International Nuclear Safety Center facilities located in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada in its categorization of nuclear reactors in the Northeastern United States. The National Assessment Synthesis Team of the U.S. Global Change Research Program included West Virginia and Maryland in the Northeastern United States in its analysis of climate change in a 2001 report. The same report included Virginia in the Southeastern United States.
- "Census Regions and Divisions of the United States". United States Census Bureau.
- Census 2000 Geographic Terms and Concepts, Census 2000 Geography Glossary, U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 2012-08-15.
- Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density (pdf). United Nations Statistics Division. 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Arenstam, Peter; Kemp,, John; Grace, Catherine O'Neill (2007). Mayflower 1620 : a new look at a pilgrim voyage. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. ISBN 9780792262763.
- "A Brief History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA". Cambridge Historical Commission. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Kelly, Martin. "Connecticut Colony". About.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Kelly, Martin. "Rhode Island Colony". About.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Newport, Frank. "State of the States: Importance of Religion". Gallup. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Mississippians Go to Church the Most; Vermonters, Least". Gallup.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- Jenks, Henry Fitch (1880). The Boston Public Latin School. 1635-1880. M. King. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Harvard University Founded". CelebrateBoston.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Barreveld, Drs. Dirk J. (2001). From New Amsterdam to New York : the founding of New York by the Dutch in July 1625. New York: Writers Club Press. ISBN 9780595198900.
- "The Middle Colonies". Radford University. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Forrest, Tuomi J. "William Penn - Introduction". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State[dead link]
- "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - United States -- Metropolitan Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico more information 2010 Census National Summary File of Redistricting Data". 2010 United States Census. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. April 14, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- "Area Definitions" (September 2010). Crime in the United States, 2009. United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- "[The National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 2003]" (Report #:DOE/EIA-0581, October 2009). United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
- Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State, and Local Organizations: Northeastern States (Vol. 2: Northeastern States) (22d ed., 2010). Ed. Verne Thompson.
- "National Park Service Regions". United States Department of the Interior.
- International Nuclear Safety Center. "Maps of Nuclear Power Reactors: US NORTHEAST". Argonne National Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- Barron, Eric (2001). "Chapter 4: Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Northeastern United States". In National Assessment Synthesis Team, US Global Change Research Program. Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00075-0. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- Burkett, Virginia, et al. (2001). "Chapter 5: Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the Southeastern United States". In National Assessment Synthesis Team, US Global Change Research Program. Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00075-0. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "The National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 2003" (Report #:DOE/EIA-0581, October 2009). United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
- "The most widely used regional definitions follow those of the U.S. Bureau of the Census." Seymour Sudman and Norman M. Bradburn, Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design (1982). Jossey-Bass: p. 205.
- "Perhaps the most widely used regional classification system is one developed by the U.S. Census Bureau." Dale M. Lewison, Retailing, Prentice Hall (1997): p. 384. ISBN 978-0-13-461427-4
- "(M)ost demographic and food consumption data are presented in this four-region format." Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn P. Sucher, Food and Culture, Cengage Learning (2008): p.475. ISBN 9780495115410