Flyover country

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Aerial view of Kansas, a U.S. state in the center of the country

Flyover country and flyover states are American phrases describing the parts of the United States between the East and the West Coasts. The terms, which are sometimes used pejoratively, but sometimes used defensively,[1] refer to the interior regions of the country passed over during transcontinental flights, particularly flights between the nation's two most populous urban agglomerations - the Northeastern Megalopolis and the Southern and Bay areas in California. Other regions, albeit less populated, that are sometimes considered part of the phenomenon are flights to and from the Pacific Northwest region, the Texas Triangle, as well as in general flights to and from all of the Megaregions in the US. The term is often used in reference to the general economic, developmental, cultural, and political differences between the urban coastal and rural central regions of the United States. "Flyover country" thus refers to the part of the country that some Americans, especially urban, middle- and upper-class, white-collar Americans, only view by air when traveling and never actually see in person at ground level.[2][3][dead link]

Although the term is most commonly associated with states located in the geographic center of the country, the states with the most planes flying over without taking off or landing are located on the East Coast, with number one being Virginia, then Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.[4] The circumstances surrounding alleged "flyover country" locations are prone to vary depending on changes related to urban development, business opportunity, and culture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bullard, Gabe (March 14, 2016). "The Surprising Origin of the Phrase 'Flyover Country'". National Geographic. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Cowan, Jane (March 10, 2012). "Landing in the 'Fly-over' country". ABC Radio. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Techies reject coasts for 'Silicon Prairie'". CNN. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Munroe, Randall (October 21, 2014). "Science Answers Which State Airplanes Are Flying Over The Most". Business Insider. Axel Springer SE. Retrieved December 8, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • de Wit, Cary W. (2007). "Flyover country". In Sisson, Richard; Zacher, Christian K.; Cayton, Andrew Robert Lee (eds.). The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. The American Midwest: an interpretive encyclopedia. Indiana University Press. pp. 66–68. ISBN 978-0-253-34886-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Robertson, David (2004). "FLYOVER COUNTRY". In Wishart, David J. (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-8032-4787-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)