Heartland (United States)
The heartland, when referring to a cultural region of the United States, is the central land area of the U.S., usually the Midwestern United States or the states that do not border the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, associated with mainstream or traditional values, such as economic self-sufficiency, conservative political and religious ideals, and rootedness in agrarian life.
The US Census Bureau defines the Midwest as consisting of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Portions of other non-coastal states can be included in the region as well. These may include eastern portions of the Mountain States (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) and northern portions of some Southern states, such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia. One part of this is the Suburbs, the United States Census Bureau has found to be Middle-class.
There is no consensus regarding the geographical boundaries of America's heartland. However, the American Midwest is the most commonly cited area as being the nation's heartland, although many other places have been referred to as part of it, often extending to rural or farming regions in the great plains. At least as early as 2010, the term Heartland has been used to refer to many so-called "red states", including those in the Bible belt.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the mean center of population in the U.S. in 2010 was in or around Texas County, Missouri. In 2000 it had been northeast from there, in Phelps County, Missouri. It is projected for the mean center of population to leave the Midwest and enter the Western U.S. by the middle of the 21st century.
The geographic center of the 48 contiguous U.S. states is near Lebanon, Kansas. When Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union in 1959, the geographic center of the United States moved from Smith County, Kansas to Butte County, South Dakota.
Use of the term
Halford Mackinder, a British geographer, coined the word in 1904 to refer to the heart of the Eurasian land mass: a strategic center of industry, natural resources and power. The use of the term "heartland" to apply to the American Midwest did not become common until sometime later in the 20th century.
Heartland rock musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger (Michigan), Melissa Etheridge (Kansas), John Mellencamp (Indiana), and Tom Petty have sung about heartland values. Heartland rock albums include Springsteen's Nebraska. The genre is not necessarily Midwestern, as Springsteen was born in New Jersey, and Petty was born in Florida and has sung about the Southern United States, such as in his album Southern Accents. Modern artists of heartland rock include The Killers, The War on Drugs, and Jack Antonoff.
- Bible belt
- Central United States
- Heartland rock
- Left Coast
- Middle America (United States)
- Rust belt
- West Coast of the United States
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- The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia, pp. 71-73 (2006)
- Brownstein, Ronald (November 4, 2010). "Heartland Headache: Democrats have to be more competitive in states that don't touch an ocean if they want to bounce back". National Journal. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
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- Jeremiah Tucker. "Jeremiah Tucker: Heartland rock could see major resurgence this year". The Joplin Globe. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
- Kristin L. Hoganson, The Heartland: An American History 2019