Heartland (United States)

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Heartland is an American term referring to states of the Union that—as in the words of commentator Ronald Brownstein—"don't touch an ocean,"[1] whether the Atlantic or Pacific. At least as early as 2010, however, the term Heartland is used not only to refer to the Midwestern United States, but also many so-called "red states", including those of 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.[2] (Note that 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.)

The use of the term "heartland" to apply to the American Midwest did not become common until sometime in the 20th century.[3][4]

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