The Nine Nations of North America

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The Nine Nations of North America
The Nine Nations of North America.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Joel Garreau
Country United States
Language English
Published 1981
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Media type Print
ISBN 0-395-29124-0
OCLC 318457577
LC Class E38 .G37

The Nine Nations of North America is a 1981 book by Joel Garreau, in which Garreau suggests that North America can be divided into nine nations, which have distinctive economic and cultural features. He also argues that conventional national and state borders are largely artificial and irrelevant, and that his "nations" provide a more accurate way of understanding the true nature of North American society. The work has been called "a classic text on the current regionalization of North America".

The Nine Nations[edit]

Approximate map of the Nine Nations of North America with each of their capitals

Garreau also discussed several areas that he termed "aberrations":

  • Washington, D.C. and its surrounding area, specifically referring to the area "inside the Beltway".
  • Manhattan south of Harlem (he placed Harlem, and by extension the Manhattan neighborhoods to its north, clearly within The Foundry), along with Connecticut's Fairfield County.
  • Hawaii, which the author considered an Asian aberration as much as a North American aberration.
  • Northern Alaska, despite its categorization on the front cover as part of the Empty Quarter, was listed in the aberrations section of the book.

Despite their presence within North America, Garreau did not assign the central and southern regions of the country of Mexico to any of his nine nations.


Paul Meartz of Mayville State University called The Nine Nations of North America "a classic text on the current regionalization of North America".[2]

See also[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (2011) Colin Woodard, ISBN 978-0143122029
  • Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America (2009) Dante Chinni and James Gimpel