A state is a constituent political entity of the United States. There
are currently 50 states, which are bound together in a union with each
other. Each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a defined
geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the United States
federal government. Due to the shared sovereignty between each state
and the federal government,
Americans are citizens of both the federal
republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship
and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to
move between states, except for persons covered by certain types of
court orders (e.g., paroled convicts and children of divorced spouses
who are sharing custody). Four states use the term commonwealth rather
than state in their full official names.
States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be
assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign.
County or county-equivalent structure varies widely by state, and
states may also create other local governments. State governments are
allocated power by the people (of each respective state) through their
individual constitutions. All are grounded in republican principles,
and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each
with separate and independent powers: executive, legislative, and
States possess a number of powers and rights under the United States
Constitution. States and their residents are represented in the United
States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and
the House of Representatives. Each state is also entitled to select a
number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and
senators from that state) to vote in the Electoral College, the body
that directly elects the President of the United States. Additionally,
each state has the opportunity to ratify constitutional amendments,
and, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into
interstate compacts with one another.
Historically, the tasks of local law enforcement, public education,
public health, regulating intrastate commerce, and local
transportation and infrastructure have generally been considered
primarily state responsibilities, although all of these now have
significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the
Constitution has been amended, and the interpretation and application
of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward
centralization and incorporation, with the federal government playing
a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over
states' rights, which concerns the extent and nature of the states'
powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the
rights of individuals.
The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states
into the Union. Since the establishment of the
United States in 1776,
the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Alaska
Hawaii are the most recent states admitted, both in 1959. The
Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the
power to secede (withdraw) from the Union. Shortly after the Civil
War, the U.S. Supreme Court, in
Texas v. White, held that a state
cannot unilaterally do so.
1 States of the United States
2.2 States as unitary systems
3.1 Among states
3.2 With the federal government
4 Admission into the Union
5 Possible new states
5.1 Puerto Rico
5.2 Washington, D.C.
Secession from the Union
8 Origins of states' names
9.2 Regional grouping
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
States of the United States
Further information on each U.S. state: List of states and territories
of the United States
See also: List of
U.S. state abbreviations
The 50 U.S. states, in alphabetical order, along with each state's
A map of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., the nation's capital
Further information: Comparison of
U.S. state governments
of the United States
Indian reservation (list) /
Hawaiian home land /
Alaska Native tribal
Pueblo / Off-reservation trust land
County / Parish / Borough
Unorganized Borough / Census area / Villages / District (USVI) /
Cities, towns, and villages
Protected areas (Conservation district, National Monument, National
As sovereign entities, each of the 50 states reserves the right to
organize its individual government in any way (within the broad
parameters set by the U.S. Constitution) deemed appropriate by its
people. As a result, while the governments of the various states share
many similar features, they often vary greatly with regard to form and
substance. No two state governments are identical.
The government of each state is structured in accordance with its
individual constitution. Many of these documents are more detailed and
more elaborate than their federal counterpart. The Constitution of
Alabama, for example, contains 310,296 words – more than 40 times as
many as the U.S. Constitution. In practice, each state has adopted
the three-branch frame of the federal government: executive,
legislative, and judicial (even though doing so has never been
In each state, the chief executive is called the governor, who serves
as both head of state and head of government. All governors are chosen
by direct election. The governor may approve or veto bills passed by
the state legislature, as well as push for the passage of bills
supported by their party. In 44 states, governors have line item veto
power. Most states have a plural executive, meaning that the
governor is not the only government official in the state responsible
for its executive branch. In these states, executive power is
distributed amongst other officials, elected by the people
independently of the governor—such as the lieutenant governor,
attorney general, comptroller, secretary of state, and others.
The constitutions of 19 states allow for citizens to remove and
replace an elected public official before the end of their term of
office through a recall election. Each state follows its own
procedures for recall elections, and sets its own restrictions on how
often, and how soon after a general election, they may be held. In all
states, the legislatures can remove state executive branch officials,
including governors, who have committed serious abuses of their power
from office. The process of doing so includes impeachment (the
bringing of specific charges), and a trial, in which legislators act
as a jury.
The primary responsibilities of state legislatures are to enact state
laws and appropriate money for the administration of public policy.
In all states, if the governor vetoes a bill (or a portion of one), it
can still become law if the legislature overrides the veto (repasses
the bill) by a two-thirds vote in each chamber. In 49 of the 50
states the legislature consists of two chambers: a lower house (termed
the House of Representatives, State Assembly, General Assembly or
House of Delegates) and a smaller upper house, always termed the
Senate. The exception is the unicameral
Nebraska Legislature, which
has only a single chamber. Most states have a part-time
legislature (traditionally called a citizen legislature). Ten state
legislatures are considered full-time; these bodies are more similar
to the U.S. Congress than are the others.
Members of each state's legislature are chosen by direct election. In
Baker v. Carr
Baker v. Carr (1962) and
Reynolds v. Sims
Reynolds v. Sims (1964), the U.S. Supreme
Court held that all states are required to elect their legislatures in
such a way as to afford each citizen the same degree of representation
(the one person, one vote standard). In practice, most states elect
legislators from single-member districts, each of which has
approximately the same population. Some states, such as
Vermont, divide the state into single- and multi-member districts, in
which case multi-member districts must have proportionately larger
populations, e.g., a district electing two representatives must have
approximately twice the population of a district electing just one.
The voting systems used across the nation are: first-past-the-post in
single-member districts, and multiple non-transferable vote in
In 2013, there were a total of 7,383 legislators in the 50 state
legislative bodies. They earned from $0 annually (New Mexico) to
$90,526 (California). There were various per diem and mileage
States can also organize their judicial systems differently from the
federal judiciary, as long as they protect the federal constitutional
right of their citizens to procedural due process. Most have a trial
level court, generally called a District Court, Superior Court or
Circuit Court, a first-level appellate court, generally called a Court
of Appeal (or Appeals), and a Supreme Court. However,
Texas have separate highest courts for criminal appeals. In New York
State the trial court is called the Supreme Court; appeals are then
taken to the Supreme Court's Appellate Division, and from there to the
Court of Appeals.
Most states base their legal system on English common law (with
substantial indigenous changes and incorporation of certain civil law
innovations), with the notable exception of Louisiana, a former French
colony, which draws large parts of its legal system from French civil
Only a few states choose to have the judges on the state's courts
serve for life terms. In most of the states the judges, including the
justices of the highest court in the state, are either elected or
appointed for terms of a limited number of years, and are usually
eligible for re-election or reappointment.
States as unitary systems
All states have unitary governments, local governments are created
under state law, and ultimately, local governments within each state
are subject to the central authority of that particular state. State
governments commonly delegate some authority to local units and
channel policy decisions down to them for implementation. In a few
states, local units of government are permitted a degree of home rule
over various matters. The prevailing legal theory of state preeminence
over local governments, referred to as Dillon's Rule, holds that,
A municipal corporation possesses and can exercise the following
powers and no others: First, those granted in express words; second,
those necessarily implied or necessarily incident to the powers
expressly granted; third, those absolutely essential to the declared
objects and purposes of the corporation-not simply convenient but
indispensable; fourth, any fair doubt as to the existence of a power
is resolved by the courts against the corporation-against the
existence of the powers.
Each state defines for itself what powers it will allow local
governments. Generally, four categories of power may be given to local
Structural – power to choose the form of government, charter and
enact charter revisions,
Functional – power to exercise local self government in a broad or
Fiscal – authority to determine revenue sources, set tax rates,
borrow funds and other related financial activities,
Personnel – authority to set employment rules, remuneration rates,
employment conditions and collective bargaining.
Each state admitted to the Union by Congress since 1789 has entered it
on an equal footing with the original States in all respects. With
the growth of states' rights advocacy during the antebellum period,
the Supreme Court asserted, in Lessee of Pollard v. Hagan (1845), that
the Constitution mandated admission of new states on the basis of
equality. With the consent of Congress, states may enter into
interstate compacts, agreements between two or more states. Compacts
are frequently used to manage a shared resource, such as
transportation infrastructure or water rights.
Under Article IV of the Constitution, which outlines the relationship
between the states, each state is required to give full faith and
credit to the acts of each other's legislatures and courts, which is
generally held to include the recognition of most contracts and
criminal judgments, and before 1865, slavery status. Under the
Extradition Clause, a state must extradite people located there who
have fled charges of "treason, felony, or other crimes" in another
state if the other state so demands. The principle of hot pursuit of a
presumed felon and arrest by the law officers of one state in another
state are often permitted by a state.
The full faith and credit expectation does have exceptions, some legal
arrangements, such as professional licensure and marriages, may be
state-specific, and until recently states have not been found by the
courts to be required to honor such arrangements from other
states. Such legal acts are nevertheless often recognized
state-to-state according to the common practice of comity. States are
prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states with
respect to their basic rights, under the Privileges and Immunities
With the federal government
Further information: Federalism in the United States
Under Article IV, each state is guaranteed a form of government that
is grounded in republican principles, such as the consent of the
governed. This guarantee has long been at the fore-front of the
debate about the rights of citizens vis-à-vis the government. States
are also guaranteed protection from invasion, and, upon the
application of the state legislature (or executive, if the legislature
cannot be convened), from domestic violence. This provision was
discussed during the 1967 Detroit riot, but was not invoked.
Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the
Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made
under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land. It
provides that state courts are bound by the supreme law; in case of
conflict between federal and state law, the federal law must be
applied. Even state constitutions are subordinate to federal law.
States' rights are understood mainly with reference to the Tenth
Amendment. The Constitution delegates some powers to the national
government, and it forbids some powers to the states. The Tenth
Amendment reserves all other powers to the states, or to the people.
Powers of the
U.S Congress are enumerated in Article I, Section 8, for
example, the power to declare war. Making treaties is a power
forbidden to the states, listed among other such powers in Article I,
As prescribed by Article I of the Constitution, which establishes the
U.S. Congress, each state is represented in the Senate (irrespective
of population size) by two senators, and each is guaranteed at least
one representative in the House. There are presently 100 senators, who
are elected by popular vote to staggered terms of six years, with
one-third of them being chosen every two years. Representatives are
elected from single-member districts by popular vote to terms of two
years (not staggered). The size of the House—presently 435 voting
members—is set by federal statute. Seats in the House are
distributed among the states in proportion to the most recent
constitutionally mandated decennial census.
Citizens in each state plus those in the District of Columbia
indirectly elect the president and vice president. When casting
ballots in presidential elections they are voting for presidential
electors, who then, using procedures provided in the 12th amendment,
elect the president and vice president. There were 538 electors for
the most recent presidential election in 2016. Each state is
entitled to a number of electors equal to the total number of
representatives and senators from that state; the District of Columbia
is entitled to three electors.
While the Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal
officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections
in the U.S., including primaries, the eligibility of voters (beyond
the basic constitutional definition), the running of each state's
electoral college, as well as the running of state and local
elections. All elections—federal, state and local—are administered
by the individual states, and some voting rules and procedures may
differ among states.
Since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court has interpreted the
Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the
United States to allow
greatly expanded scope of federal power over time, at the expense of
powers formerly considered purely states' matters. The Cambridge
Economic History of the
United States says, "On the whole, especially
after the mid-1880s, the Court construed the
Commerce Clause in favor
of increased federal power." In
Wickard v. Filburn
Wickard v. Filburn 317 U.S. 111
(1942), the court expanded federal power to regulate the economy by
holding that federal authority under the commerce clause extends to
activities which may appear to be local in nature but in reality
effect the entire national economy and are therefore of national
For example, Congress can regulate railway traffic across state lines,
but it may also regulate rail traffic solely within a state, based on
the reality that intrastate traffic still affects interstate commerce.
In recent years, the Court has tried to place limits on the Commerce
Clause in such cases as
United States v. Lopez and
United States v.
Another example of congressional power is its spending power – the
ability of Congress to impose taxes and distribute the resulting
revenue back to the states (subject to conditions set by
Congress). An example of this is the system of federal aid for
highways, which include the Interstate Highway System. The system is
mandated and largely funded by the federal government, and also serves
the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold federal
highway funds, Congress has been able to pressure state legislatures
to pass a variety of laws. An example is the
nationwide legal drinking age of 21, enacted by each state, brought
about by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Although some objected
that this infringes on states' rights, the Supreme Court upheld the
practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause in
South Dakota v. Dole 483 U.S. 203 (1987).
Article V of the Constitution accords states a key role in the process
of amending the U.S. Constitution. Amendments may be proposed either
by Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate,
or by a convention of states called for by two-thirds of the state
legislatures. To become part of the Constitution, an amendment
must be ratified by either—as determined by Congress—the
legislatures of three-quarters of the states or state ratifying
conventions in three-quarters of the states. The vote in each
state (to either ratify or reject a proposed amendment) carries equal
weight, regardless of a state's population or length of time in the
Admission into the Union
Main article: Admission to the Union
U.S. states by date of statehood:
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution,
then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union
Article IV also grants to Congress the authority to admit new states
into the Union. Since the establishment of the
United States in 1776,
the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new
state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing
states. It also forbids the creation of new states from parts of
existing states without the consent of both the affected states and
Congress. This caveat was designed to give Eastern states that still
had Western land claims (including Georgia, North Carolina, and
Virginia), to have a veto over whether their western counties could
become states, and has served this same function since, whenever a
proposal to partition an existing state or states in order that a
region within might either join another state or to create a new state
has come before Congress.
Most of the states admitted to the Union after the original 13 were
formed from an organized territory established and governed by
Congress in accord with its plenary power under Article IV, Section 3,
Clause 2. The outline for this process was established by the
Northwest Ordinance (1787), which predates the ratification of the
Constitution. In some cases, an entire territory has become a state;
in others some part of a territory has.
When the people of a territory make their desire for statehood known
to the federal government, Congress may pass an enabling act
authorizing the people of that territory to organize a constitutional
convention to write a state constitution as a step towards admission
to the Union. Each act details the mechanism by which the territory
will be admitted as a state following ratification of their
constitution and election of state officers. Although the use of an
enabling act is a traditional historic practice, a number of
territories have drafted constitutions for submission to Congress
absent an enabling act and were subsequently admitted. Upon acceptance
of that constitution, and upon meeting any additional Congressional
stipulations, Congress has always admitted that territory as a state.
In addition to the original 13, six subsequent states were never an
organized territory of the federal government, or part of one, before
being admitted to the Union. Three were set off from an already
existing state, two entered the Union after having been sovereign
states, and one was established from unorganized territory:
California, 1850, from land ceded to the
United States by
1848 under the terms of the
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Kentucky, 1792, from
Virginia (District of Kentucky: Fayette,
Jefferson, and Lincoln counties)
Maine, 1820, from
Massachusetts (District of Maine)
Texas, 1845, previously the Republic of Texas
Vermont, 1791, previously the
Vermont Republic (also known as the New
Hampshire Grants and claimed by New York)
West Virginia, 1863, from
Virginia (Trans-Allegheny region counties)
during the Civil War
Congress is under no obligation to admit states, even in those areas
whose population expresses a desire for statehood. Such has been the
case numerous times during the nation's history. In one instance,
Mormon pioneers in
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City sought to establish the state of
Deseret in 1849. It existed for slightly over two years and was never
approved by the
United States Congress. In another, leaders of the
Five Civilized Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and
Indian Territory proposed to establish the state of
Sequoyah in 1905, as a means to retain control of their lands. The
proposed constitution ultimately failed in the U.S. Congress. Instead,
the Indian Territory, along with
Oklahoma Territory were both
incorporated into the new state of
Oklahoma in 1907. The first
instance occurred while the nation still operated under the Articles
of Confederation. The
State of Franklin
State of Franklin existed for several years, not
long after the end of the American Revolution, but was never
recognized by the Confederation Congress, which ultimately recognized
North Carolina's claim of sovereignty over the area. The territory
comprising Franklin later became part of the Southwest Territory, and
ultimately the state of Tennessee.
Additionally, the entry of several states into the Union was delayed
due to distinctive complicating factors. Among them, Michigan
Territory, which petitioned Congress for statehood in 1835, was not
admitted to the Union until 1837, due to a boundary dispute with the
adjoining state of Ohio. The Republic of
Texas requested annexation to
United States in 1837, but fears about potential conflict with
Mexico delayed the admission of
Texas for nine years. Also,
Kansas Territory was held up for several years
(1854–61) due to a series of internal violent conflicts involving
anti-slavery and pro-slavery factions.
Further information: Historic regions of the
United States and List of
U.S. state partition proposals
Possible new states
Political status of Puerto Rico
Political status of Puerto Rico and Proposed political
status for Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico referred to itself as the "
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" in
the English version of its constitution, and as "Estado Libre
Asociado" (literally, Associated Free State) in the Spanish version.
As with any non-state territory of the United States, its residents do
not have voting representation in the federal government. Puerto Rico
has limited representation in Congress in the form of a Resident
Commissioner, a delegate with limited voting rights in the Committee
of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and no voting rights
A non-binding referendum on statehood, independence, or a new option
for an associated territory (different from the current status) was
held on November 6, 2012. Sixty one percent (61%) of voters chose the
statehood option, while one third of the ballots were submitted
On December 11, 2012, the Legislative Assembly of
Puerto Rico enacted
a concurrent resolution requesting the President and the Congress of
United States to respond to the referendum of the people of Puerto
Rico, held on November 6, 2012, to end its current form of territorial
status and to begin the process to admit
Puerto Rico as a State.
Another status referendum was held on June 11, 2017, in which 97%
percent of voters chose statehood. Turnout was low, as only 23% of
voters went to the polls.
District of Columbia
District of Columbia statehood movement
The intention of the Founding Fathers was that the United States
capital should be at a neutral site, not giving favor to any existing
state; as a result, the
District of Columbia
District of Columbia was created in 1800 to
serve as the seat of government. As it is not a state, the district
does not have representation in the Senate and has a non-voting
delegate in the House; neither does it have a sovereign elected
government. Additionally, prior to ratification of the 23rd Amendment
in 1961, district citizens did not get the right to vote in
Some residents of the District support statehood of some form for that
jurisdiction – either statehood for the whole district or for the
inhabited part, with the remainder remaining under federal
jurisdiction. In November 2016,
Washington, D.C. residents voted in a
statehood referendum in which 86% of voters supported statehood for
Washington, D.C. For statehood to be achieved, it must be approved
by Congress and signed by the President.
Other possible new states are
Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both
of which are unincorporated organized territories of the United
States. Also, either the
Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa,
an unorganized, unincorporated territory, could seek statehood.
Further information: 51st state
Secession from the Union
Secession in the United States
The Constitution is silent on the issue of whether a state can
withdraw from the Union. However, its predecessor document, the
Articles of Confederation, stated that the
United States "shall be
perpetual." The question of whether or not individual states held the
right to unilateral secession was a passionately debated feature of
the nations's political discourse from early in its history, and
remained a difficult and divisive topic until the American Civil War.
In 1860 and 1861, 11 southern states each declared secession from the
United States, and joined together to form the Confederate States of
America (CSA). Following the defeat of Confederate forces by Union
armies in 1865, those states were brought back into the Union during
the ensuing Reconstruction Era. The federal government never
recognized the sovereignty of the CSA, or the validity of the
ordinances of secession adopted by the seceding states.
Following the war, the
United States Supreme Court, in
Texas v. White
(1869), held that states did not have the right to secede and that any
act of secession was legally void. Drawing on the Preamble to the
Constitution, which states that the Constitution was intended to "form
a more perfect union" and speaks of the people of the
United States in
effect as a single body politic, as well as the language of the
Articles of Confederation, the Supreme Court maintained that states
did not have a right to secede. However, the court's reference in the
same decision to the possibility of such changes occurring "through
revolution, or through consent of the States," essentially means that
this decision holds that no state has a right to unilaterally decide
to leave the Union.
Commonwealth (U.S. state)
Four states – Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
– adopted constitutions early in their post-colonial existence
identifying themselves as commonwealths, rather than states. These
commonwealths are states, but legally, each is a commonwealth because
the term is contained in its constitution. As a result,
"commonwealth" is used in all public and other state writings, actions
or activities within their bounds.
The term, which refers to a state in which the supreme power is vested
in the people, was first used in
Virginia during the Interregnum, the
1649–60 period between the reigns of Charles I and Charles II during
Oliver Cromwell as
Lord Protector established a
republican government known as the
Commonwealth of England. Virginia
became a royal colony again in 1660, and the word was dropped from the
full title. When
Virginia adopted its first constitution on June 29,
1776, it was reintroduced.
Pennsylvania followed suit when it drew
up a constitution later that year, as did Massachusetts, in 1780, and
Kentucky, in 1792.
The U.S. territories of the Northern Marianas and
Puerto Rico are also
referred to as commonwealths. This designation does have a legal
status different from that of the 50 states. Both of these
commonwealths are unincorporated territories of the United States.
Origins of states' names
Further information: List of state and territory name etymologies of
the United States
A map showing the source languages of state names
The 50 states have taken their names from a wide variety of languages.
Twenty-four state names originate from Native American languages. Of
these, eight are from Algonquian languages, seven are from Siouan
languages, three are from Iroquoian languages, one is from Uto-Aztecan
languages and five others are from other indigenous languages.
Hawaii's name is derived from the Polynesian Hawaiian language.
Of the remaining names, 22 are from European languages: Seven from
Latin (mainly Latinized forms of English names), the rest are from
English, Spanish and French. Eleven states are named after individual
people, including seven named for royalty and one named after a
President of the United States. The origins of six state names are
unknown or disputed. Several of the states that derive their names
from (corrupted) names used for Native peoples, have retained the
plural ending of "s".
The borders of the 13 original states were largely determined by
colonial charters. Their western boundaries were subsequently modified
as the states ceded their western land claims to the Federal
government during the 1780s and 1790s. Many state borders beyond those
of the original 13 were set by Congress as it created territories,
divided them, and over time, created states within them. Territorial
and new state lines often followed various geographic features (such
as rivers or mountain range peaks), and were influenced by settlement
or transportation patterns. At various times, national borders with
territories formerly controlled by other countries (British North
America, New France,
New Spain including Spanish Florida, and Russian
America) became institutionalized as the borders of U.S. states. In
the West, relatively arbitrary straight lines following latitude and
longitude often prevail, due to the sparseness of settlement west of
Once established, most state borders have, with few exceptions, been
generally stable. Only two states,
Missouri (Platte Purchase) and
Nevada, grew appreciably after statehood. Several of the original
states ceded land, over a several year period, to the Federal
government, which in turn became the Northwest Territory, Southwest
Mississippi Territory. In 1791
Maryland and Virginia
ceded land to create the
District of Columbia
District of Columbia (Virginia's portion was
returned in 1847). In 1850,
Texas ceded a large swath of land to the
federal government. Additionally,
Virginia (on two
occasions), have lost land, in each instance to form a new state.
There have been numerous other minor adjustments to state boundaries
over the years due to improved surveys, resolution of ambiguous or
disputed boundary definitions, or minor mutually agreed boundary
adjustments for administrative convenience or other purposes.
Occasionally, either Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court has had to
settle state border disputes. One notable example is the case New
Jersey v. New York, in which
New Jersey won roughly 90% of Ellis
Island from New York in 1998.
Further information: List of regions of the United States
States may be grouped in regions; there are endless variations and
possible groupings. Many are defined in law or regulations by the
federal government. For example, the
United States Census Bureau
defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census
Bureau region definition is "widely used … for data collection and
analysis," and is the most commonly used classification
system. Other multi-state regions are unofficial, and
defined by geography or cultural affinity rather than by state lines.
^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July
1, 2017". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.
December 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
^ "State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates".
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
^ Erler, Edward. "Essays on Amendment XIV: Citizenship". The Heritage
Foundation. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
^ "Frequently Asked Questions About the
Minnesota State Legislature.
^ a b c Pavković, Aleksandar; Radan, Peter (2007). Creating New
States: Theory and Practice of Secession. Ashgate Publishing.
p. 222. ISBN 978-0-7546-7163-3.
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