[baws-wosh, -wawsh, bos-]

BosWash (also referred to as BoWash, BosNYwash, the Northeast Corridor, the BosWash Corridor, or simply the Northeast megalopolis) is a group of metropolitan areas in the northeastern United States, extending from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., including Manchester, New Hampshire; Worcester, Massachusetts; Springfield, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut; New York City; Camden, Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Baltimore, Maryland. The geographic trend was first identified in French geographer Jean Gottmann's book Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States (1961).

Taking into account the adjacent localities as well as the main cities, the area stretching from Lewiston, Maine to Fredericksburg, Virginia is essentially a contiguously inhabited corridor that is home to more than 55 million people (based on 2006 population estimates). Were this region a separate country, it would be the 24th most-populous in the world, almost that of the United Kingdom or Italy.

According to Gottmann, BosWash "provides the whole of America with so many essential services, of the sort a community used to obtain in its 'downtown' section, that it may well deserve the nickname of Main Street of the nation." He identified two other megalopolises in the U.S. – ChiPitts and SanSan – but these terms did not achieve wide use.

In an attempt to update Gottmann's work with current trends, Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute outlined a "Northeast" megapolitan area extending beyond Boston and Washington, past Portland, Maine and Richmond, Virginia, and describes it as one of ten such areas in the United States.


BosWash extends from extreme southern Maine and New Hampshire south to Northern Virginia, and incorporates a large portion of suburban Washington, D.C. (including Alexandria and Arlington).


It has a population of 55 million, or 18 percent of the population of the United States (living on only 3% of the nation's land) and about 0.8 percent of the world population. The region has three global cities (New York City, Washington, and Boston), two developing global cities (Philadelphia and Baltimore), and four of the world's 70 largest metropolitan areas (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore-Washington). Over the next generation, the region will add 18 million new residents.


The region accounts for 20% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Were the region a separate country, it would rank either as the 4th (nominal) or 5th (purchasing power parity) largest economy in the world. The region is home to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, the White House and United States Capitol, the UN Headquarters, the headquarters of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, the New York Times Company, and The Washington Post. The headquarters of many major financial companies – such as State Street, Citigroup, and Fidelity – are located within the region, which is home to 54 of the Fortune Global 500 companies. The region is also the center of the global hedge fund industry, with 47.9% of $2.48 trillion of hedge fund assets being managed in its cities and suburbs.


Six of the eight Ivy League Universities are located in the region: Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. Also present are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University, as well as numerous elite liberal arts schools such as Swarthmore College.

Cornell University and Dartmouth College, the other two Ivy League schools, are located just outside the region.


Amtrak's fastest train, the Acela Express, runs on the Northeast Corridor, an electrified rail line extending the length of the BosWash area. Interstate 95 is a major transportation route within the BosWash area.

List of major cities from north to south

The major cities in the BosWash megalopolis include the following (listed by state north to south, alphabetically within each state, largest cities in bold):

Several smaller metropolitan areas near the southwestern end of the corridor, including Harrisburg, Lancaster, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and York, Pennsylvania and Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland are also sometimes considered part of the region, though opinions vary from geographer to geographer as to which cities are included or excluded.

Population statistics

Combined Statistical Area
State(s) Estimate
New York-Newark-Bridgeport NY-NJ-CT-PA 21,976,224 21,361,797 8.4%
Washington-Baltimore-N. Virginia DC-MD-VA-WV 8,211,213 7,572,647 13.1%
Boston-Worcester-Manchester MA-NH-RI 7,465,634 7,298,695 6.9%
Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland PA-NJ-DE-MD 6,382,714 6,207,223 4.7%
Combined 44,035,785 42,440,362

Included or neighboring MSAs not in a CSA

Metropolitan Statistical Area
33 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA 1,649,457
43 Richmond VA 1,194,008
44 Hartford-W. Hartford-E. Hartford CT 1,188,841
59 Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY 845,269
62 Allentown - Bethlehem - Easton PA-NJ 803,844
70 Springfield MA 686,174
86 Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA 550,841
91 Harrisburg - Carlisle PA 525,380
96 Portland-S. Portland-Biddeford ME 510,791
99 Lancaster PA 513,667
117 York-Hanover PA 401,613
121 Reading PA 416,322
164 Atlantic City NJ 271,620
166 Norwich-New London CT 263,293
169 Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV 257,619
183 Barnstable MA 224,816
216 Charlottesville VA 190,278
254 Bangor ME 147,180
268 Dover DE 147,601
275 Pittsfield MA 131,117
288 Lebanon PA 126,883
302 Winchester VA-WV 121,190
311 Harrisonburg VA 113,449
327 Lewiston-Auburn ME 107,552
Ocean City NJ 97,724
Combined non-CSA MSAs 11,154,833
Combined CSAs and MSAs 55,190,618

See also



  • Gottmann, Jean (1961), Megalopolis: the Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States. ISBN 0-527-02819-3
  • Gottmann, Jean (1987), Megalopolis Revisited — 25 Years Later. ISBN 0-913749-04-4
  • Swatridge, L.A. (1971), The Bosnywash megalopolis: A region of great cities. ISBN 0-07-092795-2

External links

Search another word or see boswashon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature