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What are some facts about the Midwest region?

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Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Midwest includes 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Much of the land is classified as plains, which are long stretches of flat grasslands. Temperatures vary greatly by location and season, with cold, snowy winters and hot summers.

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The Midwest has the major waterways of the Mississippi River, which is fed by the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, and the Great Lakes, which allow transportation of goods from the Atlantic Ocean, along the Hudson River and to the ports along the lakes. Chicago, Illinois, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is the most populous city in the region and is the third-largest city in the country, as of 2014.

The region's fertile soil and climate make for good farmland. The region produces an abundance of cereal crops such as corn, oats and wheat, which is why the area often is referred to as the breadbasket of America.

The Ambassador Bridge spans Detroit, Michigan, to Windsor, Canada, making it the busiest international commercial border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume.

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