What Are the Heartland States?

The “heartland” is a term that refers to the states that constitute the American Midwest. The term generally refers to the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, but can also include the southern states close to the Mississippi river.

The heartland of America is home to the states where most of the nation’s agriculture takes place. Some people who live on the coasts of America refer to the heartland states as “fly-over country” and unfairly stereotype those who live in the region as small-town farmers and country folk. While the heartland has more conservative values than the coastal regions of America, it is still a diverse place with many different cultures, religions and lifestyles merging together, especially in the larger cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Memphis and Milwaukee.

In politics, many of the states in the American heartland are swing states that can go to either the Republican or Democratic candidate for the presidency. States like Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio carry significant numbers in the electoral college, which means that both candidates for the presidency must spend time campaigning in the state and money on television advertisements.