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Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are usually included, while all or portions of the striped states may or may not be considered part of the Northwestern United States.
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon and Washington, to which Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Southeast Alaska, and parts of Northern California are sometimes added. Occasionally Northern Nevada, Northern Utah, Northern Colorado and Alaska are also included in the Northwest. News stories and weather reports for Alaskan cities are often included on the regional news network, Northwest Cable News.
"The Northwest" is home to over 12 million citizens, and is sometimes referred to as the "the Pacific Northwest" (abbreviated PNW or PacNW). This term is often used to mean Oregon and Washington and sometimes Idaho, northwestern Montana and northern California. Internationally, however, this term includes parts of Canada - see Pacific Northwest.
Like the Southwestern United States, the idea of what comprised the Northwest was pushed farther west over time. The original Northwest (usually termed the "Old Northwest") comprised the Northwest Territory and gradually pushed across the Midwest to its current definition. The current area can generally be understood to include the old Oregon Territory (created in 1848 - Oregon, Washington, Idaho and areas in Montana west of the Continental Divide).
Some of the fastest growing cities in this region and in the nation include: Seattle, WA; Bellevue, WA; Vancouver, WA; Kennewick, WA; Pasco, WA; Yakima, WA; and Boise, ID.
The Eastern Idaho region is sometimes excluded because of its cultural and economic ties to the Rocky Mountain region, particularly Utah. The region is culturally influenced by the upper Midwest.
Together, these states have a combined population of 12,215,879. The 10 largest cities in the region are:
- Seattle - 602,000 (Metro - 3,344,813)
- Portland - 550,396 (Metro - 2,159,720)
- Boise - 202,832 (Metro - 587,689)
- Spokane - 200,975 (Metro - 600,152)
- Tacoma - 196,532 (Part of Seattle metro)
- Vancouver, WA - 162,400 (Part of Portland metro)
- Eugene - 153,690 (Metro - 343,140)
- Salem - 152,290 (Metro - 383,100)
- Bellevue - 117,000 (Part of Seattle metro)
- Everett - 102,300 (Part of Seattle metro)
Coordinates: 46°N 117°W / 46°N 117°W