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How far do the ‘Midwest' boundaries extend? A new report says its bigger than you may think

If you live in Illinois, chances are, you consider yourself to live in the Midwest.

But what if you live in North Dakota? Wyoming? Or even Pennsylvania? According to a new study, the boundaries may extend a bit farther than you may think.

A new report from Emerson College Polling and the Middle West Review show that the majority of people in 14 states consider themselves to "live in the Midwest." Those states include, of course, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota -- but they also include North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, the study said.

“These intriguing results underscore the strength of Midwestern identity, despite what some have claimed, and further justify the efforts being made to study the Midwest and its history,” the editor of Middle West Review John Lauck said in a statement about the survey.

The study surveyed 11,000 people across 22 states, editors said, including those "traditionally considered to be in the Midwest." It also included Arkansas, West Virginia, Colorado, Oklahoma, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, among others.

According to the results, those who live in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri have the "strongest" sense of Midwestern identify, with more than 95 percent of respondents claiming to have a "Midwestern" identity.

53 percent of respondents in Wyoming identified as living in the Midwest, the report said, along with 66 percent in Oklahoma. Over 90 percent of respondents each in South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas also identified with being "Midwestern," the study said.

93.8 percent of respondents in Illinois consider themselves to live in the Midwest, the report says. Similarly, the same percentage of respondents in North Dakota consider themselves to live in the Midwest, according to the report.

But the boundaries extend even a bit farther than that.

25 percent of people in Idaho consider themselves to live in the Midwest, along with 42 percent of Coloradans, 30 percent of Montanans and 26 percent of Arkansans.

On the other side, only 9 percent of Pennsylvania respondents said they live in the Midwest.

“It is traditional to use the 100th meridian as a dividing line between the agrarian Midwest and the high plains,” Lauck said. “But this data indicates that the Midwest extends farther west toward the Rockies and that few people identify as plainsmen."

Well? Do you live in the Midwest? See the full report here.

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