When I was viewing economic data charts for US, I see these 8 different divisions:- 1) enter image description here

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3) enter image description here

BEA regions: which contains:

  • Far West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington. Great lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin.
  • Mideast: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
  • Plains: Lowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.
  • Rocky Mountain: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming.
  • Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennesse, Virginia, West Virginia. -Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.

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Which are, from what I know, cities.. but here every "city" is a region and contains areas from multiple states.

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Which contains:

  • North Central: Illinois, Indiana: Lowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
  • Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New - - Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.
  • Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Catolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.
  • Southwest: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming.
  • West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington.
  1. Is by states.

Is there a uniform division? and Are any of these divisions official? Or does each firm divide its data as it wants? and Are there a regulations to consider when making this divisions?. (I'm a beginner)


1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, how each branch chooses to divide their data is up to them. The census generally acts as the first-mover for regional divisions, but the census itself has changed defintions of regions over time.

Common divisions you will find across most data sets are: (in ascending size):

  1. Census Tract
  2. Census District
  3. Zip Code
  4. City
  5. County (some cities are bigger than counties and vis versa)
  6. MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)
  7. State
  8. National

Unfortunately, the "region" you are mentioning does not seem to have a consistent definition. If there is some group defining it, it doesn't seem like they are particularly influential. Arthur O'Sullivan's Urban Economics textbook has surprisingly interesting breakdown of regional data, if you can get your hands on it.


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