The Midwestern United States (or Midwest) refers to the north-central states of the United States of America, specifically Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. A 2006 Census Bureau estimate put the population at 66,217,736. Both the geographic center of the contiguous U.S. and the population center of the U.S. are in the Midwest. The United States Census Bureau divides this region into the East North Central States (essentially the Great Lakes States); and the West North Central States (essentially the Great Plains States), although Minnesota, which is listed among the West North Central states, is never listed as a Great Plains state.
Chicago is the largest city in the region, followed by Detroit and Indianapolis. Other important cities in the region include: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Columbus, Wichita, Des Moines, Madison and Omaha.