Regions of the United States: West

Contributor: Jodi Powell. Lesson ID: 10680

The Western region of the United States of America is the largest in land area but the least densely populated. Learn all about the wild west's history, culture, and landscape!


United States, United States

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Virtually all the states in America have been the West at some point in the country's history.

When the country's westward expansion eventually ended at the Pacific Ocean, it created the West as it is known today.

The western region is the largest in the country, covering more than half the land in the United States. The Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and the Grand Canyon contribute to the physical beauty of this region.

Find out what else makes the West a unique region.

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The Wild, Wild West

  • Have you ever wondered, "What makes the West so wild and fun?"

The West is the largest region of the United States and consists of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Due to the vast amount of land covered, this region is very diverse. It spans the tropical islands of Hawaii, the Pacific coast of California, the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies, temperate rainforests, the Great Plains, the Icecap in Alaska, and several desert regions.

Explore the West and watch the video below to learn more.

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Check out the diversity in this region's landscape!

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Read about the Western United States | Geography before exploring the Top 10 Wonders of the West.


After viewing the beautiful pictures of the landscape of the West, it may be hard to believe that plenty of cities exist there as well; in fact, some of the country's largest!

Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas, Denver, Portland, and Seattle are just a few of the more familiar cities in the West. Read Western United States | Major population centers.

Los Angeles ranks second among the most populated cities in America. Phoenix ranks sixth, San Diego ranks eighth, and San Jose is tenth. Despite having four of the ten most populated cities, the West is still the least populated region in the United States.


Many western states were acquired from the French in the Louisiana Purchase. Westward expansion was a crucial period in U.S. history.

Read The Importance of the West to learn why.


The United States Census Bureau created these demographic maps (below) to show the dispersion of minority groups in the United States based on the 2000 census.

Notice that most of the American Indian, Hispanic, and Asian populations are located in the West.

American West census maps

Next, read Western United States | Culture to learn more.

Take your new knowledge of the West and work with some maps in the Got It? section.

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