Which states are in the Midwest? I asked 20 coworkers to find out.

The US Census Bureau says Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin constitute the region known as the Midwest.

I think this is bulls**t. The Midwest, to me, reaches as far west as Minnesota, and as far south as Missouri. 

To settle the debate, I polled 20 random coworkers about which states belonged in the club. The directions were clear: Take this blank map and shade in the states you think are Midwestern. This is not a test, and there are no wrong answers.

It was definitely a test, and there were definitely wrong answers. Mostly, Texas.


The coloring styles of adults armed with Crayola markers is the fodder for an entirely separate article. Adrienne, Chloé, and No Name No. 19 are the clear-cut artists. No. 7 gets points for cross-hatching. Nos. 9, 12, and 20 shouldn't be trusted with finger paint.

Jenna (No. 8) wrote "This is Indianapolis, where I am going tomorrow, right?" In fact, she drew a star in central Illinois.

Had I participated, I would have included the same states as Ryan R., who, coincidentally, is also from Ohio and has a terrific first name.

I told everyone, "there are no wrong answers", though one quiz-taker remarked, "That's not true. If anyone puts Texas, that's f%&$#ing wrong".

Texas appears twice in the survey.


According to this moderately scientific study, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota are the most Midwestern states, appearing on 18 of 20 maps.

Which, WTF? If you knew nothing about geography (and it appears many of my coworkers do not), yes, they're in the middle of the United States. But I don't even agree with Nebraska and South Dakota being Midwestern. Iowa's cool, though.


Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota for most appearances; Adrienne, Ryan R., No. 19 for content and style; Aləx for taking a stand; Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming for getting on to seven maps.

How the hell did they get on seven maps?


Ohio and Michigan for not even making 50% of maps; Crayola for including grey in 10-packs of markers; coloring in the lines; putting your name on tests; the guy who thinks Texas is Midwestern; my respect for coworkers.

Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Travel Editor. He calls soda "pop", and pronounces "dad" and "closet" through his nose, apparently. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.