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Courtesy of nationalatlas.govThe Great Lake region of the United States refer specifically to those states bordering the Great Lakes. But the term is often used to distinguish certain states from the Mid-West because they tend to be more urbanized and more liberal politically and socially when compared to the Midwest at-large. These include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The Great Lakes States are sometimes referred to as the Third Coast. This term is an American colloquialism used in the U. S. for regions other than the "East Coast" and the "West Coast". It most likely came into favor in the early 20th century when Milwaukee was considered "Deutsches Athen" (German Athens) or "Athens of the Midwest" due to its generally socialist political leanings. It became especially popular in the general Great Lakes region during the 1960s when major coastal lake cities and college campuses throughout the area became hotbeds for extreme political and social movements. Although the term is still common in many areas of the Great Lakes, the term is most commonly linked to the city of Chicago, given its influential world status.

Third Coast cities generally have large metropolitan populations, liberal voting records, are left of center, tend to be regional, national and sometimes, world leaders in culture, industry, or business and are located on or near large bodies of water besides oceans. Some of these cities include (but are not limited to) Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland, the last of which prefers the term "North Coast".


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Illinois (IL) 12,419,293
Indiana (IN) 6,080,517
Michigan (MI) 9,938,445
Ohio (OH) 11,353,140
Wisconsin (WI) 5,363,675

Population (2000): 45,155,070

Major Cities: Chicago (IL), Springfield (IL), Joliet (IL), Indianapolis (IN), Fort Wayne (IN), Evansville (IN), Detroit (MI), Flint (MI), Lansing (MI), Cincinnati (OH), Cleveland (OH), Columbus (OH), Milwaukee (WI), Madison (WI), Green Bay (WI)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Great Lakes".