Does "the North" Sound Better Than the Midwest?

Some Minneapolis business leaders think Minnesota should break away from the Midwest and establish a new region called the North

Mitch Kline
On Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 12:30

Say you're a young, talented tech worker looking for a new place to live. What sounds better to you, the Midwest or the North?

A group of Minneapolis, Minn., business leaders and academics think Minnesota would be more enticing if it broke away from the Midwest and established a new region called the "North." Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota told NPR's Marketplace that this new North region could also include parts of Wisconsin, Michigan and the Dakotas. The Midwest currently includes 12 states, including Kansas, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. The term Midwest has been used since the 1880s to refer to the central, northern portion of the U.S. It's typically seen as the "heartland" of the country, and includes a balance of heavy industry and agriculture along with finance operations.

Part of the "North" branding would be to embrace the cold climate these areas share. International Falls, Minn., considered the "Icebox of the Nation" markets itself as the coldest place in the country (or at least the lower 48 states). This has attracted car companies and manufacturers of mechanical devices that require cold weather testing. Fisher says cold climates keep people from being distracted during winter months, allowing them to huddle up and be creative. 

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Mitchell Kline, previous city editor for, curates and produces content for the website, including stories, photos and videos. He also wrote the Top 10 lists.