According to the United States Census Bureau, the Middle Atlantic states include only New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In popular usage, the term may also apply to the neighboring states to the south: Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, encompassing the District of Columbia. This larger region corresponds with the term “Atlantic Seaboard.”
This Middle Atlantic is densely populated, and includes New York City, the most populous city in the United States, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester in New York State, Newark, Jersey City and Trenton in New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg in Pennsylvania.
The larger Atlantic Seaboard region includes the nation’s capital of Washington, DC, Baltimore in Maryland, Wilmington in Delaware and Richmond in Virginia, as well as dozens of other industrial and commercial centers.
The Eastern Seaboard region has always been known for its diversity of population. While New England to its north and the areas to the south were originally settled largely by protestant people from the British Isles, the Dutch were the first to colonize New York and the Hudson River Valley, Swedes founded settlements in Delaware and New Jersey, English Quakers founded Pennsylvania, many German settlers settled in Pennsylvania as well, and English Catholics founded Maryland.
The cities of this region, along with those of New England, became the first great industrial, transportation and population bases of the new United States in the early 19th century. Cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia and especially New York have all had a history of assimilating large numbers of immigrants. The internal immigration of African Americans from the south to these northeastern cities has also been significant.
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