Definition of Region
A region is a specific area that has common features. A region may have common natural or artificial features. A region can be based on language, government, religion, type of flora and fauna or climate. Regions are the basic units of geography.
Why do Geographers use regions to study the Earth?
It is impossible to study our planet Earth as one unit or region as there is so much of information to be incorporated. Regions are one way to arrange and simplify this huge amount of information.
What is Regional Geography?
Regional geography is the branch of Geography that deals with the division and study of the Earth into different regions. The famous geographer, Paul Vidal de la Blanche is regarded as the father of Regional Geography.
Types of regions
1. Physical or Land region
Physical or land region is an area with geographic boundaries. For example- in the United States, there is a major physical region known as the Great Plains. This specific region has a lot of grass, is flat, and is home to animals like bison and antelope. Similarly, the Amazon River region in South America is characterized by warm temperatures, heavy rainfall, and similar diversity of plant and animal species.
2. Cultural region
People in one cultural region have same beliefs, speak the same language, eat the same food and have same cultural practices.
3. Political region
Political regions are decided on the basis of the political party ruling over that particular area. States are an example of the political regions.
What are the different regions of the world?
According to the United Nations, the world is composed of 10 major geographic regions: Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Central America, Eastern Europe, the European Union, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Oceania.
Different regions of the United States of America
The United States is divided into five major regions –
- Northeast region that includes Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland Climate. The Northeast region has a humid continental climate with cool summers. The temperatures in these areas remain mostly below freezing. Major geographical features include the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Great Lakes.
- Southeast region that includes West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida. The climate in this region is humid subtropical with hot summers. This region is hurricane prone. Major geographical features include the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi River.
- Midwest region including Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota. The climate is humid continental throughout most of the region. Major geographical features comprise of Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Mississippi River.
- Southwest region including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona. The climate is Semiarid Steppe in the western area and humid towards the east. Major geographical features are Rocky Mountains, Colorado River, Grand Canyon, and the Gulf of Mexico.
- West region including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska. This region has a range of climates including semiarid to alpine and Mediterranean to Desert as well. Major geographical features include Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mohave Desert and the Pacific Ocean.
2 Interesting facts about region
- Due to plate tectonics, or the movement of the Earth’s crust, geographic regions are constantly being created and destroyed over time.
- Regional geography specifically started getting popularity in the United States and Europe during the period between World Wars I and II.