The data from the State Similarity Index groups the Northeastern states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland into the BosWash region of the United States. Pennsylvania is a transitional state between the Great Lakes region and the BosWash region, since it has traits of both regions. Here are some of the characteristics that these states share:
BosWash is the name for the megalopolis centered on New York City between Boston and Washington DC. This region is one of the most densely populated areas of the country. While a high percentage of the land in these states is urban, most of their landscape is covered by broadleaf forests. With the exception of Pennsylvania, these states have a lot of coastline that borders the Atlantic Ocean. They are all in the Eastern Time Zone as well. Except for Delaware, the Appalachian Mountains run through these states. They have a temperate climate, but the most northern portions of this region get much more snowfall than Maryland and Delaware.
While most people in these states are White, BosWash also has a significant population of Blacks and Latinos. Unlike the rest of the country, Latinos in this region usually come from Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic. These states also have the highest concentration of people with Italian ancestry in the United States. Irish ancestry is also quite common, while German ancestry is lower than in most other states. The average age of the population in these states is around 40 years old. The region has a relatively low percentage of married people. BosWash is also one of the most highly educated and wealthiest areas of the country. In addition, there are more women than men in these states.
Before colonization, this region was inhabited by the Algonquian and Iroquois tribes. The states in the BosWash region were all a part of the original 13 colonies. These states remained part of the union during the Civil War as well. Seven of the eight Ivy League schools are in the region. BosWash is not the most religious part of the country, but due to their large Italian, Irish, and Latino populations, the percentage of Catholics in this region is the highest in the country. Their people are known to express their feelings without restraint. Very few own guns or have hunting licenses. Suicide rates are also low in this region. Soccer is more popular in BosWash than in the rest of the US, while football is relatively less popular.
In the recent decades, the states in the BosWash region almost always vote for Democratic presidential candidates. Except for Pennsylvania, their state legislatures also have more Democrats than Republicans. Despite their preference for Democrats, all these states except for Delaware have had a least one Republican governor in the past 20 years. Their governments have many rules protecting the civil rights of their citizens. In addition, their laws are favorable to unionization. Furthermore, these states have more laws restricting guns than the rest of the country. For the most part, smoking is banned in public places. Most of their judges are appointed by their respective governors.
Since the BosWash region is densely populated, these states have many skyscrapers and relatively few single family homes. The infrastructure and buildings in this region are older than most other states. Mass transit is more widely used in BosWash than any other region of the country. New York, Boston, and Washington have three of the four largest subway systems in the country. It is also the only area of the United States where passenger rail is regularly used. Much of the cargo in these states arrives by boat, not by railroad. Natural gas is the biggest source of power in the region. These states are all part of the Eastern Interconnection electrical grid. A very high percentage of their people have cable television.