Almost right down the middle of America is an area so sparsely populated, it makes people scratch their heads as to why.

Most of the population of the United States is up against its cost.

Why So Few Americans Live In This Huge Area In The Middle Of The Country?

Why is there a large belt down the middle that is almost entirely empty?

The question is explored in a YouTube post by Geography By Geoff.

About 80% of the population of the USA is in the eastern half of the country.

Around 20% live on the western side.

The east side is where the USA began, which plays a part in its large population.


The east side is also easy to land to build on and farm. Geographically it's not a challenging area to build and live in.

The west side was settled much later and has a problem with big, rugged mountains that make it impossible to build there.

An area from Montana, North & South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas are almost completely uninhabited.

This area is about 12% of the United States.

It's not that nobody lives there.

The population of this area is about 3.1 million people. But that's spread over a very large area and less than 1% of the total population of the USA.

One of the reasons for the low population is the Rocky Mountains.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Those mountains create a "rain shadow" effect that holds back a lot of moisture and keeps that shadowed area cold in the winter.

This also causes the shadowed area to have wild temperature fluctuations. Very cold in the winter to very hot in the summer.

Polar winds will ride the mountain chains rapidly down the center of the county in a single day.

Imagine a winter day where it's pleasantly warm in the morning but then drops below zero later afternoon.

That very thing recently happened in Wyoming when the temperatures dropped from +35 to -15 in a half hour.

Weather and climate are just some of the reasons given in the video, below.

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