Mnemonic for the US States and United States Census Bureau Divisions and hence Regions.

Note that the well-known regions of the United States like “Midwest” are composed of (usually two) divisions each.

Rather than clutter this article with the names of the states, I will provide a link to the excellent Wikipedia article about the regions and divisions of the United States:

Constraints that make it easier to recall the lines:
Each line must contain, in order, a chain of states, with each state touching the states before and after it in the line.
Each line must contain exactly five syllables.
Each state must be represented by its initial letter (in upper case), except if it is at the end of a line, when it must contain as much of first part of the name, disregarding whitespace, as possible without making the line more than five syllables. In the latter case it must be followed with an apostrophe, unless it is the complete name as in the case of “WOC H Alaska”.

The two lines below can be used to provide sufficient clues for recalling the nine divisions of the United States. As a bonus, you get the all the states on the west coast and the southern border and Gulf coast from Washington to Florida, and an unbroken chain of states stretching from Minnesota to New Jersey. Note that TL is pronounced like the second syllable of “mantle” and IO is pronounced “yo” so that the line is five syllables.

WOC AN TL MA Flor’
MIM I IO P NewJ’

You can stop reading here if all you want is mnemonic for the nine divisions of the United States.

. . .

The four lines below recall the states in Divisions 9, 8, 7, and 6 and where the divisions are.

WOC H Alaska
WOC AN CUN IM Wy’
WOC AN TL A Ok’
WOC AN TL MAT Kent’

The three lines below recall the states in Divisions 4, 3, and 2 and where those divisions are. IOM is pronounce “yom” to make the line exactly five syllables.

MIM K N S NorthD’
MIM I IOM Wiscons’
MIM I IO P NewJ’

The eight lines below recall the most of the states in the nine divisions in isolation, without recalling the arrangement of the divisions within the United States. Also, these lines are not constrained to be five syllables long. Useful for thinking about a division in isolation.

Division 9: WOC H Alaska
Division 8: AN CUN IM Wy’
Division 7: TL A Ok’
Division 6: MAT Kent’
Division 5: Flor’ (just the state on the southern edge/tip)
Division 4: MIM K N S NorthD’
Division 3: MIM I IOM Wiscons’ (IOM is pronounce “yom”)
Division 2: P NewJ’ (just the states on the southern edge)
Division 1: See below.

Filling in the gaps.
Division 1: MoNoMeR Conn’ (V)
(V = Vermont, the landlocked one of the division)

Division 2: (Use ordinary memory to recall that to complete it, P NewJ — Pennsylvania and New Jersey — need to have New York State added to them)

Division 5: DiM VaNS G Flor’ (WooD)
(all eight states plus D.C.; WooD = West Virginia and D.C. which are the landlocked two of the division)

Divisions 1, 2, and 5 can be strung together into the memorable: “MoNoMeR Conn’ (V) ..(.) DiM VaNS G Flor’ (WooD)” which is ten syllables if the the punctuation representing Division 2 is silent, and fifteen syllables if it is pronounced “dot dot bra dot cket” (meaning New York, New Jersey, (Pennsylvania — the landlocked one of Division 2))

Photo by Benjamín Gremler on Unsplash