The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West, the Far West, or simply the West, traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because European settlement in the U. S. expanded westward after its founding, prior to about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. Since then, the frontier moved westward and eventually lands west of the Mississippi River came to be referred to as the West. The West contains several major biomes, the Western U. S. is the largest region of the country, covering more than half the land area of the United States. Given this expansive and diverse geography it is no wonder the region is difficult to specifically define, a majority of the historian respondents placed the eastern boundary of the West east of the Census definition out on the eastern edge of the Great Plains or on the Mississippi River. The survey respondents as a whole showed just how little agreement there was on the boundaries of the West, within a region as large and diverse as the Western United States, smaller areas with more closely shared demographics and geography have developed as subregions. Meanwhile, the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington can be considered part of the Northwest or Pacific Northwest, West Texas in the Chihuahuan Desert may be considered as part of the Western U. S. Fort Worth has long laid claim to be Where the West Begins, the West is still one of the most sparsely settled areas in the United States with 49.5 inhabitants per square mile. Only Texas with 78.0 inhabitants/sq mi, Washington with 86.0 inhabitants/sq mi. and California with 213.4 inhabitants/sq mi. exceed the national average of 77.98 inhabitants/sq mi. The entire Western region has also strongly influenced by European, Hispanic or Latino, Asian and Native Americans. African and European Americans, however, continue to wield a stronger political influence because of the rates of citizenship and voting among Asians. The West also contains much of the Native American population in the U. S. particularly in the reservations in the Mountain. The Western United States has a sex ratio than any other region in the United States. Because the tide of development had not yet reached most of the West when conservation became an issue, agencies of the federal government own. National parks are reserved for activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, and boating, but other government lands also allow commercial activities like ranching, logging. The largest city in the region is Los Angeles, located on the West Coast, Other West Coast cities include San Diego, San Bernardino, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. Prominent cities in the Mountain States include Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Boise, El Paso, and Cheyenne. Along the Pacific Ocean coast lie the Coast Ranges, which and they collect a large part of the airborne moisture moving in from the ocean
While the West is defined by many cultures, the American cowboy is often seen as iconic of the region, here portrayed by C. M. Russell.
The West, as the most recent part of the United States, is often known for broad highways and freeways and open space. Pictured is a road in Utah to Monument Valley.