No matter where you’re at in your Hunger Games journey, there are always looming questions about the books and the movies. Like how Panem came to be, why the games actually started, and how the districts in The Hunger Games actually work. Some fans are still a little unclear about the geography of it all, especially since some have taken to TikTok to joke that the bullet train in the movies makes it seem like the districts are all in a straight line in the country.
Spoiler alert: that’s not the case at all. So if you need a refresher course in what these districts each contribute, how wealthy or destitute they are, and where they actually are on a map of Panem / the United States, we have you covered. Just don’t expect us to pick a side between Peeta and Gale, OK?
‘The Hunger Games’ districts, explained.
Although The Hunger Games first presents Panem as being made up of 12 districts, we learn that there is a 13th that was thought to be obliterated by The Capitol. The remaining residents moved underground, where they lived for quite some time, despite the rest of Panem believing they were all dead. District 13 is located in the northeast region of the U.S., near what we know as Maine, and comprised of other small states in the area. But let's get into the others.
District 12: This district is located in the Appalachia area where West Virginia and surrounding states are in the U.S. The primary source of work here is coal mining, which was Katniss’s father’s job before his death. The district eventually goes on to make medicines and the mines were closed.
District 11: This is another poor district in Panem, though it yields plenty of things the country needs. Because of its location in the south, comprised of states like Georgia and Alabama, District 11 is known for crops, orchards, and livestock farms.
District 10: In terms of what we know as the U.S., District 10 is located primarily in Texas. While we don’t hear much about this district in the books or the movies, it’s known for its livestock, which makes sense since there are plenty of farms in the Texas region in real life.
District 9: Some of the District 9 states include Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, which tells you just how large this district is. Its primary export for Panem is grain. Though other than that, not much else is known about this district, which has unnamed former victors.
District 8: Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and part of Illinois makes up District 8 in The Hunger Games. It’s a region dedicated to textiles and may even be to thank for all of Effie Trinket’s iconic outfits? But the most important thing about this district is that it does join the rebels when Panem is overthrown.
District 7: Fans likely remember Johanna as a former victor from District 7, who is brought back for the Quarter Quell. The district is made up of Washington state and even part of Canada and, as to be expected, its main benefit for the country is lumber.
District 6: While we see the train in The Hunger Games movies pass through all of the districts on the way to The Capitol, District 6 is the main transportation district of the country. It’s made up of Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Canada.
District 5: In Panem, no district can survive without the others. And District 5, which controls the electricity and power for the entire country, proves that. It’s even the target in Mockingjay when rebels want to shut down power to the Capitol. Southern Utah and Arizona make up District 5.
District 4: The top four districts are full of Panem citizens that are fed well and look increasingly glamorous. District 4, which is located in California, parts of Texas, and even parts of Mexico, is responsible for fishing. Readers and viewers may remember Finnick and Mags as part of District 4.
District 3: The most important thing manufactured in District 3 is technology, as evidenced by Beetee, a former victor of the district. It includes parts of multiple states, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota.
District 2: This is where the Peacekeepers, or soldiers, train, and the rest of the residents are typically wealthy. New Mexico and Colorado make up the large district, and it’s almost as influential and important as District 1.
District 1: This district trains its residents to be ready to win the games for their entire lives. The people in District 1 are wealthy and known for designing and building things that are used in The Capitol. It’s located throughout what we know as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
The Capitol: In the books, The Capitol is said to be located in Salt Lake City, which makes sense, given its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, where Peacekeepers are trained, and its nearly central location to other high-ranking districts.
It’s still unclear what the districts will look like in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but we’d be willing to bet The Hunger Games prequel is not without its own rebels under the surface.