Where were the locations of the districts in The Hunger Games?

  • In The Hunger Games, the nation of Panem (implied to be North America after some sort of post apocalyptic scenario) is divided into 13 districts and the Capitol. District 12 is hinted to be in the Appalachia Mountains, and the Capitol is hinted to be in the Rocky Mountains. District 13, which was destroyed, is described as "east of District 12", which made me think it's where Washington D.C. is today.

    The other districts, however, were mostly ignored, and almost no detail was provided as to their locations in the books. Has there been any supplemental information that reveals where the districts are?

    Hmmmm...I had always kind of assumed that District 13 was in the southeastern US, specifically in the east Tennessee area. That is, after all, where Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Y12 are located and it is the site of the former K-25 plant which was the uranium enrichment facility used during the Manhattan Project. Just made more sense in my head for District 13 to be located there than somewhere north of District 12.

  • Correct answer

    9 years ago

    Panem is actually where North America currently is, they're not confined to just the current area of the USA. Here's a map from a brief shot in the Catching Fire film. They haven't released an official map, as far as I know, nor do the books fully describe the locations of all of the districts.

    Map of Panem on computer screen

    I think it's worth noting that "Panem" probably derives from "Panamerica".

    It derives from the Latin saying 'Panem et circenses', as in 'bread and circuses'.

    Thanks! This is possibly one of the best fan maps I've seen, since it does include the higher ocean levels. Thanks.

    I haven't read the books, but the sea level on this map doesn't make any sense. It shows the Cascade Range completely underwater while the low-lying Mississippi basin is mostly dry. If the sea level rose significantly, most of what is shown as Districts 4, 8, 9, and 11 would be underwater.

    @TravisChristian That's a case of the Writer Not Doing The Research. It's known that the sea levels have risen, but the book doesn't mention then traveling over water on their trip from District 12 to the Capitol.

    This seems way to large. Most districts can send all their children to the reaping, which occurs in a city square typically. District 12 is implied to have only one town in it. How can that make sense if Panem is all of America? Is America really that devastated or the Capitol really that brutal that the population is that low? How can they control such vast areas -- why doesn't Katniss and friends just escape into the wilderness _within_ district 12? I'm thinking it can't be much larger than a state like, say, Georgia.

    I agree with you that most District areas seem very large. However, sometimes that's by necessity; farming, ranching and timber take a LOT of land to be sustainable. Mining and manufacturing not quite so much. My guess is that most of these Districts have one large, fenced population center, surrounded in most cases by more "wilds" than is shown here, and if there is a need to ferry workers to outlying agriculture areas, it's on a "day-trip" basis, and there is a no-frills rail system to accomplish that.

    Despite the low population, if the human race were close to wiping ourselves out we'd probably be pretty far-flung, to avoid the destruction we'd caused prior to the creation of Panem. If the world had survived a nuclear war, then basically take any current city with a population > 1 million, and wipe a 100- or even 200-mile radius around it off the map. Those population centers that aren't now under sea level, of course. The author does state that the Capitol is in the Rockies and D12 is in Appalachia, so Panem's at least that big.

    @KeithS: Of course, you need a lot of land for farming, ranching and timber. But the population of panem is a LOT lower than that of modern-day North America. Thus, the area needed is also a lot smaller. I think what you describe in your answer is a lot closer to the author's intention than the map drawn in the answer here: "large swaths of wasteland" that just don't belong to any district.

    @TravisChristian I'm wondering if the inland sea in California is meant to be the Central Valley, although there should be an outlet to the Pacific (perhaps near San Francisco).

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