Characteristics of the Southeast Region

Southeast Region Map

The data from the State Similarity Index groups the Southern states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia into the Southeast region of the United States. Missouri is a transitional state between the North Plains region and the Southeast region, since it has traits of both regions. Here are some of the characteristics that these states share:

GEOGRAPHY
The Southeast region has hotter temperatures and receives more rainfall than the United States average. As a result, most states in this region have a subtropical climate. The majority of the landscape in Southeast is forested, but it also has a significant amount of farmland as well. Soybean is the most common crop in the region, but hay, corn, and cotton are also common crops. All of these states border either the Atlantic Ocean or a tributary of the Mississippi River, so they all have access to navigable waterways. It is neither the most densely populated or the least densely populated region.

CULTURE
All the states in the Southeast had once allowed slavery. Even after the Civil War, they continued the practice of racial segregation and did not allow interracial marriage. These states are some of the most religious in the country. A high percentage of their people are part of the Baptist church, while there are relatively few Catholics. Most people in this region have a Southern accent. A relatively high percentage of the people in this region smoke. In fact, tobacco cultivation was once a large part of the region’s economy. Their people are known to have a friendly personality, although the region also has a high rate of incarceration. Furthermore, country music is especially popular in this region.

GOVERNMENT
These states are among the most conservative in the nation. As a result, they all have Republican governors. Most of their judges and legislators are Republicans as well. The death penalty is still allowed in most of these states. Their laws do not favor immigration or unionization. In addition, most of these states have not raised their minimum wage above the federal minimum. They also tend to have few restrictions on guns, but many restrictions on abortions. Most states in the Southeast do not ban smoking in public places.

Infrastructure
The states in the Southeast tend to have relatively few skyscrapers and buildings with multiple housing units. More than ten percent of the housing units in this region are mobile homes. Most of their homes rely on either electricity or natural gas for heating. Very few people in this region use mass transit. This region also has relatively few physicians per capita. Unlike other areas of the country, manufacturing output has remained steady in the Southeast region. Many companies moved their factories to the region due to favorable business conditions. These states create electricity from a variety of different sources. However, the entire region is part of the Eastern Interconnection electrical grid.

DEMOGRAPHICS
Demographics is one aspect in which this region varies widely. While Mississippi has the highest percentage of Black people in the country, over 90 percent of people in West Virginia are White. Still, a high percentage of the White people in the region identify “American” as their heritage, since their ancestors did not recently immigrate to the US. The Southeast also has a lower percentage of Latinos than the rest of the country. The average age of their people is slightly lower than the national average. The region has a higher poverty rate and obesity rate than the rest of the country. With the exception of Virginia, a low percentage of their people are college graduates. These states have more women than men as well.

Southeast Region’s Most Representative State: Alabama (77.6 regional average)

Most Similar Region to the Southeast Region: South Central Region

(Statistics as of 2020)

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