Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where is "The South?"

Tanya's cool post on ancestry in the U.S. got me thinking that you could create a pretty good map of "the South" by looking at the percentage of people who claim "American" ancestry.  Based on my experience, that map would be just a little over-inclusive;  Northern Kentucky, Central West Virginia, and the panhandle of Texas aren't truly southern places. 

From there, I wondered if there were any other maps that better tracked the borders of the "South."  Here are a few contenders:

1.  Map of states that joined the Confederacy:  Both under and over inclusive.  South Florida isn't cultural southern and parts of Kentucky certainly are.

2.  Map of places below the Mason-Dixon line:  Obviously over inclusive.  Sweeps up many places, like Washington D.C. that aren't truly southern.

3.  Map of places where Baptists make up more than 10% of the population:  Not bad, but I don't think northern Missouri or eastern Arizona are culturally part of the South.

4.  Map of kudzu's range.  Shockingly good.  Aside from the issue of lower Florida, Kudzu has the south nailed.

5.  Map of where McDonald's sells Sweet Tea:

We have a winner.  It's sweet tea that stakes the borders of the South.

Steve Clowney

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Excellent post!

Posted by: Harry | Aug 31, 2011 8:28:04 AM

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