Talk:Southern United States

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Former good article Southern United States was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 24, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
February 17, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
February 14, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Who created this, someone from the UK, as is typical at Wiki? Oklahoma and Texas are in the Southwest USA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Texas was part of the Confederacy. Oklahoma was a confederate sympathizer. Whoever drew this up decided they were both part of the South. Not sure I would have included Oklahoma myself just for that reason alone.
It is not unusual for non-ocean bordering states to be considered part of more than one section of the county. In fact it is unusual for most states to be in only one section. Student7 (talk) 19:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Several of us got together a few years ago in coming up with the maps (the details can be followed thru now archived pages). It involved quite a few considerations until a general consensus was reached. One (of many) criteria considered was the results of a 7 year Southern Focus Poll which attempted to define the South by where a clear majority of people considered themselves to live in the South and thought of themselves as Southerners. These states were the 11 of the Old Confederacy, plus Kentucky and Oklahoma.
On a related tangent, noting the OP's point about Texas and Oklahoma being in the Southwest? The thing is, the term "Southwest" is very ambiguous. In the original sense, it literally meant the western part of the larger South. Later on, when they became states, New Mexico and Arizona were also considered "Southwest." And, often, these four states were grouped into a common Southwest without regard to obvious historical and cultural differences. Texas -- and to a lesser extent, Oklahoma -- were shaped by forces from the American South. On the other hand, New Mexico and Arizona have very little "Southern" about them. In a nut-shell, Texas and Oklahoma are Southwest as in "western South." New Mexico and Arizona are Southwest as in "southern West." Two different critters! LOL TexasReb (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC).

Sorry, but anyone spending any time in NM and AZ will understand that Oklahoma follows southern culture and not the Southwest. Eastern OK and Texas are nothing like all of NM and AZ. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kryan74 (talkcontribs) 02:49, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

There's a difference between the former Confederate States of America and their cultural sympathizers and the geographic southern United States. Of course someone will argue heritage whatever that means. This is an encyclopedia, not a leftist folklife festival. North and south are geographical terms. Toddst1 (talk) 07:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

I live in North Carolina now, but was raised in Oklahoma, specifically Tulsa OK. I think it is far easier to understand Oklahoma as a Southwestern state than as a a Southern state. In particular, while certainly post-civil war racism existed in Oklahoma (the Tulsa race riots are a prime example) Oklahoma was not part of the Old South, was not even a state at the time, and a number of small "free black" towns existed in the Indian Territory. Secondly, I can point to many cultural icons in Oklahoma that have little to do with the South, notably the Gilcrease museum, with one of the finest collections of Western art in the country, and the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Western cultural traditions even are apparent in the clothes people wear. Rarely in North Carolina do I ever see a man wearing a bolo tie, a cowboy hat or cowboy boots, except as ironic cowboy costume, but walk through the airport in Tulsa and you are bound to see them. Finally, Native American heritage is taught in schools in Oklahoma, is celebrated culturally, and I would cautiously suggest that prejudice against Native American, while extant in Oklahoma, is balanced by a great deal of appreciation for Native culture, and celebration of Native heritage. Let's not forget that the trail of tears originated in the Old South, and ended in Oklahoma. Yes, Oklahoma is not the same as NM or AZ, but neither is it the same as North Carolina or Alabama, and I would argue that it has far more in common with Southwestern states that Southeastern states. Chris van Hasselt (talk) 15:39, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but the majority of Oklahomans consider themselves southern. The dominant culture in Oklahoma is southern. Oklahoma has much more in common with Alabama than it does Arizona. This is especially true in Southeastern Oklahoma. North Carolina is a lot different than Louisiana, but they are both states in the south. The culture is widespread and has many variations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kryan74 (talkcontribs) 22:45, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Interesting phrasing, saying majority of the state identifies southern and then emphasizing specifically in the southeast, I have only heard people in the southeast identify as southern. I do not think it is true that the majority identify as southerners, plus the southeast is an extremely small percentage of the state's population, less than 10%. The northwest is much more aligned Midwest, granted they make up a tiny percentage too. I am far more familiar with OKC than Tulsa but they seem to identify much more Southwest than traditional southern.

There are actual studies on the matter that you can google. One being from the University of North Carolina that indicates almost 70 percent of Okalhomans consider themselves to be southrons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

More flexible map[edit]

The image at the top has the following caption:

The Southern United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.[1] The "South" and its regions are defined in various ways, however. (See Geography section.)

We need a more flexible map that colors states differently depending on what definition of the South is being used. Any thoughts?? Georgia guy (talk) 17:51, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree. This has already been discussed above in "Modern Definitions". It is best to use the Census map and then explain variations in the article. Otherwise people start defining regions based on ludicrous maps such as the "Plant Taxonomic Database Standards" or by typing in "Southern United States maps" into Google images and using the results as a basis of definition.Dubyavee (talk) 05:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Dubyavee (in disagreeing with Georgia guy's good faith proposal). Maps can be every bit as much Original Research as text, or worse. Sometimes the 1,000 words a picture represents are disproportionate. Better to explain in prose proportionate to what one is describing. Maps should not be "flexible" they should be Verifiable. Hoppingalong (talk) 02:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Charitable Giving[edit]

There is a reliably sourced edit that keeps getting reverted about charitable giving in the south. Instead of edit warring, please discuss here and wait until there is a concensus to move on. Thanks!Jacona (talk) 00:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Your source is an article in Daily Finance based on a graph in mintlife based on an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy based on data from the IRS for 2008.[1] It is always better to use the best sources rather than third-hand commentaries. Notice it does not say "Eight of the ten most charitable states are located in [the South]." Instead it says that on average, people living in the ten states and earning over $50,000 per year donate more of their discretionary income. But that finding is skewed by two things. First people in the deep South have less disposable income than Northerners. Second it includes giving to churches. Notably Utah rates highest because Mormons must give 10 percent of their income to the church. But the Mormon church spends very little on what would be considered charity, it invests. Southerners of course give money to evangelical churches. You really need a good source that analyzes and explains the material. TFD (talk) 02:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with TFD. This edit/revert is borderline Original Research because the source does not contain the "analysis" or gloss the editor wishing to insert the sentence has put on it. Why not note that the South has 16 of the top 50? Unfortunately, the South also has more than a dozen of the bottom 50. Anyway, it doesn't add to readers' understanding of the Southern United States. I do not think it should be included, especially as it is now. Hoppingalong (talk) 03:45, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I also agree with TFD This edit/revert doesn't make a lot of sense here. The data from which this is sourced is 7 years old now, changes dramatically when increasing the scale of the study and feels non sequitur for this article. If someone is interested in adding a charitable giving section and expanding exponentially on the topic, I think it could have some relevance, but as it stands, the one sentence statement is the kind poor representation that is used in propaganda instead of encyclopedic knowledge. In fact, the original contribution even referenced the Mason Dixon line, and is the only place it would have been mentioned in the entire article about the American South.Tenthrow (talk) 17:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like there are any other voices here to support the edit in question. Tenthrow (talk) 12:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I would also like to chime in to oppose the language regarding charitable giving -- it doesn't add to the value of the article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Tenthrow, other voices may need a little time; not everyone is on WP every day. If we move to claim concensus after only two days without hearing from the "pro" side, we may be guilty of a rush to judgment. I would like to hear from whomever it was that originated this reference. We have time, it is not a race. Thanks! Jacona (talk) 13:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks like we've waited long enough. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:01, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


I noticed that there was a Literature section, which I believe was necessary, for that was a gap in the Southern United States that needed to be filled. Upon going back to edit and add to this section, Literature is no longer there. Did someone take it down for a specific reason? If not, I think it would be worthy to add, again.Abeat3 (talk) 19:01, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Confederate states[edit]

The states of the Confederacy need to be enumerated near the outset. That is one common definition of the South. deisenbe (talk) 19:36, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Disparity in metropolitan areas?[edit]

In the "Major metropolitan areas" section, how is it that San Antonio, TX can be listed with an MSA of 2.2 million, and NOT listed under CSA, where over half the list has less than that? Similarly: Austin,TX? Something fishy with the stats.... Hooperswim (talk) 02:19, 28 June 2015 (UTC)