Southeastern United States
Population (2009)
 • Total 78,320,977
Time zone EST/CST

Dark red states are virtually always included in definitions of the Southeastern United States. Light red states are included less frequently, while pink states are sometimes, but rarely, considered "Southeastern."

The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America.

By definition per the Census Bureau, there isn't an official set of states that make up the Southeastern United States. However, most publications and the general population of the Southern United States generally agree that the region comprises Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia .[1][2][3] The Association of American Geographers defines the southeastern United States as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.[4]

With over 18 million people, Florida is the most populous of the states. It is followed by Georgia, with approximately 10 million residents, and then North Carolina with over 9 million people.

Jacksonville, Charlotte, and Memphis are the largest cities in the region by city-proper population, however, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, and Tampa are the most populous metropolitan areas in the region.



The predominant culture of the South has its origins with the settlement of the region by British colonists in the 17th century, large groups of English, Scots and Ulster-Scots (later called the Scotch-Irish) who settled in Appalachia and the Piedmont in the 18th century, and the many African slaves who were part of the Southern economy. African-American descendants of the slaves brought into the South comprise the United States' second-largest racial minority, accounting for 12.1 percent of the total population according to the 2000 census. Despite Jim Crow era outflow to the North (see Great Migration (African American)) the majority of the black population remains concentrated in the southern states, and have heavily contributed to the cultural blend (the charismatic brand of Christianity, foods, art, music [see "Spiritual (music)", blues, jazz and rock and roll]) that characterize Southern culture today.


In the last two generations, the South has changed dramatically. In recent decades it has seen a boom in its service economy, manufacturing base, high technology industries, and the financial sector. Examples of this include the surge in tourism in Florida and along the Gulf Coast; numerous new automobile production plants such as Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama; the BMW production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina; the GM manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee; and the Nissan North American headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee; the two largest research parks in the country: Research Triangle Park in North Carolina (the world's largest) and the Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama (the world's fourth largest); and the corporate headquarters of major banking corporations Bank of America and Wachovia in Charlotte; Regions Financial Corporation, AmSouth Bancorporation, and BBVA Compass in Birmingham; SunTrust Banks and the district headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and BB&T in Winston-Salem; and several Atlanta-based corporate headquarters and cable television networks, such as CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner South, Cartoon Network, and The Weather Channel. This economic expansion has enabled parts of the South to boast of some of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.[5] The many automotive manufacturing plants in Alabama, primarily those owned by automakers Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Honda, in coordination with countless automotive supplier corporations, have made the state of Alabama the number one center for automotive manufacturing and production, having surpassed Detroit in recent years. Alabama is also home to a large-scale manufacturing project owned by the German steel megacorporation Thyssen-Krupp, which operates a massive, state-of-the-art facility in the Alabama port city of Mobile.

Higher education

University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida

The Southeastern United States is home to a number of prominent universities, with several large research universities of longstanding significance (such as James Madison University, University of Georgia, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Louisville, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Washington and Lee University, University of the South, Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida International University, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Virginia, East Carolina University, Furman University, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee, Duke University, Wake Forest University, Georgia Health Sciences University, Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama at Huntsville, Samford University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana State University, Tulane, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Miami, Medical University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Southern Mississippi, Georgia State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology) exerting an influence beyond the region. -->

Research Triangle Park, in the Raleigh-Durham urban area of North Carolina has emerged (over a nearly 50-year existence) as a major hub of technology, governmental and biotechnological research and development, as has the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond. The Cummings Research Park in the Huntsville, Alabama area is the second largest research complex in the nation. It is one of the biggest areas of aerospace engineering and missile defense technology. Huntsville is also home to Red Stone Arsenal, United States Army Missile Command, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and many other key government, military, and aerospace agencies. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida is the largest laboratory in the world devoted to the study of magnetism. The University of South Carolina is currently constructing a research campus in downtown Columbia, and the University is the nation’s only National Science Foundation-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells.[6]

Largest cities

These are the ten largest cities in the Southeastern region of the United States by population according to United States Census Bureau on 2009-07-01:.[7]

Rank City State Population
1 Jacksonvillea[›] Florida 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".813,518
2 Charlotte North Carolina 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".709,441
3 Memphis Tennessee 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".676,640
4 Nashvillea[›] Tennessee 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".605,473
5 Louisvillea[›] Kentucky 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".566,503
6 Atlanta Georgia 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".540,921
7 Virginia Beach Virginia 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".433,575
8 Miami Florida 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".433,136
9 Raleigh North Carolina 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".405,791
10 Tampa Florida 0Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ","..Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",".343,890

Largest metropolitan areas, 2009

These are the fifteen metropolitan areas of the Southeastern region which exceed 1 million in population according to the United States Census Bureau's 2009 estimates:[8]

Beyond Megalopolis by Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, an attempt to update Jean Gottmann's work with current trends, defines two "megapolitan areas" contained within the Southeast, out of a total of ten such areas in the United States:

  • "Piedmont" centered on Atlanta and extending from North Carolina to Alabama
  • "Peninsula" covering South Florida and Central Florida

Two others tie some areas on the margins of the Southeast to urban centers in other regions:

  • "Gulf Coast" extending as far east as the western tip of Florida
  • "Northeast" including much of eastern Virginia
Rank Metropolitan Area Anchor City Population State(s)
1 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach Miami 5,547,051 Florida
2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Washington D.C. 5,476,241 District of Columbia / Virginia / Maryland / West Virginia
3 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Atlanta 5,475,213 Georgia
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Tampa 2,747,272 Florida
5 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Orlando 2,082,421 Florida
6 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Charlotte 1,745,524 North Carolina / South Carolina
7 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News Norfolk 1,674,498 Virginia / North Carolina
8 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Nashville 1,582,264 Tennessee
9 Jacksonville Jacksonville 1,328,144 Florida
10 Memphis Memphis 1,304,926 Tennessee / Mississippi / Arkansas
11 Louisville-Jefferson County Louisville 1,258,577 Kentucky/Indiana
12 Richmond Richmond 1,238,187 Virginia
13 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner New Orleans 1,189,981 Louisiana
14 Birmingham-Hoover Birmingham 1,131,070 Alabama
15 Raleigh-Cary Raleigh 1,125,827 North Carolina


External links

Template:Plantation agriculture in the Southeastern United States

Coordinates: 35°00′N 85°18′W / 35.0, -85.3

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Southeastern United States. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.