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View Poll Results: Why do some people view the south as rural and the northeast as urban
Ignorance-They haven't traveled or studied enough to know otherwise. Plus, the media feeds them this belief. 35 71.43%
They've traveled enough, but they allow their prejudices to cloud reality. The media reinforces their prejudice. 14 28.57%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-19-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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This is what has perplexed me. Perhaps people are simply not well traveled or educated, and so they only spout what the media or popular culture tells them. However, how can anyone realistically call the South "rural" these days, as though it's vastly different from the other regions?

The South has the largest population of the four primary regions of the U.S. (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West). It has a greater population density than the midwest and west.

The Northeast is very rural outside of the Boston-Washington D.C. megalopolis, particularly northern New England (Maine, N. NH, VT), as well as much of upstate New York and Central Pennsylvania.

Yet, for some reason, people, albeit the news media or people on this site, often refer to the northeast as an urban region and the south as a rural region, even when the South has four metro areas with over five million people (Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami), three with close to two million and between five million (Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Charlotte), and many more with over one million each (Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-Winston Salem, Richmond, Norfolk-Va. Beach, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Greenville-Spartanburg, Birmingham, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Austin, and San Antonio). There are also many others with between 500,000-1 million, such as Knoxville, Charleston, Columbia, Augusta, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Tulsa, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Mobile).

From what I've read, many northeasterners when heading to Florida often like to say, the south is rural, when they simply take I-95. Do they not realize that I-95 through the Carolinas is through the least populated areas of the state? Even Coastal Georgia isn't very populated compared to the Piedmont areas. It's like saying, the northeast is a rural region because I drove through I-81, and it was nothing but mountains and farms. Yet, the southeast is all urban because I drove through on I-85 and saw all the cities of Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, Greenville, and Atlanta).

So why do they do this?

Last edited by Stars&StripesForever; 12-19-2011 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Center City
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Neither of the two poll choices. It may be because the 7 densest states (and 8 of the Top 10) are in the NE based on the 2010 US census while only 1 of the Top 10 (No. 8 Florida) is in the south:

1. New Jersey: 1196 people/sq mi
2. Rhode Island: 1018
3. Massachusetts: 839
4. Connecticut: 738
5. Maryland: 595
6. Delaware: 461
7. New York: 411
8. Florida: 351
9. Pennsylvania: 284
10. Ohio: 282
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:29 AM
 
6,185 posts, read 6,355,356 times
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A lot of People do not consider Texas to be the south.

I was not aware the Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, NC State metro had a lot of people. Plus it is very spread out with lots of open space isnt it?

I would say Atlanta is your major city, but does it have a sprawling suburb system attached to it? Same with I guess Memphis, and New Orleans?

You are right, outside of the I-95, the Northeast is practically empty. But it does cover a smaller area, and it does have much more people if you discount Florida which most people do not think of when they think "south"
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Neither of the two poll choices. It may be because the 7 densest states (and 8 of the Top 10) are in the NE based on the 2010 US census while only 1 of the Top 10 (No. 8 Florida) is in the south:

1. New Jersey: 1196 people/sq mi
2. Rhode Island: 1018
3. Massachusetts: 839
4. Connecticut: 738
5. Maryland: 595
6. Delaware: 461
7. New York: 411
8. Florida: 351
9. Pennsylvania: 284
10. Ohio: 282
The problem with density is that is skews in favor of small states with few square miles, if those areas happen to be in major metropolitan areas. After all, the megapolopolis takes up all of Rhode Island, most of Massachusetts, most of Connecticut, all of New Jersey, etc. Those, given their small size and being located in an urban area, are going to be dense. On the other hand, large states with comparable populations or built-up areas, but of which happen to have more rural land by issue of simply being larger, are going to be "less dense".

New York's numbers of skewed because of New York City. It is why a larger sized state is able to make the list. Florida is able to make the list given its larger population. Pennsylvania and Ohio barely make the list of top ten, and that's because Ohio's not really as large as it looks, plus it has three major cities. Pennsylvania is also not as large as it looks, given that it's right around the tiny states, and also that it has two major cities with a couple of small to mid-sized cities. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee fall within the 10-20 in density.

That said, density isn't the only measure to determine between rural and urban. Many suburban places clearly have lower population densities than highly urban areas, yet they're not rural.

Furthermore, what about the south having the largest population of the four primary regions?

What about the south having large numbers of metropolitan areas with over one million people?
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
A lot of People do not consider Texas to be the south.

I was not aware the Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, NC State metro had a lot of people. Plus it is very spread out with lots of open space isnt it?
The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has about 1.4 million people or so, and it is fairly contiguous and is suburban, despite being less dense than a lot of other southern metropolitan areas.

Texas is clearly the South. It's in the southern part of the country. It was a confederate state. It's people speak with southern accents. It has a high concentration of Baptists. They eat southern food. It's a southern state, at least most of it is.

Quote:
I would say Atlanta is your major city, but does it have a sprawling suburb system attached to it? Same with I guess Memphis, and New Orleans?
All but a few U.S. cities have sprawling suburbs. These sprawlers include New York and Philadelphia, in particular, as well as Boston. New Orleans, actually, is fairly dense and compact and in a relatively small area. Memphis is both. It sprawls, but it has a fairly dense, compact, populated core.

Quote:
You are right, outside of the I-95, the Northeast is practically empty. But it does cover a smaller area, and it does have much more people if you discount Florida which most people do not think of when they think "south"
The northeast is not practically empty outside of the I-95 corridor, as you have Pittsburgh, Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, as well as other small cities. However, neither is the south empty or a rural region, if we look at the nation as a whole. While the south does have large population living in rural areas, it has much less undeveloped land than the west and parts of the midwest/plains. It also has a lot of cities. As a whole, the south's settled blueprint is roughly on-par with the midwestern Great Lakes states.

Florida is geographically southern, and culturally southern in a significant part of the state. It is in the South.

Last edited by Stars&StripesForever; 12-19-2011 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,849 posts, read 7,793,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
The problem with density is that is skews in favor of small states with few square miles, if those areas happen to be in major metropolitan areas. After all, the megapolopolis takes up all of Rhode Island, most of Massachusetts, most of Connecticut, all of New Jersey, etc. Those, given their small size and being located in an urban area, are going to be dense. On the other hand, large states with comparable populations or built-up areas, but of which happen to have more rural land by issue of simply being larger, are going to be "less dense".
I agree with parts of this statement, but rather than frame density as the "problem" in your first sentence, I would re-frame it as the reason why people might hold certain perspectives of the regions. After all, the NE is by and large comprised of these smaller, denser states.

Given the only two reasons you apparently believe anyone would characterize the NE as urban and the south as rural are either ignorance or prejudice, I don't expect you to entertain a third fact-based possibility. As such, this is the last I have to say on this matter. Let's see how others weigh in.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,745,723 times
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You're not making it any better by further acknowledging the truth in the stereotype.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:08 AM
 
2,402 posts, read 3,577,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
You're not making it any better by further acknowledging the truth in the stereotype.
Who is this directed to? Please explain as well what you meant by your comment. It's a little vague.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,745,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Who is this directed to? Please explain as well what you meant by your comment. It's a little vague.
It is directed to you. Like in your previous thread that got out of hand because you felt some injustice was served to Mississippi and Alabama.

This will only provide a meeting place for such believers to come and explain why they think the south is rural and the northeast is urban.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:25 AM
 
2,402 posts, read 3,577,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
It is directed to you. Like in your previous thread that got out of hand because you felt some injustice was served to Mississippi and Alabama.

This will only provide a meeting place for such believers to come and explain why they think the south is rural and the northeast is urban.
How do you figure?

I clearly stated:

1) That the South is the most populated region.

2) That the South has many large metropolitan areas.

3) That the northeast has large swaths of undeveloped land/rural areas.

4) That suburban areas are not rural, and that density isn't exactly the only measure for whether an area is urbanized.
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