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Old 11-29-2013, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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What has been your experience here? I noticed on the U.S. religion maps the Southern Baptist plurality extends right up to the MO-IA border. I'm guessing there might be some Southern influences in southern IA, namely the lowest strip of counties (especially Ringgold, Decatur, Wayne, etc.). Am I mistaken?
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:18 PM
 
Location: IN
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Anything below I-80 in Iowa is basically Missouri light, meaning more southern "influences" in the prevailing culture. It is overall more like the Lower Midwest with a greater number of struggling towns and many of the same issues that neighboring rural Missouri shares.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Anything below I-80 in Iowa is basically Missouri light, meaning more southern "influences" in the prevailing culture. It is overall more like the Lower Midwest with a greater number of struggling towns and many of the same issues that neighboring rural Missouri shares.
I would agree with this!
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
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The disparity between the percentage of struggling towns in southern Iowa as compared to the number in central & northern Iowa was more marked in the pre & immediate post WWII years more than is the case now. In those earlier years, the decline of the coal mining economy in that southern area of the state was still being felt & caused the region to be drastically worse off in quite a few counties. The population loss there was particularly stronger then too.
Today there is less difference although poverty in the southern part of the state is still higher than elsewhere. What has happened since then is that the brain drain off of the farm & out of the small towns & small cities in other areas of the state has evened out the statistical differences somewhat & a great number of formerly more prosperous towns & cities that at least were holding their own in terms of job opportunities & population growth have lost their momentum & entered stagnation &/or decline.
Now in relative terms at least, many smaller counties in southern Iowa appear to be performing better in terms of holding onto their population.
Remarkably in view of this trend, especially with it's relatively older population & small births over deaths yearly growth surplus, Iowa is rather steady & balanced in terms of population migration between the states.
It's overall population growth does benefit tremendously from having a strong in movement via immigration from outside of the country.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Anything below I-80 in Iowa is basically Missouri light, meaning more southern "influences" in the prevailing culture. It is overall more like the Lower Midwest . . .
I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's probably why there hasn't been any major "culture shock" for me, just arriving from Central Ohio, although I still think, in general, that people are more reserved here, more like Mid-Michigan (Lansing, for example).

I haven't met anyone from Missouri, yet, but I'll ask about that, if there's a chance.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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Iowa is the epitome of Midwestern. There is nothing Southern about any part of the state - there may be some minor cultural variations within the state, but nothing that can be discerned as Southern. No Waffle Houses, no bluegrass or blues meccas, no accents (though some that reside near the IA/MO border may claim to have a slight "twang")
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:40 PM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
Iowa is the epitome of Midwestern. There is nothing Southern about any part of the state - there may be some minor cultural variations within the state, but nothing that can be discerned as Southern. No Waffle Houses, no bluegrass or blues meccas, no accents (though some that reside near the IA/MO border may claim to have a slight "twang")
Southern IA definitely has some southern influences as it is close to the little Dixie area of Missouri. English, Scots-Irish, and Irish ancestry that is common in southern Iowa is also different compared to central and northern Iowa- which is predominantly German and Scandinavian.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
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I would say Highway 34 would be a better dividing line than I-80. Iowa City and Davenport are both south of 80, and not Southern in any way, except for the Blues influence the Mississippi brings to Davenport.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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Originally Posted by QuadCityImages View Post
I would say Highway 34 would be a better dividing line than I-80. Iowa City and Davenport are both south of 80, and not Southern in any way, except for the Blues influence the Mississippi brings to Davenport.
Agreed. I-80 is too far north of a dividing line related to this question.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Being a Tennessean who lived in Des Moines last year, I can't see anything about anywhere I traveled in the state as southern at all. Iowans don't have an accent that resembles a southern accent *at all.* You can't get foods that are culturally southern unless it's a chain. Chick-Fil-A was the only place I ever found that sold chicken biscuits. I don't think I found a single local restaurant that carried sweet tea. Religious preferences aren't close - IA has a lot of Lutherans, the South has a lot of Baptists. Religion isn't seen in the public square like it is in the South. I can't see how IA has anything Southern.
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