Southeastern United States

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Southeastern United States
Population (2009)
 • Total 78,320,977
Time zone EST/CST
Dark red states are almost always included in definitions of the Southeastern United States. Light red states are considered "southeastern" with less frequency.

The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the South, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States, and the southern portion of the Eastern United States.


There is no official Census Bureau definition of the southeastern United States. However, 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.1

Most populous states and cities as of 2013

The most populous state in the region is Florida (19,552,860),2 followed by Georgia (9,992,167),3 and North Carolina (9,848,060).4

Jacksonville, Charlotte, Memphis, Washington, and Baltimore are the largest cities in the region by population; Miami, Washington, Atlanta, Tampa and Charlotte 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 and African slaves in the 17th century, large groups of English, Scots and Ulster-Scots, Germans, French and Acadia.


The South has changed dramatically in the last two generations. 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; Toyota Motors in Blue Springs, Mississippi; Kia in West Point, Georgia; the BMW production plant in Greer, South Carolina; Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee; 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 the Triangle area of 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 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, North Carolina. As well as the fortune 500 paper companies Georgia Pacific in Atlanta and International Paper, Verso Paper in Memphis and FedEx which is not a paper company but one of the worlds biggest shipping companies. The region is home many Fortune 500 companies including 20 in Virginia, 16 in Florida, 15 in North Carolina, and 14 in Georgia. This economic expansion has enabled parts of the South to boast of some of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.5 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

The Southeastern United States is home to a number of prominent universities, with several large research universities of longstanding significance which exert some influence beyond the region.

Research Triangle Park, in the Raleigh-Durham urban area of North Carolina, has emerged 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.citation needed Huntsville is also home to Redstone 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.citation needed 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 largest cities in the Southeastern region of the United States by population, according to the United States Census Bureau:7discuss

Rank City State Population
1 Jacksonvillea[›] Florida 836,5078
2 Charlotte North Carolina 775,202
3 Memphis Tennessee 676,640
4 Washington District of Columbia 632,323
5 Nashvillea[›] Tennessee 624,496
6 Baltimore Maryland 621,342
7 Louisvillea[›] Kentucky 605,110
8 Virginia Beach Virginia 447,489
9 Atlanta Georgia 443,775
10 Raleigh North Carolina 423,179
11 Miami Florida 413,892
12 Tampa Florida 347,645
13 Lexington Kentucky 305,489
14 Greensboro North Carolina 277,080
15 Orlando Florida 249,562
16 Saint Petersburg Florida 246,541
17 Norfolk Virginia 245,782
18 Durham North Carolina 239,358
19 Winston-Salem North Carolina 234,349
20 Hialeah Florida 231,941
21 Chesapeake Virginia 228,417
22 Birmingham Alabama 212,038
23 Richmond Virginia 210,309
24 Montgomery Alabama 205,293
25 Fayetteville North Carolina 202,103

Largest metropolitan areas

These are the metropolitan areas of the Southeastern region which exceed 1 million in population according to the United States Census Bureau's 2012 estimates:910

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:

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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Washington D.C. 5,636,232 District of Columbia / Virginia / Maryland / West Virginia
2 Miami-Ft Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Miami 5,564,635 Florida
3 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Atlanta 5,457,831 Georgia
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Tampa 2,824,724 Florida
5 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Charlotte 2,296,569 North Carolina / South Carolina
6 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Orlando 2,223,674 Florida
7 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Raleigh 1,998,808 North Carolina
8 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Nashville 1,726,693 Tennessee
9 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News Norfolk 1,699,925 Virginia / North Carolina
10 Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Greenville 1,384,996 South Carolina
11 Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point Greensboro 1,376,452 North Carolina
12 Memphis Memphis 1,369,548 Tennessee / Mississippi / Arkansas
13 Jacksonville Jacksonville 1,345,596 Florida
14 Louisville-Jefferson County Louisville 1,307,647 Kentucky / Indiana
15 Richmond Richmond 1,258,251 Virginia
16 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner New Orleans 1,227,096 Louisiana
17 Birmingham-Hoover Birmingham 1,128,047 Alabama



The climate is warm and humid. There are short winters and long hot summers. The area has good soil for growing plants and is known for its large plantations and cash crops.


There are about 2 million feral pigs in the Southeastern United States. Around 500 thousand of those are in Florida.11

See also


  1. ^ Association of American Geographers
  2. ^ "Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Georgia QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ "North Carolina QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  5. ^ "State jobless rate below US average". The Decatur Daily. August 19, 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  6. ^ "Business Partnership Opportunities | University of South Carolina". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2009 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Jacksonville (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  9. ^ "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: Vintage 2012". United States Census Bureau. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  10. ^ "" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  11. ^ Waymer, Jim (September 19, 2013). "Refuge hopes new hunts help big pig problem". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1B. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 

External links

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

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