The South Central United States or South Central states is a region in the south central portion of the Southern United States. It evolved out of the Old Southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South, as can be seen in the now defunct Southwest Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (which make up what the Census Bureau Division calls West South Central States) are almost always considered the "core" of the region. As part of the East South Central States sub-group of the Census Bureau classification, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky are also frequently listed under the heading. At the highest extent, Kansas, and Missouri, may be included by some sources. All or parts these states are in the Central Time Zone. At different times, all of the above states were/are considered part of the Western United States in American history.
The climate varies from the semi-tropical in the Mississippi Delta, South Louisiana, and Southeast Texas, to the dry Chihuahuan desert in West Texas. The southeastern portions include the Appalachian mountains in Alabama and Tennessee and the Piney Woods of East Texas, Louisiana, and southern Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. A large portion of the northeastern quarter of the region is mountainous, with the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The northwest quarter of the region is dominated by the Great Plains which become progressively drier west of 100° W, forming the North American Llano Estacado. The southwestern portions border the Rio Grande, and are generally drier than other areas of the South Central United States.
Texas is the largest South Central state by both area and population. Texas is still home to over half the region's population. The largest city in the region, Houston, is located in Texas. New Orleans was tied with Oklahoma City in population but, after Hurricane Katrina, the population of the New Orleans metro area declined to approximately 1 million.By 2017, the population of New Orleans had bounced back to almost 1.3 million.
These four states come together in a region known as the Ark-La-Tex region.
Two megaregions exist within this region:
|State||2010 Pop.||Land Area||Density|
|Arkansas||2,915,918 (4th)||52,068 (3rd)||51.34 (3rd)|
|Louisiana||4,533,372 (2nd)||43,562 (4th)||102.59 (1st)|
|Oklahoma||3,751,351 (3rd)||68,667 (2nd)||50.25 (4th)|
|Texas||25,145,561 (1st)||261,797 (1st)||79.65 (2nd)|
|City||City Population||Metro Population||U.S. Rank|
The history of the South Central states is dominated by the conflict and interaction between three cultural-linguistic groups: the Anglosphere (first Great Britain and then the United States), the Hispanidad (first Spain then Mexico), and the Francophonie (always France). In the 17th and 18th centuries Spain and France maneuvered for control of Texas, with the Spanish based in Mexico and New Mexico and the French in Louisiana. During the War of the Quadruple Alliance hostilities spread to the New World and the French troops from Natchitoches briefly captured the capital of Spanish Texas, Los Adaes in what is now western Louisiana. The French were not able to wrest control of Texas from Spain, and by the early 19th century sold their North American holdings to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, which comprised slightly less than half of what is today the South Central United States.
The official West and East South Central states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were members of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Kentucky was often considered a "non-official" Confederate state. Oklahoma, although Indian Territory at the time, was home to 5 Native-American tribes, of which a majority allied themselves with the Confederacy. Thus, all these states are usually considered to make up a large part of the American South both historically and culturally, as well as classified by the U.S. Census Bureau.
|Basketball||NBA||American Airlines Center||1|
|Hockey||NHL||American Airlines Center||1|
|Baseball||MLB||Minute Maid Park||1|
New Orleans Pelicans
|Basketball||NBA||Smoothie King Center||0|
New Orleans Saints
Oklahoma City Thunder
|Basketball||NBA||Chesapeake Energy Arena||1|
San Antonio Spurs
|Baseball||MLB||Globe Life Field||0|
University of Arkansas
Louisiana State University
University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University
University of Texas
Texas A&M University
Texas Christian University
|Horned Frogs||Big 12|
Texas Tech University
|Red Raiders||Big 12|
The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these are known as the Gulf States.
Interstate 10 (I-10) is the southernmost cross-country highway in the American Interstate Highway System. I-10 is the fourth-longest Interstate in the United States at 2,460.34 miles (3,959.53 km), following I-90, I-80, and I-40. This freeway is part of the originally planned network that was laid out in 1956, and its last section was completed in 1990.
Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States generally north of I-10, I-20 and I-30 but south of I-70. The western end is at I-15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 (US 117) and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is the third-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, behind I-80 and I-90. Much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow parallels or overlays the historic US 66, east of Oklahoma City the route generally parallels US 64 and US 70. I-40 runs through or near many major cities including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
El Paso is a city in Woodford and McLean counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 2,810 at the 2010 census. The Woodford County portion of El Paso is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Texarkana is a city in Bowie County, Texas, United States, located in the Ark-La-Tex region. Located approximately 180 miles (290 km) from Dallas, Texarkana is a twin city with neighboring Texarkana, Arkansas. The population of the Texas city was 36,411 at the 2010 census. The city and its Arkansas counterpart form the core of the Texarkana Metropolitan Statistical Area, encompassing all of Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas. The two cities had a combined population of 67,592 at the 2017 census, and the metropolitan area had a total population of 150,098.
El Paso is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2019 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 681,728, making it the 22nd largest city in the United States. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 840,758.
Socorro is a city in El Paso County, Texas, United States. It is located on the north bank of the Rio Grande southeast of El Paso, and on the border of Mexico. El Paso adjoins it on the west and the smaller city of San Elizario on the southeast; small unincorporated areas of El Paso County separate it from the nearby municipalities of Horizon City to the north and Clint to the east. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 27,152. By the 2010 census, the number had grown to 32,013. As of July 1, 2018, the population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 34,533. It is part of the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is El Paso County's second-largest municipality, after El Paso. It has a council-manager type of government with five city council members. Socorro is the 93rd largest community in the state of Texas.
Greenville is a city in Hunt County, Texas, United States, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Dallas. It is the county seat and largest city of Hunt County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,557, and in 2018 the estimated population was 28,263.
Longview is the forty-fifth largest city in the state of Texas. The city is mostly located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; a small part of Longview extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County. Longview is located in East Texas, where Interstate 20 and U.S. Highways 80 and 259 converge just north of the Sabine River. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 80,455. The estimated population in 2018 was 81,647. Longview is the principal city of the Longview metropolitan statistical area, comprising Gregg, Upshur, and Rusk counties. The population of the metropolitan area as of 2017 census estimates is 217,481.
The Ark-La-Tex is a socio-economic tri-state region where the Southern U.S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas abut and join together. The region contains portions of Northwest Louisiana, Northeast Texas, and South Arkansas as well as the extreme southeastern tip of Oklahoma, partly centered upon the Red River, which flows along the Texas–Oklahoma state line into Southwestern Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana.
The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, officially designated Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, is a conurbated metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. state of Texas encompassing 11 counties. It is the economic and cultural hub of North Texas. Residents of the area also refer to it as DFW, or the Metroplex. The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan statistical area's population is 7,573,136 according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 population estimates, making it the most populous metropolitan area in both Texas and the Southern United States, the fourth-largest in the U.S., and the tenth-largest in the Americas. In 2016, the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex ascended to the number one spot in the U.S. in year-over-year population growth.
The Southeastern United States, also referred to as the American Southeast or simply the Southeast, is, broadly, the eastern portion of the Southern United States and the southern portion of the Eastern United States. It comprises at least a core of states on the lower East Coast of the United States and eastern Gulf Coast. Expansively, it includes everything south of the Mason–Dixon line, the Ohio River and the 36°30' parallel, and as far west as Arkansas and Louisiana. There is no official U.S. government definition of the region, though various agencies and departments use different definitions.
The West South Central States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States that are officially designated by the United States Census Bureau.
The Central United States is sometimes conceived as between the Eastern and Western as part of a three-region model, roughly coincident with the U.S. Census' definition of the Midwestern United States plus the western and central portions of the U.S. Census' definition of the Southern United States. The Central States are typically considered to consist of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama are also considered to be central states. Chicago is the area's largest city and metropolitan area, other large cities with large metropolitan areas would be Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, Topeka, Wichita, Omaha, Nebraska and Lincoln, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Madison and Milwaukee, St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Dayton, Rockford, Peoria, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne and South Bend.
The geography of Texas is diverse and large. Occupying about 7% of the total water and land area of the U.S., it is the second largest state after Alaska, and is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which end in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico. Texas is in the South Central United States of America, and is considered to form part of the U.S. South and also part of the U.S. Southwest.
Interstate 10 (I-10) is the major east–west Interstate Highway in the Southern United States. In the U.S. state of Texas, it runs east from Anthony, at the border with New Mexico, through El Paso, San Antonio and Houston to the border with Louisiana in Orange, Texas. At just under 880 miles (1,420 km), the Texas segment of I-10, maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation, is the longest continuous untolled freeway in North America that is operated by a single authority. It is also the longest stretch of highway with a single designation within a single state. Mile marker 880 and its corresponding exit number in Orange, Texas, are the highest numbered mile marker and exit on any freeway in North America. After widening was completed in 2008, a portion of the highway west of Houston is now also believed to be the widest in the world, at 26 lanes when including feeders.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is a governmental agency and its purpose is to "provide safe, effective, and efficient movement of people and goods" throughout the state. Though the public face of the agency is generally associated with maintenance of the state's immense highway system, the agency is also responsible for aviation in the state and overseeing public transportation systems.
El Paso–Juárez, also known as Juárez–El Paso, the Borderplex or Paso del Norte, is a transborder agglomeration, on the border between Mexico and the United States. The region is centered on two large cities: Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, U.S. Additionally, nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S. is sometimes included as part of the region, referred to as El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces or El Paso–Juárez–Southern New Mexico. With over 2.7 million people, this binational region is the 2nd largest conurbation on the United States–Mexico border. The El Paso–Juárez region is the largest bilingual, binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.
The Louisiana Eagle was a long distance night train operated by the Texas and Pacific Railway that from New Orleans to Fort Worth, Texas. The route was distinct in contrast to other routes running west from New Orleans to major Texas cities. It ran northwest-ward from New Orleans to northwest Louisiana and to the major North Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth with continuing service to El Paso on the Missouri Pacific's Texas Eagle, whereas other east-west trains from New Orleans into Texas went to the south, to Houston and San Antonio.