Friday, June 7, 2013

The Bad Stripe as Boundary Zone

The Bad Stripe is an area of the U.S. running roughly east-to-west from West Virginia, through Kentucky and Tennesee to Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. It is Bad because human development indicators, economics, and general indicators of flourishing and happiness are depressed there relative to the rest of the U.S. (Note: it is not just the Black Belt - it is considerably inland and upland of that.) This pattern frequently jumps out of maps of the U.S. showing demographic or economic data, and one thing that has become clear is that the Bad Stripe is a boundary zone between trade regions, religions, and now dialects (previous language boundary shown here). And here we see it again: witness the border of y'all, which runs right through the Bad Stripe.

By Joshua Katz at UNC, via Business Insider.

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