South Central United States
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South Central United States

Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are usually included, while all or portions of the striped states may or may not be considered part of the South Central United States.

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.[1] By 2017, the population of New Orleans had bounced back to almost 1.3 million.[2]

These four states come together in a region known as the Ark-La-Tex region.

Two megaregions exist within this region:

States in the South Central 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)

Major cities

City City Population Metro Population U.S. Rank
Aerial views of the Houston, Texas, skyline in 2014 LCCN2014632225.tif
2,325,502 6,997,384 4
SATX Skyline.jpg
San Antonio
1,532,233 2,518,036 7
Xvixionx 29 April 2006 Dallas Skyline.jpg
1,345,047 7,233,323 9
964,254 2,168,316 11
Fort Worth
895,008 7,233,323 13
El Paso Skyline2.jpg
El Paso[a]
682,669 845,553 22
New Orleans CBD from Algiers Point at Dusk December 2006.jpg
New Orleans
391,006 1,262,888 50
Baton Rouge Louisiana waterfront aerial view.jpg
Baton Rouge
221,599 830,480 99
Oklahoma city downtown.JPG
Oklahoma City
649,021 1,396,445 27
Tulsa, Oklahoma.jpg
403,035 991,561 47
Downtown Little Rock.jpg
Little Rock
197,881 738,344 121


  1. ^ El Paso is often considered a part of the Southwest Region. In fact, El Paso is the only city on this list that is in Mountain Time Zone instead of the Central Time Zone. El Paso is closer to the Arizona state capital (Phoenix) than it is to the Texas state capital (Austin). El Paso is also closer to the California state line than it is to the Louisiana state line.



Major Commercial Airports[13][14][15][16][17]

Major Interstate Highways[18][19][20][21]


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.



  1. ^ The Oklahoma City Thunder won their NBA title in 1979 before their relocation to Oklahoma City when the team was known as the Seattle SuperSonics.



  1. ^ Zimmermann, Kim Ann; August 27, Live Science Contributor |; ET, 2015 12:47pm. "Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage & Aftermath". Live Science. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "New Orleans metro area population 2010-2017 | Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Texas Demographic Center". Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Demographics and Geography - The official website of Louisiana". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Oklahoma Cities by Population". Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Arkansas Cities by Population". Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Louisiana Cities by Population". Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Texas Cities by Population". Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Distance from El Paso, TX to Phoenix, AZ". Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Distance from El Paso, TX to Austin, TX". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Distance from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles, CA". Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Distance from El Paso, TX to Orange, TX". Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Aviation and Airports". Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "Aviation and Aerospace". Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "Official Home - Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport". Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "Clinton National Airport". Clinton National Airport. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "Tulsa International Airport | Tulsa Airports". Tulsa Airport. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Texas Department of Transportation". Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "LaDOTD". Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Arkansas Department of Transportation - ArDOT". Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "Oklahoma Department of Transportation - Oklahoma Department of Transportation". Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Texas Sports Teams". Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "Louisiana Sports Teams". Wright Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Oklahoma City Sports | Professional & Collegiate Sports". Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "Sports in Louisiana". Louisiana Travel. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Texas Sports Teams". Wright Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "Arkansas Sports Teams". Wright Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "Oklahoma Sports Teams". Wright Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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