Understanding Deep South Demographics

by jowihu on December 7, 2016 - 9:55pm

           The deep south has a long history full of hardship, pain, and suffering. But, it also has lots of culture. Many types of people call the deep south home, but I specifically want to focus on the hierarchy between whites and African Americans. This is a research article that uses secondary data analysis to decipher statistics about people. Adelman and Tsao got their data from Public Use Microdata samples and an American Community Survey. They took this data and then analyzed it to draw conclusions. Whites in the deep south between the years 1990-2010 began to move out little by little. Georgia saw the biggest loss of white population. In the year 1990, 70 percent of the population was white, compared to 2010 when 56 percent of the population was white. Though whites moved away, no single state’s white population dropped below 50 percent. (Adelman & Tsao 2016) While white population decreased, African American population increased. North Carolina and South Carolina were the only two states, out of six, to have African American population decrease. In North Carolina, African American population only dropped 1 percent, and in South Carolina it dropped two percent. (Adelman & Tsao 2016) In general, the black population rose. As this happened, African Americans continued to be disadvantaged. As seen from Figure 3 in the article, during the years 2006-2010 the percentage of whites and blacks in the labor force is close to even. But in Figure 4 and 5, there are large differences in levels of unemployment and poverty respectively. There are more than two times the number of unemployed blacks than there are whites in every state. The same can be said about those living in poverty. There are substantially more African Americans living in poverty. (Adelman & Tsao 2016) So although people of color have been moving back to the south in recent years, their position in the racial hierarchy has not improved.


            I agree with all this evidence stated by Adelman and Tsao. I can especially relate to there being more African Americans in the deep south. I visited South Carolina a few years ago, and there are a lot more people of color than I am used to seeing in New England. In the deep south, the number of African Americans increased and the number of whites decreased during the years 1990-2010. I think there are multiple reasons for African Americans returning. First, when the civil rights movement in the US took place, many African Americans left. But in years since then, as race relations have improved, these people feel that it’s ok to move back. They wanted to return and wanted their culture back. Also from this article, I thought it was eye-opening to see the gap in unemployment and poverty between whites and African Americans. African Americans have many more people unemployed and impoverished, per Adelman and Tsao. I am not quite sure why this is true. One possible reason may be that if African Americans live in, or near neighborhoods that are impoverished, it is harder for them to escape poverty. I think it would be beneficial to discuss possible reasons why African Americans are more disadvantaged than others. It was really shocking to see these discrepancies between races.


This article is a very important read for the public. First, it is important to know racial demographics of this region. If someone was looking for a place to live, they would want to know who lives there and what types of people live there. This article clearly shows the percentages of different races living in the deep south and statistics about them. Next, it is important for people to realize that African Americans are much more impoverished in these states. It is tougher for them in this area. If an African American family was looking to move here, this would be something to note. The poverty level of these people would also be an important fact to note. Outsiders need to see how rough it is, so they can send more aid. Lastly, and most optimistic, African Americans are regaining their culture. It is important to know that they are feeling safe enough again in recent decades to go back south. While African Americans still are not at the top of the racial hierarchy, a lot of progress has been made in the past few decades. Progress will continue to be made, and things will continue going down the right track!


Link to Article: http://www-tandfonline-com.uri.idm.oclc.org/doi/full/10.1080/02732173.2016.1227283?scroll=top&needAccess=true

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