Southeastern United States

Southeastern United States

The US Southeast is the eastern portion of the Southern United States, but the Census Bureau does not provide a standard definition of a "Southeast" region of the United States, and organizations that need to subdivide the US are free to define a "Southeast" region to fit their needs. However, Georgia is almost always included, Texas is almost never included, and inclusion of other states varies.

Atlanta is the central metropolis of the Southeast , and the Southeast roughly corresponds to an area with Atlanta centrally located, with Hartsfield as the region's airline hub. Much of Virginia is associated with the Washington, Richmond or Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan areas. A portion of the latter extends into North Carolina.

The region boasts a number of prominent universities, with several large research universities of longstanding significance (such as James Madison University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Georgetown University,UNC Chapel Hill, Florida International University, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Florida, Furman University, University of Georgia, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee, Duke University, Wake Forest University, Medical College of Georgia, Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Tulane, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Miami, Medical University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina and Georgia Institute of Technology) exerting an influence beyond the region.

Research Triangle Park, in the Raleigh-Durham urban area of North Carolina has emerged (over a nearly 50-year existence) 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. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida is the largest laboratory in the world devoted to the study of magnetism. 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.

Examples of definitions of the Southeast

Defining organization GA FL SC AL NC VA
Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor
Southeast Division (NHL)
Atlantic Coast Conference
Southeast Division (NBA)
I-85 Corridor
Southeast Conservative Baptist
Southeast Conference, UCC part part part
A Look At Atlanta p. 6
Southeastern Conference
BellSouth Telecommunications
Veterans Administration
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Southeast Tourism Society
Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Largest Cities

These are the ten largest cities in the Southeastern region of the United States by population according to United States Census Bureau on 2006-07-01:.

Rank City State Population
1 Jacksonville Florida
2 Memphis Tennessee
3 Charlotte North Carolina
4 Nashville Tennessee
5 Louisville Kentucky
6 Atlanta Georgia
7 Miami Florida
8 Raleigh North Carolina
9 Tampa Florida
10 Lexington Kentucky

Largest metropolitan areas

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 Population State(s)
1 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 5,422,200 Florida
2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 5,290,400 Virginia / District of Columbia / Maryland / West Virginia
3 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta 5,249,121 Georgia
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 2,589,637 Florida
5 Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury 2,191,604 North Carolina / South Carolina
6 Orlando-Kissimmee 1,997,437 Florida
7 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News 1,700,000 Virginia / North Carolina
8 Winston-Salem-Greensboro-High Point 1,535,926 North Carolina
9 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro

1,498,836 Tennessee
10 Raleigh-Durham 1,467,434 North Carolina
11 Jacksonville 1,348,381 Florida
12 Memphis 1,260,905 Tennessee/Mississippi/Arkansas
13 Louisville-Jefferson County 1,245,920 Kentucky
14 Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson 1,203,795 South Carolina
15 Richmond 1,194,008 Virginia


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