Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Regionalism -- United States, Sunbelt States, Geographical names -- United States -- History

Physical Description

31 pages


Given the speed with which we have embraced the idea and terminology of a Sunbelt, this essay attempts to explore several related issues. As an introduction, it will briefly review the process of introduction and acceptance of the term. It will then explore possible reasons for the "discovery" of the Sunbelt, its seemingly quick success, and its persistent use after it has slipped to the status of cliche in national journalism. The underlying concern is to understand why Americans took the new terminology so readily to heart by examining what it is that "Sunbelt" explains or implies that lies beyond the connotations of our more traditional regional terms.


Catalog Number DP88-3.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier