Policy Analysis | February 2014
The "Black Belt"
The Black Belt is a string of counties that stretches from east Texas, through the deep South, and up into eastern Virginia. It is the largest, poorest, most rural region in the country. While definitions vary, the region typically is considered to encompass upwards of 623 counties across 11 states, mostly rural, crossing several smaller regions, including parts of the Mississippi Delta, Coastal Plain, and the Piedmont. The Black Belt is not a contiguous region, with small breaks scattered intermittently. It is this geographic irregularity that has, in many ways, hindered the development of a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges in the region as well as the development of a regional identity, such as those that helped to steer resources to the Appalachians and the Mississippi Delta. For further information, see the 2009 SLC Regional Resource, Capital Access in the Black Belt.
Black Belt Counties in the SLC Member States
(click on headers to sort by column)
|State||Black Belt Counties||Total Counties||Percent Black Belt|
Source: Ronald C. Wimberley, Libby V. Morris, and Donald P. Woolley, The Black Belt Databook, June 2001, Contractor Paper 01-11 (accessed January 16, 2014)