Alabama and Mississippi Compared

Mr. Beat is a social studies teacher who specializes in making history and geography more engaging

Mr. Beat compares and contrasts Alabama and Mississippi, two American states that are about as "Southern" as a state can get. Thanks to Shannon Beat for providing footage for this video. #mississippi #alabama #geography

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Produced by Matt Beat. All images by Matt Beat, found in the public domain, or used under fair use guidelines. Music by Drew Gerber.

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Alabama and Mississippi

Two bordering Southern states in these United States that are about as “Southern” as you can get. One time I mixed them up on a map in a video because my brain messes up sometimes. But yeah, both are in what’s known as the “Deep South,” and unfortunately, both have bad reputations.

When I searched “Alabama jokes” on YouTube, a video about incest was one of the top results. I’m not joking.

Anyway, so while a lot of people joke about how bad they are, in this video I’m taking a serious look at the two states. First of all, Alabama is just slightly bigger than Mississippi. Both have a small border with the Gulf of Mexico. Both have a humid subtropical climate and get A LOT of rain. Both have long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters. You are rarely going to see snow in these two states. You will see lots of thunderstorms, and the occasional hurricanes. And surprisingly, some of the worst tornadoes in American history have gone through both states.

Mississippi has a more flat topography compared with Alabama. A big reason why is because Alabama has the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains.

Alabama has a bigger population. Almost 2 million more people. Both are not that urban compared with the rest of the United States. Jackson is Mississippi’s only city with more than 100,000 people, whereas Alabama has five with over 100,000. Mississippi is also one of the few states in the country that has a shrinking population in recent years.

Alabama residents are older than Mississippi residents, on average. Perhaps because more retirees have recently been moving to Alabama? And they don’t call it the “Bible Belt” for nothing. Both states are religious. 83% of Mississippi residents identify as Christian. In Alabama, it’s 86%. A lot of those Christians identify as Evangelical, and specifically Baptists are the largest Evangelical group in both states.

Both states have a high percentage of African Americans relative to the rest of the country. (26.6% AL, 37.4% MS) In fact, Mississippi has the highest percentage of African American residents of all states in the country.

A big reason why there are so many African Americans in both states is the legacy of slavery. Many of their ancestors were forced to live in this part of the country as slaves. Still, the majority of residents in both states today trace their ancestry to Europe.

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