There are 18 Sunbelt States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
The “sunbelt state” classification has taken on a few meanings, including those pertaining to favorable weather conditions and a growing economy. Large portions of land now a part of the sun belt used to belong to Mexico before becoming a part of the U.S. These states sit closer to the equator than the rest of the Continental United States.
A sunbelt state typically experiences more sunny days and warmer temperatures than in other parts of the country. Several sunbelt states have coastal land located in the south or southwest, including Texas, Florida, and California.
Because of their temperate weather patterns, sunbelt states may have more active economies than other parts of the U.S. For one, the high number of warm days provides more opportunities for people to work outdoors.
Sunbelt states also consist of more coastal areas than other locations, such as in the desert or northern states not near any body of water. The sunbelt region’s coastal positioning usually makes them popular tourist destinations, which contributes to large portions of the area’s economies.
People often move to sunbelt states to take advantage of work opportunities there. Retirees also may choose a sunbelt state to retire in at least part of the year.
Therefore, these areas have become highly populated, especially from 1970-1990. However, the cost of living has begun to rise in places normally thought of as having the most affordable metropolitan locations.
The Kindler Institute classified 15 states as part of the sunbelt. Three other locations became a part of this list later, probably because of their favorable climate and economic conditions.
Texas broke away from Mexico in 1836, about nine years before it became a part of the United States. California followed suit in 1850. By 1912, Arizona, New Mexico and other states held by Mexico were ceded to the U.S., to which they originated as territories.
Originally, regions in the Continental United States situated at least below 36 degrees, 30 minutes North Latitude qualified as sunbelt states. However, this definition expanded to southern states experiencing rapid economic growth along with warm weather conditions.