Update: Follow up post.
This Michael Lind piece bemoaning liberal contempt for white Southerners made me want to look a bit deeper and compare interregional differences and similarities. I went into the General Social Survey and limited responses to whites only and compared by region. The regions in the GSS are those of the US Census:
I combined New England & Mid Atlantic as the Northeast, the North Central regions as the Midwest, Mountain and Pacific as the West, and finally the other three regions as the South. Results below....
|No Way To Find Out||6.7||5.5||3.8||6|
|Some Higher Power||10.8||11.8||6.3||14.6|
|Believe But Doubts||22.8||18.9||14.3||18.3|
|Know God Exists||49.3||56||71.1||53.2|
|Less Than HS||11.7||12.3||13.6||9.4|
|Dumb (WORDSUM 0-4)||15.3||15.7||17.4||11.4|
|Average (WORDSUM 5-7)||55||61.5||57.2||55.6|
|Smart (WORDSUM 8-10)||29.7||22.7||25.3||33|
|Allow To Speak....|
|Word of God||19.4||27.1||38.1||24.1|
|Book of Fables||22.7||15.9||11.8||24.4|
|Can People Be Trusted...|
|Great Deal of Confidence In....|
|How Do People Get Ahead|
|Luck or Help||11.5||11.1||9||9.5|
|Taxes On Rich Are....|
|Much Too High||12.1||8||7.5||8.5|
|Much Too Low||21||13.7||13.1||11.5|
|Approve Ban Mandatory School Prayer||50.7||43||34.7||51.6|
|Premarital Sex Always Wrong||14.3||22.7||33.7||22.4|
|Homosexual Sex Always Wrong||40.5||54.8||65.5||47.6|
|Make Porn Illegal||32.6||36.7||44.6||32|
|Strongly Favor Spanking of Children||17.4||24.6||32.1||23.6|
|Does a Person Have Right to End Life if Terminally Ill?||70.5||64.8||57||69|
|Reads Newspaper Everyday||46.3||42.5||37.1||37.4|
|Poor Americans Need to Help Themselves, No Gov. Aid||25.8||29.9||33.8||30.4|
|People Should Pay For Medical Care Themselves, No Gov. Aid||14.3||18.8||20.5||17.5|
|No Special Treatment for Blacks, No Gov. Aid||53.1||56.2||61.4||55.2|
|No One In Family Belongs To Union||75.8||81.8||90.7||83.6|
|Favor Law Against Interracial Marriage||8.9||10.3||18||5.5|
|Yes – Abortion On Demand||49.2||36.7||33.9||49.4|
|Favor Capital Punishment||68.4||74.6||78.7||75.5|
|Favor Gun Permit||88.4||78.2||77.2||76.1|
|Attended Religious Service Last Week||29.7||31.2||37.7||26.9|
The correlations between the regions are:
Northeast & Midwest, 0.95
Northeast & South, 0.87
Northeast & West, 0.96
Midwest & South, 0.96
Midwest & West, 0.98
South & West, 0.93
There's really a lot of agreement.
I have to disagree with your grouping of regions. If your reported result is a high correlation between the perceived 'different' geographic regions, throwing obviously very different regions (which are traditionally separated) together will obviously skew the results towards the conclusion.
I'd be very interested to see the correlations run with the full set of 9 regions.
It would also be cool to see the correlations for a trimmed down list of measures. A lot of the items (especially the binary questions at the end) are redundant (obviously not independent).
In essence the northeast and west agree most of the time.
What I see is the south being the main problem and curiously that's where the rabid republican base exists.
Can we do a recount on the Civil War - and FORCE the crackers in the South to succeed now?
Excellent post, Razib. As is common for your posts, a generous endowment of curiousity and a consistent scientific approach to data analysis has enlightened us all (well, most of us!).
Notwithstanding the aforementioned enlightenment, I am starting a wagering pool for the emergence of the first blogger or commenter who writes "...but those [enter a geographic area] are really [enter a derogatory statement].
J-Dog, William Lloyd Garrison actually wanted the north to secede. I believe Aaron Burr was involved in a plot to have the north secede. I am a northerner and I endorse the idea, but I'm for secession anytime anywhere for any reason.
Of course, while there are a lot of similarities, there's one or two points with differences in the neighborhood of 20%.
I also strongly suspect the correlations would be much worse in narrower comparisons, especially deep blue New England region one with deep red Deep South region six.
please see follow up post....