Is Texas south or southwest?

Would you consider Texas to be part of the South, or the Southwest? I’ve seen maps that group the state with the southwest, and some that group it with the south.

It is the south. It is in the central time zone. There are two more westernmost time zones (in the lower 48) and just one more eastern zone.

Calling it the southwest is a residual from the early days of the country and a desire of Texans to be cooler than they are.

Texas is Texas. Sui generis.

It’s so big that it’s split into around 5 locations:

West Texas is the southwest.
East Texas is the South.
North Texas is the Midwest.
South Texas is the Borderlands which can be confused with sui generis texas or the Southwest.
Central Texas (from somewhere near to dallas to near to houston) is just Texas.

Texas east of 35 is part of the south. Texas west of 35 is part of the west.

El Paso is southwest. Everything else is south. Except for Amarillo, which is the same as whatever hell Oklahoma fits into.

East Texas, Hill Country, Gulf Coast are similar to the South, but still not part of the South.

West Texas is pretty Western.

Panhandle is different…

Austin is weird, Houston is multicultural, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grand Valley are very New World Latin,

Dallas sucks.

State lines and county lines and city limits are sharply defined (barring the odd disputed island in the middle of a meandering river and that sort of thing), as of course are national borders (again with the exception of various disputed territories). Things like “metro areas” and multi-state regions–“the South”, “the West”, “the Midwest”-- on the other hand tend to be inherently fuzzy, with different people disagreeing about where they begin and end, and with the possibility that whatever regional boundaries we do draw won’t always correspond with the legally defined state lines.

Texas is part of the South, at least partly. Texas is part of the West, at least partly. And Texas is also big enough (and distinctive enough) to be a “region” of its own.

Texans pick whether they’re southern or southwestern based on context. Someone’s showing the stars and bars? Definitely southern. Eating chiliquiles? Southwestern. Etc.

I was born on the bayou near the Bayou City and grew up all over the Texas Gulf Coast between the swamps near Anahuac and the swamps near the Sabine. Dad was Brown & Root petrochem engineer.

Yep. It’s neither south nor southwest. It’s simply Texas the way that Florida is Florida.

And don’t mess with it.

I lived in Austin for 10 years. We considered ourselves more Southwestern than Southern, but mostly just very special Texans.

Once my ex and I, with Texas license plates, got stuck in mud while driving in Alabama. Within minutes, a pickup truck full of local boys stopped to assist. As the first one got out of the truck, he said to the others, “How about we help out these Yankees?”

Thirded (or whatever number we’re on). In my mental space, Texas is its own category. It edges more Southwest than South to me, but it’s still just “Texas.”

And Oklahoma is Texas-lite. Neither are culturally or geographically part of the South even if you do see the anachronistic Confederate Army of North Virginia flag and associated prejudices widely displayed in both.


Where do you get that? Oklahoma is not really that much like Texas. It has its own cultural identity. In more than one way, it is like the Canada of Texas.

I’ve never considered that there was a region called the Southwest. This map basically sums up how I divide the US.*

So, as per that map, Texas is in the western subregion of the South, along with Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. There is some distinction between us and the other parts of the South, but not nearly as much as the other regions.

*I do understand that Florida is weird, due to New Englanders migrating to South Florida. I assume the Census just doesn’t want to divide up states.

Hence, “Texas-Lite”, neither as offensive nor as distinctive. Texas has Davy Crockett; Oklahoma has Will Rogers. Neither are “The South”, nor the desert Southwest of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah (and generally Nevada and eastern California).


Oklahoma had Will Rogers. Alaska ended up with him.

I’d classify it more as Southwest. The "South’ ends at Louisiana and Arkansas.

Another way would have been to say, “The South ends where the SEC ends,” but then Texas A&M had to join the conference and ruin things. :stuck_out_tongue: