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Paper Topic:

US Geography

Ethnicity and Population Groups

Ethnic diversity is a hallmark of the United States and always has been There were historic periods , however , in which one ethnicity or another established a lasting influence on the human geography of the United States . In some cases the physical geography helped isolate the populations , in others social forces shaped the predominant human geography

One such group was the Scots and Irish settlers of Appalachia . Finding the environment familiar and similar to home (indeed the Appalachian chain extends through Ireland and England and north Scandinavia (Lew

br 2004 ) they moved into this area By 1700 , the Scots-Irish had become the main group to settle into the Ridge and Valley section of the Appalachian Mountains (Lew ) New immigrants become nearly non-existent as the valleys were claimed . Today most of the people living in this area are Scot-Irish , English or German descended . Until recently the mountains provided a formidable barrier to travel , and the scarcity of open ground discouraged new settlers . The result is a relatively isolated group with few emigrants and few immigrants

Another group is the African descended black persons . A large portion of which descend from slaves that worked in Southern farms and plantations . First by chains and later by social and economic pressures this group was historically denied the ability to travel or form their own enclaves . Until relatively recently they were also denied economic opportunities and often continued to work essentially the same farms their ancestors worked in the Deep South . These effects can be clearly seen in the maps of Ethnic population density of black persons (Lew The most dense population of Blacks still live and work where their ancestors did in the Deep South

It is interesting to examine the distribution of ethnicity and population densities in the United States . Historic events can be seen where social pressures were high and where physical barriers make migration difficult

Income and Population density

According to Lew , Megalopolis has the highest population density (1139 /sq mi , US Census Land Area 1990 ) in the country and the lowest poverty rate of any US region . Simultaneously most of Appalachia has a population density of 199 or less per square mile (ARC 1990 . This disparity of population is easily explained by the physical geography of the two regions

Megalopolis is situated very well for travel . Most of its major cities are located on or just below the fall line (Lew . The fall line is the farthest point inland a ship can navigate . This fact makes the sites of the cities natural drop off points for people and goods

In contrast Appalachia was difficult to get to , has marginal soils and was difficult to transport goods to or from the area

Similarly Lew notes that Appalachia remains among the poorest regions in the United States with the largest proportion of people living at the poverty-line , while Megalopolis boasts some of the highest incomes per capita and lowest poverty rate . The physical geography again explains this . The large number...

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