Belt regions

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Belt is the term used to describe a contiguous area in the United States for which a particular agricultural use or type of farming is typical, or which is characterized by typical other economic, climatic, or cultural phenomena. Most of these belts extend mainly in a west-east direction and are narrower in a north-south direction, which is how the term was coined.

The best known examples of “Belts” are as follows

  • BananaBelt: A region of the tropics between latitudes 38 degrees north and 28 degrees south that has ideal conditions for growing bananas.
  • Bible Belt: (Christian) deeply religious region in the rural area of the USA (mainly in the southern states).
  • Black Belt: Area in the U.S. southern states with rich soil that is particularly well suited to cotton cultivation: an above-average proportion of African Americans also live here.
  • Borscht Belt: Jewish-majority (mostly immigrants from Eastern Europe) area in the Catskills (Appalachia).
  • Corn Belt: Corn-growing area in the Midwest to which extensive hog and cattle farming is also connected.
  • Cotton Belt: former cotton growing region in the south or southeast of the USA, once the core region of slavery.
  • Dairy Belt: the area of intensive dairy farming in the USA. It mainly includes the New England states and the region south of the Great Lakes.
  • Fruit Belt: those parts of California where tropical fruits are grown intensively.
  • German Belt: States in the Midwest with a very high percentage of Americans of German descent.
  • Grain Belt or Wheat Belt: Wheat growing area in the Midwest.
  • Rust Belt: former core area of heavy industry in the Midwest of the USA (including Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio), formerly called the Manufacturing Belt.
  • Snow Belt: (also called Frost Belt ): Area around the Great Lakes with frequent heavy snowfall, e.g. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan.
  • Sun Belt: Booming economic region south of the 37th parallel, which is particularly characterized by its warm climate and is therefore suitable for service economy and industry, with little to no dependence on raw materials.