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On The Map: Highest Mortality Rates in the South

Clusters of low-mortality-rate counties are located in the Farm Belt portion of the Midwest and Northern Plains, many rural and urban areas in the Mountain and Pacific regions, along the coasts of California and Florida, and throughout most of the Northeast. These low-mortality-rate clusters include many wealthy areas and counties identified by ERS as farming-dependent. The high-mortality-rate clusters are in the South, including the Black Belt region of the southeastern U.S., the Mississippi River Delta, along the southern coastal plain from Virginia to Texas, and Appalachia. Factors associated with higher mortality counties include low rates of high school graduation, high unemployment/ underemployment, persistent-poverty, and large Black, Hispanic, or Native American populations.