Data Archive

The Southern Focus Poll

Southerners tend to slip through the cracks between state surveys, which are unreliable for generalizing to the region and national sample surveys, which usually contain too few Southerners to allow detailed examination. And few surveys routinely include questions specifically about the South. To remedy this situation, the Institute and the Center for the Study of the American South sponsored the Southern Focus Poll from 1992 to 2001. During this period a random sample of approximately 800 adult Southerners (residents of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and 400 non-Southerners were interviewed by telephone. They were asked questions about economic conditions in their communities; cultural issues such as Southern accent, the Confederate flag and Dixie race relations; feelings toward migrants to the South; and characteristics of southerners vs. northerners.

A list of county FIPS codes is necessary to create customized combinations of counties in the SFP data. County FIPS codes are unique within a state, but not across states. You will need to use both the 2-digit FIPS state code and the FIPS county code to uniquely identify a county. In most Southern Focus Poll data files, the variable containing the state FIPS code is STATEFPS. The variable containing the county FIPS code is COUNTY. The poll documentation will provide more information on these variables. County FIPS codes are available from U.S. Census Bureau.

Southern Focus Poll data and documentation can be searched and downloaded using the Odum Institute Archive Dataverse. For more information, email odumarchive@unc.edu.