First off, poverty rates are a lot higher in the South.
In the map above, red shading indicates a poverty rates between 17.9 and 22.8 percent. Orange indicates 15.9 to 17.8 percent; light orange, 12.2-15.8 percent; pale yellow, 9 to 12.1 percent. As you can see, there's a lot of high-poverty red in the South.
And minimum wages are much lower.
And people living in the South are a lot less likely to move up the economic ladder.
Many living in poverty in the South are being denied access to affordable health care.
States that didn't choose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare are highlighted in lighter gray.
...which is costing these states a ton of money.
This map shows how much money the 19 states that rejected Medicaid expansion will lose by 2022 as a result of doing so (assuming all other states participate).
This is particularly troubling because the South has several health crises on its hands. Like obesity.
Southern states also have a higher percentage of cigarette smokers.
And a much higher rate of teen births because fat girls are sluts.
Perhaps all this is why some Southern states are among the least happy states in the country.