How would the USA fragment?


There was some press not long ago about a Russian professor predicting the break-up of America in 2010. Kevin Kelly has a good piece on this and some other past predictions of a fragmentation of the USA and a few people on this forum make their own versions of varying degrees of seriousness.

Here’s the map from the Wall Street Journal article showing Igor Panarin’s prediction:

A Russian Professor's Prediction of How the US Will Split

Kevin Kelly also includes a map from Joel Garreau’s 1981 book The Nine Nations of North America (more on Wikipedia):

Map of the Nine Nations of North America

I wondered about the different ways one could use to predict how the USA might fragment — if it was going to go where would the fault lines be? I headed over to the excellent Strange Maps site and found a few ideas.

First, this post shows a map from the Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy website which colours American counties in according to whether they call soft drinks “pop”, “soda” or something else:

Map showing generic names for soft drinks

It’s quite close to that first map by Panarin above.

Then we have this post which uses a map created by Matthew White in 1996 from his Surreal Histories site which looks at different versions of America. The map below answers the question “What would America have looked like if every separatist movement in US and Canadian history had succeeded?”

Map showing a balkanised North America

Next there’s a post with a map showing the “united countries of baseball”, based on the locations of supporters of each baseball team. You can download desktop wallpaper of the map from the official MLB United Countries of Baseball site:

Map showing the United Countries of Baseball

Another idea would be to base regions of the country on where and how evolution is taught. The map used comes from the Science Against Evolution site although it was originally published in Scientific American in 2002

Map showing how evolution is taught across the USA

Finally there are election maps with these maps from the 2008 Presidential election perhaps the best known.

Map showing how counties voted in the 2008 Presidential elections

Related entries


America's 2050 megaregions is a map predicting urban growth. Of course, they're probably assuming the opposite of the conditions that would lead to a breakup, but the spaces between the conurbations might still make for some interesting fractures.

Came from Happy Katie's tweet. And it's wild that you mention this, because my husband and local friends have had lonnnnnnnnnnnnng discussions, to even where we drew maps even on where the country would divide up. And friends have mentioned several of the sources you mention. Very very wild.

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