I'm a neophyte, so I'll let two Southern coworkers put this in context.
Dave, from Georgia:
Dear Lord, what is wrong with the American education system? 20 entries, ONE correct answer. The random inclusion of Northern Pennsylvania aside (or is that just a stray line?), Andrew from NJ is the only one who nailed it. THAT is the South. Case closed. Sure, the Census Bureau also throws in Maryland/Delaware and Oklahoma/Texas, but let’s be honest, even they don’t consider themselves Southern. Right, Delaware?
Liz, from Alabama:
Here’s the thing: there’s the Deep South, and then there’s the South. The Deep South is Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, but not the mountainous part of it. And since I’m from the heart of that part, that’s the FIRST thing I think of when I hear South. But there’s no denying that the boundaries have to include Arkansas and Louisiana and Virginia and Kentucky. Texas? No. Florida, below the panhandle? No. West Virginia? Absolutely not. New Orleans? Not really, it’s its own thing, like Texas. But, honestly, the rest have figured out what to do with collard greens long ago, and they’re totally covered in Southern Living’s list of states (SL includes some dubious options too, though… I’m looking at you, Maryland).