State of the South

Our regional reports since 1996 have framed the challenges to regional prosperity and pointed the way forward for community leaders and policymakers.


Expand your knowledge with our State of the South blog 

MDC research reports are available for download at no cost as a resource to partners and  leaders focused on creating a South where all people thrive.

Please credit MDC and cite specific titles when referencing these materials.


A Community Response for Partway Home Students

America’s Shame, America’s Hope: Twelve Million Youth at Risk

Building Capability, Empowering Students, and Achieving Success: The Financial Empowerment for Student Success Initiative

Disconnected Youth in the Triangle: An Ominous Problem Hidden in Plain Sight

Made in Durham: Building an Education to Career System

Right from the Start: An Institutional Perspective on Developmental Education Reform

The Community College as Change Agent

The Engagement Imperative

Transferring Success: Structuring community college transfer to support upward economic mobility

What We Know: Lessons From the Developmental Education Initiative


Generations of Progress - A Future of Our Choice : Mississippi Workforce and Economic Competitiveness

Lessons from MDC’s Career Pathways for a Green South

Moving on Up: Transportation and Economic Mobility

North Carolina JobLink Career Center Feedback: An Appraisal of Progress

Pathway Profiles: Network for Southern Economic Mobility Convenings in Atlanta, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C.

Workforce Development in the South: An Examination of Trends

Economic Security

A Prosperity Grid for North Carolina: Connecting Households and Communities to Economic Opportunity

Critical Infrastructure: Supporting and Strengthening Informal Child Care

Early Childhood and Economic Mobility

Expanding Economic and Educational Opportunity in Distressed Rural Areas

Making Economic Growth Work for Poor Women: Women in Electronics

NC VetsCorps: Supporting Economically Vulnerable Veterans and Military Families

North Carolina’s Economic Imperative: Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity

Strengthening the Rural Carolinas: A Conceptual Framework for the Program for the Rural Carolinas

The Only Way Out is Up: How MDC helped Danville, Va., chart a new vision for its future

Time to Get Cookin' in the South

What Y'all Ought to Know: Facts and Issues on the Federal Role in Addressing the South's Number One Economic Problem

Strategic Philanthropy

A Time of Reckoning: Testing the Will for Change in the Mississippi Delta

Philanthropy as the South's Passing Gear: Fulfilling the Promise

Strategies for Funders: Community Colleges and Rural Development

The Carolinas: Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow