NYT: Lured by the South’s call of cheap land and labor and limited regulations, business have flocked here from around the world.

Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz build cars in Alabama. Volkswagen and Nissan build them in Tennessee, while Kia does the same in Georgia. Workers in rural east Mississippi build unmanned aerial systems for an Israeli aerospace company, and at an assembly line under construction in Mobile, Ala., jetliners will soon be put together for the European company Airbus.

Small businesses that have exploded into major corporations, most notably Walmart, are now throwing their corporate weight around, pressuring the South that produced them to change on issues like gay rights.

People have followed the business boom; from 2000 to 2010, the South’s population grew by more than 14 percent. Hispanic and Asian newcomers are transforming towns and cities their ancestors never knew.