Mississippi (/ˌmɪsɪˈsɪpi/ ( listen)) is a state in the
Southern United States, with part of its southern border formed by the
Gulf of Mexico. Its western border is formed by the
The state has a population of approximately 3 million. It is the 32nd
most extensive and the 32nd most populous of the 50 United States.
Located in the center of the state, Jackson is the state capital and
largest city, with a population of approximately 175,000 people.
The state is heavily forested outside of the
Mississippi Delta area,
Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil
War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, where slaves
worked on cotton plantations. After the war, the bottomlands to the
interior were cleared, mostly by freedmen. By the end of the 19th
African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property
owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land
after a financial crisis.
Clearing of the land altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the
severity of flooding along the Mississippi. Much land is now held by
agribusinesses. A largely rural state with agricultural areas
dominated by industrial farms,
Mississippi is ranked low or last among
the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, and
median household income. The state's catfish aquaculture
farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the
Since the 1930s and the Great Migration, the majority of Mississippi's
population has been white, albeit with the highest percentage of black
residents of any U.S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s,
its residents were mostly black, a population that before the American
Civil War was composed largely of
African American slaves. Democratic
Party whites retained political power through
Jim Crow laws. In the
first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the
state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities,
with another wave of migration around
World War II
World War II to West Coast
cities. In the early 1960s,
Mississippi was the poorest state in the
nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level.
In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest
African Americans in any U.S. state. Since regaining
enforcement of their voting franchise in the late 1960s, most African
Americans support Democratic candidates in local, state and national
elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party.
African Americans are a majority in many counties of the
Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic settlement during the
2.1 Major cities and towns
2.3 Ecology, flora, and fauna
2.4 Ecological problems
3.1 Colonial era
United States territory
3.3 Statehood, 1817–1861
3.4 Civil War to 20th century
3.5 20th century to present
4.4 Birth data
6.1 Entertainment and tourism
6.4 Federal subsidies and spending
7 Law and government
8 Political alignment
9.4.1 Major rivers
9.4.2 Major bodies of water
13 Notable people
14 In popular culture
15 See also
17 Further reading
18 External links
The state's name is derived from the
Mississippi River, which flows
along its western boundary. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word
misi-ziibi ("Great River").
Major highways and waterways in Mississippi
Bottomland hardwood swamp near Ashland, Mississippi
Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by
Alabama, to the south by
Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of
Mexico; and to the west, across the
Mississippi River, by Louisiana
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in
Mississippi include the
Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula
River, and the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett
Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, and
Grenada Lake with the
largest lake being Sardis Lake.
Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being
Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807
feet (246 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level at
the Gulf coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet (91 m)
above sea level.
Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The
coastal plain is generally composed of low hills, such as the Pine
Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and
the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations.
Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state.
The northeast is a region of fertile black earth that extends into the
Alabama Black Belt.
The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, and
Pascagoula. It is separated from the
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico proper by the
Mississippi Sound, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois
Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round
Island, and Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi
Delta, a section of the
Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain is
narrow in the south and widens north of Vicksburg. The region has rich
soil, partly made up of silt which had been regularly deposited by the
flood waters of the
Areas under the management of the
National Park Service
National Park Service include:
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Natchez National Historical Park
Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo
Natchez Trace Parkway
Tupelo National Battlefield
Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg
Major cities and towns
Northwest view of Gulfport Harbor Square Commercial Historic District,
Strawberry Patch Park in Madison, Mississippi
Map with all counties and many cities and towns labeled
Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000 (United States
Census Bureau as of 2010):
Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau as of 2010):
Olive Branch (33,484)
Horn Lake (26,066)
Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau as of 2010):
Ocean Springs (17,461)
Long Beach (14,792)
Moss Point (13,704)
Yazoo City (11,403)
West Point (11,307)
(See: Lists of cities, towns and villages, census-designated places,
metropolitan areas, micropolitan areas, and counties in Mississippi)
Montgomery County in autumn
Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with long summers and
short, mild winters. Temperatures average about 81°F (about 27°C) in
July and about 48 °F (about 9 °C) in January. The
temperature varies little statewide in the summer; however, in winter,
the region near
Mississippi Sound is significantly warmer than the
inland portion of the state. The recorded temperature in Mississippi
has ranged from −19 °F (−28 °C), in 1966, at Corinth
in the northeast, to 115 °F (46 °C), in 1930, at Holly
Springs in the north. Heavy snowfall is possible across the state,
such as during the New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm. Yearly precipitation
generally increases from north to south, with the regions closer to
the Gulf being the most humid. Thus, Clarksdale, in the northwest,
gets about 50 inches (about 1,270 mm) of precipitation
annually and Biloxi, in the south, about 61 inches (about
1,550 mm). Small amounts of snow fall in northern and central
Mississippi; snow is occasional in the southern part of the state.
The late summer and fall is the seasonal period of risk for hurricanes
moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico, especially in the southern part
of the state.
Hurricane Camille in 1969 and
Hurricane Katrina in 2005,
which killed 238 people in the state, were the most devastating
hurricanes to hit the state. Both caused nearly total storm surge
destruction of structures in and around Gulfport, Biloxi, and
As in the rest of the Deep South, thunderstorms are common in
Mississippi, especially in the southern part of the state. On average,
Mississippi has around 27 tornadoes annually; the northern part of the
state has more tornadoes earlier in the year and the southern part a
higher frequency later in the year. Two of the five deadliest
tornadoes in U.S. history have occurred in the state. These storms
struck Natchez, in southwest
Mississippi (see The Great Natchez
Tornado) and Tupelo, in the northeast corner of the state. About seven
F5 tornadoes have been recorded in the state.
Monthly normal high and low temperatures (°F) for various Mississippi
Climate data for
Average high °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Ecology, flora, and fauna
Mississippi state sign located on Interstate 20
Waterfall at Clark Creek Natural Area, in the deep loess region of
western Wilkinson County
Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state's area
covered by wild or cultivated trees. The southeastern part of the
state is dominated by longleaf pine, in both uplands and lowland
flatwoods and Sarracenia bogs. The
Mississippi Alluvial Plain, or
Delta, is primarily farmland and aquaculture ponds but also has
sizeable tracts of cottonwood, willows, baldcypress, and oaks. A belt
of loess extends north to south in the western part of the state,
Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Mississippi Alluvial Plain reaches the first hills; this
region is characterized by rich, mesic mixed hardwood forests, with
some species disjunct from Appalachian forests. Two bands of
historical prairie, the Jackson
Prairie and the Black Belt, run
northwest to southeast in the middle and northeastern part of the
state. Although these areas have been highly degraded by conversion to
agriculture, a few areas remain, consisting of grassland with
interspersed woodland of eastern redcedar, oaks, hickories,
osage-orange, and sugarberry. The rest of the state, primarily north
Interstate 20 not including the prairie regions, consists of mixed
pine-hardwood forest, common species being loblolly pine, oaks (e.g.,
water oak), hickories, sweetgum, and elm. Areas along large rivers are
commonly inhabited by baldcypress, water tupelo, water elm, and bitter
pecan. Commonly cultivated trees include loblolly pine, longleaf pine,
cherrybark oak, and cottonwood.
There are approximately 3000 species of vascular plants known from
Mississippi. As of 2018, a project funded by the U.S. National
Science Foundation aims to update that checklist of plants with museum
(herbarium) vouchers and create an online atlas of each species's
About 420 species of birds are known from Mississippi. Main article:
List of birds of Mississippi.
Mississippi has one of the richest fish faunas in the United States,
with 204 native fish species.
Mississippi also has a rich freshwater mussel fauna, with about 90
species in the primary family of native mussels (Unionidae).
Several of these species were extirpated during the construction of
the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
Mississippi is home to 63 crayfish species, including at least 17
Mississippi is home to eight winter stonefly species.
Due to seasonal flooding, possible from December to June, the
Mississippi and Yazoo rivers and their tributaries created a fertile
floodplain in the
Mississippi Delta. The river's flooding created
natural levees, which planters had built higher to try to prevent
flooding of land cultivated for cotton crops. Temporary workers built
levees along the
Mississippi River on top of the natural levees that
formed from dirt deposited after the river flooded.
From 1858 to 1861, the state took over levee building, accomplishing
it through contractors and hired labor. In those years, planters
considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous
work. Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build
levees and sometimes clear land. Many of the Irish were relatively
recent immigrants from the famine years who were struggling to get
established. Before the American Civil War, the earthwork levees
averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached
Flooding has been an integral part of
Mississippi history, but
clearing of the land for cultivation and to supply wood fuel for
steamboats took away the absorption of trees and undergrowth. The
banks of the river were denuded, becoming unstable and changing the
character of the river. After the Civil War, major floods swept down
the valley in 1865, 1867, 1874 and 1882. Such floods regularly
overwhelmed levees damaged by Confederate and Union fighting during
the war, as well as those constructed after the war. In 1877, the
state created the
Mississippi Levee District for southern counties.
In 1879, the
United States Congress
United States Congress created the
Commission, whose responsibilities included aiding state levee boards
in the construction of levees. Both white and black transient workers
were hired to build the levees in the late 19th century. By 1882,
levees averaged seven feet in height, but many in the southern Delta
were severely tested by the flood that year. After the 1882 flood,
the levee system was expanded. In 1884, the Yazoo-
Levee District was established to oversee levee construction and
maintenance in the northern Delta counties; also included were some
Arkansas which were part of the Delta.
Flooding overwhelmed northwestern
Mississippi in 1912–1913, causing
heavy damage to the levee districts. Regional losses and the
Mississippi River Levee Association's lobbying for a flood control
bill helped gain passage of national bills in 1917 and 1923 to provide
federal matching funds for local levee districts, on a scale of 2:1.
Although U.S. participation in
World War I
World War I interrupted funding of
levees, the second round of funding helped raise the average height of
levees in the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta to 22 feet (6.7 m) in the
1920s. Scientists now understand the levees have increased the
severity of flooding by increasing the flow speed of the river and
reducing the area of the floodplains. The region was severely damaged
due to the Great
Mississippi Flood of 1927, which broke through the
levees. There were losses of millions of dollars in property, stock
and crops. The most damage occurred in the lower Delta, including
Washington and Bolivar counties.
Even as scientific knowledge about the
Mississippi River has grown,
upstream development and the consequences of the levees have caused
more severe flooding in some years. Scientists now understand that the
widespread clearing of land and building of the levees have changed
the nature of the river. Such work removed the natural protection and
absorption of wetlands and forest cover, strengthening the river's
current. The state and federal governments have been struggling for
the best approaches to restore some natural habitats in order to best
interact with the original riverine ecology.
Main article: History of Mississippi
Mississippi state symbols
The Flag of Mississippi
The Seal of Mississippi
Wood duck (1974)
Spicebush swallowtail (1991)
Largemouth bass (1974)
Coreopsis (tickseed) (1991)
Honey bee (1980)
White-tailed deer (1974)
Red fox (1997)
Bottlenose dolphin (1974)
American alligator (2005)
American folk dance (1995)
Petrified wood (1976)
Virtute et armis
Natchez silt loam (2003)
"Go, Mississippi" (1962)
Teddy bear (2003)
Grand Opera House of Meridian (1993)
Tupelo Auto Museum (2003)
Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum (1972)
State route marker
Released in 2002
United States state symbols
Near 10,000 BC Native Americans or
Paleo-Indians arrived in what today
is referred to as the American South. Paleoindians in the South
were hunter-gatherers who pursued the megafauna that became extinct
following the end of the
Pleistocene age. In the
Native American settlements and agricultural fields were developed on
the natural levees, higher ground in the proximity of rivers. The
Native Americans developed extensive fields near their permanent
villages. Together with other practices, they created some localized
deforestation but did not alter the ecology of the
as a whole.
After thousands of years, succeeding cultures of the Woodland and
Mississippian culture eras developed rich and complex agricultural
societies, in which surplus supported the development of specialized
trades. Both were mound builder cultures. Those of the Mississippian
culture were the largest and most complex, constructed beginning about
950CE. The peoples had a trading network spanning the continent from
the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Their large earthworks, which
expressed their cosmology of political and religious concepts, still
stand throughout the
Ohio River valleys.
Choctaw Village near the Chefuncte, by Francois Bernard, 1869, Peabody
Museum – Harvard University. The women are preparing dye in order to
color cane strips for making baskets.
Descendant Native American tribes of the
Mississippian culture in the
Southeast include the
Chickasaw and Choctaw. Other tribes who
inhabited the territory of
Mississippi (and whose names were honored
by colonists in local towns) include the Natchez, the Yazoo, and the
The first major European expedition into the territory that became
Mississippi was that of the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, who
passed through the northeast part of the state in 1540, in his second
expedition to the New World.
In April 1699, French colonists established the first European
Fort Maurepas (also known as Old Biloxi), built in the
vicinity of present-day Ocean Springs on the Gulf Coast. It was
settled by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. In 1716, the French founded
Natchez on the
Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie); it became the
dominant town and trading post of the area. The French called the
greater territory "New France"; the Spanish continued to claim part of
Gulf coast area (east of Mobile Bay) of present-day southern
Alabama, in addition to the entire area of present-day Florida.
Choctaw Principal Chief
Through the 18th century, the area was ruled variously by Spanish,
French, and British colonial governments. The colonists imported
African slaves as laborers. Under French and Spanish rule, there
developed a class of free people of color (gens de couleur libres),
mostly multiracial descendants of European men and enslaved women, and
their children. In the early days the French and Spanish colonists
were chiefly men. Even as more European women joined the settlements,
the men had interracial unions among women of African descent (and
increasingly, multiracial descent), both before and after marriages to
European women. Often the European men would help their multiracial
children get educated or gain apprenticeships for trades, and
sometimes they settled property on them; they often freed the mothers
and their children if enslaved, as part of contracts of plaçage. With
this social capital, the free people of color became artisans, and
sometimes educated merchants and property owners, forming a third
class between the Europeans and most enslaved Africans in the French
and Spanish settlements, although not so large a free community as in
the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. After Great Britain's victory in
French and Indian War
French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), the French surrendered
Mississippi area to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris
(1763). They also ceded their areas to the north that were east of the
Mississippi River, including the
Illinois Country and Quebec. After
the Peace of Paris (1783), the lower third of
Mississippi came under
Spanish rule as part of West Florida. In 1819 the United States
completed the purchase West
Florida and all of East
Florida in the
Adams–Onís Treaty, and in 1822 both were merged into the Florida
United States territory
American Revolution (1765–83), Britain ceded this area to
United States of America. The
Mississippi Territory was
organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South
Carolina to the United States. Their original colonial charters
theoretically extended west to the Pacific Ocean. The Mississippi
Territory was later twice expanded to include disputed territory
claimed by both the
United States and Spain.
From 1800 to about 1830, the
United States purchased some lands
(Treaty of Doak's Stand) from Native American tribes for new
settlements of European Americans; they were mostly migrants from
other Southern states, particularly
Virginia and North Carolina, where
soils were exhausted. On September 27, 1830, the Treaty of Dancing
Rabbit Creek was signed between the U.S. Government and the Choctaw.
Choctaw agreed to sell their traditional homelands in Mississippi
and Alabama, for compensation and removal to reservations in Indian
Territory (now Oklahoma). This opened up land for sale to
European-American immigrant settlement. Article 14 in the treaty
Choctaw who chose to remain in the state to become U.S.
citizens, the second major non-European ethnic group to do so (the
Cherokee were the first). Today approximately 9,500 Choctaw
live in Neshoba, Newton, Leake, and Jones counties. Federally
recognized tribes include the
Mississippi Band of
Many slaveholders brought slaves with them or purchased them through
the domestic slave trade, especially in New Orleans. Through the
trade, nearly one million slaves were transported to the Deep South,
including Mississippi, in a forced internal migration that broke up
many slave families of the Upper South, where planters were selling
excess slaves. The Southerners imposed slave laws and restricted the
rights of free blacks, according to their view of white supremacy .
Beginning in 1822, slaves in
Mississippi were protected by law from
cruel and unusual punishment by their owners. Southern slave codes
made the willful killing of a slave illegal in most cases. For
example, the 1860
Mississippi case of Oliver v. State charged the
defendant with murdering his own slave.
Front of D'Evereux. Built in 1840, it is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places.
On December 10, 1817,
Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the
Union. David Holmes was elected the first governor of the state.
Plantations were developed primarily along the major rivers, where the
waterfront provided access to the major transportation routes. This is
also where early towns developed, linked by the steamboats that
carried commercial products and crops to markets. The backcountry
remained largely undeveloped frontier until it was cleared by freedmen
during Reconstruction and later.
When cotton was king during the 1850s,
owners—especially those of the Delta and Black Belt central
regions—became wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil, the
high price of cotton on the international market, and their assets in
slaves. They used the profits to buy more cotton land and more slaves.
The planters' dependence on hundreds of thousands of slaves for labor
and the severe wealth imbalances among whites, played strong roles
both in state politics and in planters' support for secession. The
state was thinly settled, with population concentrated in the
riverfront areas and towns.
By 1860, the enslaved
African-American population numbered 436,631 or
55% of the state's total of 791,305. There were fewer than 1000 free
people of color. The relatively low population of the state before
the Civil War reflected the fact that land and villages were developed
only along the riverfronts, which formed the main transportation
corridors. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were frontier and
undeveloped. The state needed many more settlers for development.
Civil War to 20th century
Confederate dead after the Battle of Corinth. Photo taken October 5,
The legislature of the State of
Mississippi in 1890
Mississippi in the American Civil War
On January 9, 1861,
Mississippi became the second state to declare its
secession from the Union, and it was one of the founding members of
the Confederate States. The first six states to secede were those with
the highest number of slaves. During the war, Union and Confederate
forces struggled for dominance on the
Mississippi River, critical to
supply routes and commerce. More than 80,000 Mississippians fought in
the Civil War, and casualties were extremely heavy. Union General
Ulysses S. Grant's long siege of Vicksburg finally gained the Union
control of the river in 1863.
In the postwar period, freedmen withdrew from white-run churches to
set up independent congregations. The majority of blacks left the
Baptist Church, sharply reducing its membership. They created
Baptist congregations. By 1895 they had established
Baptist state associations and the National Baptist
Convention of black churches.
In addition, independent black denominations, such as the African
Methodist Episcopal Church (established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (established in New
York City), sent missionaries to the South in the postwar years. They
quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of converts and founded new
churches across the South. Southern congregations brought their own
influences to those denominations as well.
During Reconstruction, the first
Mississippi constitutional convention
in 1868, with delegates both black and white, framed a constitution
whose major elements would be maintained for 22 years. The
convention was the first political organization in the state to
African-American representatives, 17 among the 100 members (32
counties had black majorities at the time). Some among the black
delegates were freedmen, but others were educated free blacks who had
migrated from the North. The convention adopted universal suffrage;
did away with property qualifications for suffrage or for office, a
change that also benefited both blacks and poor whites; provided for
the state's first public school system; forbade race distinctions in
the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting
civil rights in travel. Under the terms of Reconstruction,
Mississippi was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870.
Mississippi Delta contained so much fertile bottomland
that had not been developed before the Civil War, 90 percent of the
land was still frontier. After the Civil War, tens of thousands of
migrants were attracted to the area by higher wages offered by
planters trying to develop land. In addition, black and white workers
could earn money by clearing the land and raising timber, and
eventually advance to ownership. The new farmers included many
freedmen, who achieved unusually high rates of land ownership in the
Mississippi bottomlands by the late 19th century. In the 1870s and
1880s, many black farmers succeeded in gaining land ownership.
Around the start of the 20th century, two-thirds of the Mississippi
farmers who owned land in the Delta were African American. Many
had become overextended with debt during the falling cotton prices of
the difficult years of the late 19th century.
Cotton prices fell
throughout the decades following the Civil War. As another
agricultural depression lowered cotton prices into the 1890s, however,
African-American farmers finally had to sell their land to
pay off debts, thus losing the land which they had developed by
Democrats regained control of the state legislature in 1875, after a
year of expanded violence against blacks and intimidation of whites in
what was called the "white line" campaign, based on asserting white
supremacy. Democratic whites became well armed and formed paramilitary
organizations such as the Red Shirts to suppress black voting. From
1874 to the elections of 1875, they pressured whites to join the
Democrats, and conducted violence against blacks in at least 15 known
"riots" in cities around the state to intimidate blacks and suppress
their voting. They killed a total of 150 blacks, although other
estimates place the death toll at twice as many. A total of three
white Republicans and five white Democrats were reported killed. In
rural areas, deaths of blacks could be covered up. Riots (better
described as massacres of blacks) took place in Vicksburg, Clinton,
Macon, and in their counties, as well-armed whites broke up black
meetings and lynched known black leaders, destroying local political
organizations. Seeing the success of this deliberate "Mississippi
South Carolina and other states followed it and also achieved
white dominance. In 1877 the last of federal troops were withdrawn
from the region.
Even in this environment, black Mississippians continued to be elected
into local office. However, black residents were deprived of all
political power after white legislators passed a new state
constitution in 1890 specifically to "eliminate the nigger from
politics", according to the state's Democratic governor, James K.
Vardaman. It erected barriers to voter registration and electoral
provisions that effectively disenfranchised most black Mississippians
and many poor whites. Estimates are that 100,000 black and 50,000
white men were removed from voter registration rolls in the state over
the next few years.
The loss of political influence contributed to the difficulties of
African Americans in their attempts to obtain extended credit in the
late 19th century. Together with imposition of
Jim Crow and racial
segregation laws, whites committed an increased rate of lynchings of
blacks, mostly men, beginning in the 1890s and extending to 1930.
Cotton crops failed due to boll weevil infestation and successive
severe flooding in 1912 and 1913, creating crisis conditions for many
African Americans. With control of the ballot box and more access to
credit, white planters bought out such farmers, expanding their
ownership of Delta bottomlands. They also took advantage of new
railroads sponsored by the state.
Child workers, Pass Christian, 1911, by Lewis Hine
20th century to present
In 1900, blacks made up more than half of the state's population. By
1910, a majority of black farmers in the Delta had lost their land and
become sharecroppers. By 1920, the third generation after freedom,
African Americans in
Mississippi were landless laborers again
facing poverty. Starting about 1913, tens of thousands of black
Mississippi for the North in the Great Migration to
industrial cities such as St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland,
Philadelphia and New York. They sought jobs, better education for
their children, the right to vote, relative freedom from
discrimination, and better living. In the migration of 1910–1940,
they left a society that had been steadily closing off opportunity.
Most migrants from
Mississippi took trains directly north to Chicago
and often settled near former neighbors.
Blacks also faced violence in the form of lynching, shooting, and the
burning of churches. In 1923, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People stated "the Negro feels that life is not
Mississippi and his life may be taken with impunity at any
time upon the slightest pretext or provocation by a white man".
Dancing at a juke joint near Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1939, by
Marion Post Wolcott.
In the early 20th century, some industries were established in
Mississippi, but jobs were generally restricted to whites, including
child workers. The lack of jobs also drove some southern whites north
to cities such as
Chicago and Detroit, seeking employment, where they
also competed with European immigrants. The state depended on
agriculture, but mechanization put many farm laborers out of work.
By 1900, many white ministers, especially in the towns, subscribed to
Social Gospel movement, which attempted to apply Christian ethics
to social and economic needs of the day. Many strongly supported
Prohibition, believing it would help alleviate and prevent many
Baptist churches grew to include more than twice the
number of members as their white
Baptist counterparts. The
African-American call for social equality resonated throughout the
Great Depression in the 1930s and
World War II
World War II in the 1940s.
The Second Great Migration from the South started in the 1940s,
lasting until 1970. Almost half a million people left
the second migration, three-quarters of them black. Nationwide during
the first half of the 20th century,
African Americans became rapidly
urbanized and many worked in industrial jobs. The Second Great
Migration included destinations in the West, especially California,
where the buildup of the defense industry offered higher paying jobs
African Americans and whites.
Blacks and whites in
Mississippi generated rich, quintessentially
American music traditions: gospel music, country music, jazz, blues
and rock and roll. All were invented, promulgated or heavily developed
Mississippi musicians, many of them African American, and most came
Mississippi Delta. Many musicians carried their music north
to Chicago, where they made it the heart of that city's jazz and
African Americans left in the Great Migration that after the
1930s, they became a minority in Mississippi. In 1960 they made up 42%
of the state's population. The whites maintained their
discriminatory voter registration processes established in 1890,
preventing most blacks from voting, even if they were well educated.
Court challenges were not successful until later in the century. After
World War II,
African-American veterans returned with renewed
commitment to be treated as full citizens of the
United States and
increasingly organized to gain enforcement of their constitutional
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement had many roots in religion, and the strong
community of churches helped supply volunteers and moral purpose for
Mississippi was a center of activity, based in black
churches, to educate and register black voters, and to work for
integration. In 1954 the state had created the
Sovereignty Commission, a tax-supported agency, chaired by the
Governor, that claimed to work for the state's image but effectively
spied on activists and passed information to the local White Citizens'
Councils to suppress black activism. White Citizens Councils had been
formed in many cities and towns to resist integration of schools
following the unanimous 1954
United States Supreme Court
United States Supreme Court ruling (Brown
v. Board of Education) that segregation of public schools was
unconstitutional. They used intimidation and economic blackmail
against activists and suspected activists, including teachers and
other professionals. Techniques included loss of jobs and eviction
from rental housing.
In the summer of 1964 students and community organizers from across
the country came to help register black voters in
establish Freedom Schools. The
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
was established to challenge the all-white Democratic Party of the
Solid South. Most white politicians resisted such changes. Chapters of
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan and its sympathizers used violence against activists,
most notably the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in 1964
Freedom Summer campaign. This was a catalyst for
Congressional passage the following year of the Voting Rights Act of
Mississippi earned a reputation in the 1960s as a reactionary
After decades of disenfranchisement,
African Americans in the state
gradually began to exercise their right to vote again for the first
time since the 19th century, following the passage of federal civil
rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, which ended de jure segregation
and enforced constitutional voting rights. Registration of
African-American voters increased and black candidates ran in the 1967
elections for state and local offices. The
Democratic Party fielded some candidates. Teacher Robert G. Clark of
Holmes County was the first
African American to be elected to the
State House since Reconstruction. He continued as the only African
American in the state legislature until 1976 and was repeatedly
elected into the 21st century, including three terms as Speaker of the
In 1966, the state was the last to repeal officially statewide
prohibition of alcohol. Before that,
Mississippi had taxed the illegal
alcohol brought in by bootleggers. Governor Paul Johnson urged repeal
and the sheriff "raided the annual
Mardi Gras ball at
the Jackson Country Club, breaking open the liquor cabinet and carting
off the Champagne before a startled crowd of nobility and high-ranking
On August 17, 1969,
Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi
coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969
In 1987, 20 years after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1967's
Loving v. Virginia
Loving v. Virginia that a similar Virginian law was unconstitutional,
Mississippi repealed its ban on interracial marriage (also known as
miscegenation), which had been enacted in 1890. It also repealed the
segregationist-era poll tax in 1989. In 1995, the state symbolically
ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which had abolished slavery in
1865. Though ratified in 1995, the state never officially notified the
U.S. archivist, which kept the ratification unofficial until 2013,
when Ken Sullivan contacted the office of Secretary of State of
Mississippi, Delbert Hosemann, who agreed to file the paperwork and
make it official. In 2009, the legislature passed a bill
to repeal other discriminatory civil rights laws, which had been
enacted in 1964, the same year as the federal Civil Rights Act, but
ruled unconstitutional in 1967 by federal courts. Republican Governor
Haley Barbour signed the bill into law.
The end of legal segregation and
Jim Crow led to the integration of
some churches, but most today remain divided along racial and cultural
lines, having developed different traditions. After the Civil War,
African Americans left white churches to establish their own
independent congregations, particularly
Baptist churches, establishing
state associations and a national association by the end of the
century. They wanted to express their own traditions of worship and
practice. In more diverse communities, such as Hattiesburg, some
churches have multiracial congregations.
Hurricane Katrina approaching the Gulf Coast on August 28, 2005.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, though a
Category 3 storm upon
final landfall, caused even greater destruction across the entire 90
miles (145 km) of the
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Mississippi Gulf Coast from
The center of population of
Mississippi is located in Leake County, in
the town of Lena.
Mississippi population density map
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of
Mississippi was 2,992,333 on July 1, 2015, a 0.84% increase since the
United States Census. The state's economist characterized the
state as losing population as job markets elsewhere have caused 3.2
per 1000 to migrate recently.
From 2000 to 2010, the
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau reported that
Mississippi had the highest rate of increase in people identifying as
mixed-race, up 70 percent in the decade; it amounts to a total of 1.1
percent of the population. In addition,
Mississippi led the nation
for most of the last decade in the growth of mixed marriages among its
population. The total population has not increased significantly, but
is young. Some of the above change in identification as mixed race is
due to new births. But, it appears mostly to reflect those residents
who have chosen to identify as more than one race, who in earlier
years may have identified by just one ethnicity. A binary racial
system had been in place since slavery times and the days of racial
segregation. In the civil rights era, people of African descent banded
together in an inclusive community to achieve political power and gain
restoration of their civil rights.
As the demographer
William Frey noted, "In Mississippi, I think it's
[identifying as mixed race] changed from within." Historically in
Indian removal in the 1830s, the major groups were
designated as black (African American), who were then mostly enslaved,
and white (primarily European American). Matthew Snipp, also a
demographer, commented on the increase in the 21st century in the
number of people identifying as being of more than one race: "In a
sense, they're rendering a more accurate portrait of their racial
heritage that in the past would have been suppressed."
After having comprised a majority of the state's population since well
before the Civil War and through the 1930s, today African Americans
comprise approximately 37 percent of the state's population. Most have
ancestors who were enslaved, with many forcibly transported from the
Upper South in the 19th century to work on the area's new plantations.
Some of these slaves were mixed race, with European ancestors, as
there were many children born into slavery with white fathers. Some
also have Native American ancestry. During the first half of the
20th century, a total of nearly 400,000
African Americans left the
state during the Great Migration, for opportunities in the North,
Midwest and West. They became a minority in the state for the first
time since early in its development.
The state has had conservative laws related to sexuality. The state's
sodomy law criminalized consensual sex between adults of the same
gender until 2003 (but was seldom enforced), when such laws were
voided by the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas. In 2004, voters in
Mississippi approved Amendment 1, amending the state's constitution to
prohibit same-sex marriage; the measure passed with 86% of the vote,
the highest margin of victory in the nation. This law was overturned
Obergefell v. Hodges
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court
making same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
Despite conservative laws, same-sex couples were forming families in
the state. According to the 2010 census, approximately 33% of
households led by same-sex couples in
Mississippi included at least
one child, the highest such percentage in the nation.
At the 2010 U.S. census, the racial makeup of the population was:
White American (58.0% non-
Hispanic white, 1.1% White Hispanic)
African American or Black
0.5% American Indian and
0.9% Asian American
Ethnically, 2.7% of the total population, among all racial groups, was
Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race). As of
2011, 53.8% of Mississippi's population younger than age 1 were
minorities, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not
Hispanic white. For more information on racial and ethnic
classifications in the
United States see race and ethnicity in the
United States Census.
Mississippi Racial Breakdown of Population
Two or more races
Americans of Scots-Irish, English and Scottish ancestry are present
throughout the state. It is believed that there are more people with
such ancestry than identify as such on the census, in part because
their immigrant ancestors are more distant in their family histories.
English, Scottish and Scots-Irish are generally the most
under-reported ancestry groups in both the
South Atlantic States
South Atlantic States and
the East South Central States. The historian David Hackett Fischer
estimated that a minimum 20% of Mississippi's population is of English
ancestry, though the figure is probably much higher, and another large
percentage is of Scottish ancestry. Many Mississippians of such
ancestry identify simply as American on questionnaires, because their
families have been in North America for centuries. In the 1980
census 656,371 Mississippians of a total of 1,946,775 identified as
being of English ancestry, making them 38% of the state at the
The state in 2010 had the highest proportion of
African Americans in
the nation. The
African-American percentage of population has begun to
increase due mainly to a younger population than the whites (the total
fertility rates of the two races are approximately equal). Due to
patterns of settlement and whites putting their children in private
schools, in almost all of Mississippi's public school districts, a
majority of students are African American.
African Americans are the
majority ethnic group in the northwestern Yazoo Delta, and the
southwestern and the central parts of the state. These are areas
African Americans owned land as farmers in the
19th century following the Civil War, or worked on cotton plantations
People of French Creole ancestry form the largest demographic group in
Hancock County on the Gulf Coast. The African-American; Choctaw,
mostly in Neshoba County; and Chinese-American portions of the
population are also almost entirely native born.
Chinese came to
Mississippi as indentured laborers from
the 1870s, with others coming from mainland China in the later 19th
century. The majority entering the state immigrated directly from
Mississippi between 1910 and 1930, when they were recruited
by planters as laborers. While most first worked as sharecroppers, the
Chinese worked as families to improve their lives. Many became small
merchants and especially grocers in small towns throughout the
Delta. In these roles, the ethnic Chinese carved out a niche in
the state between black and white, where they were concentrated in the
Delta. These small towns have declined since the late 20th century,
and many ethnic Chinese have joined the exodus to larger cities,
including Jackson. Their population in the state overall has increased
in the 21st century.
In the early 1980s many Vietnamese immigrated to
Mississippi and other
states along the Gulf of Mexico, where they became employed in
In 2000, 96.4% of
Mississippi residents five years old and older spoke
only English in the home, a decrease from 97.2% in 1990. English
is largely Southern American English, with some South Midland speech
in northern and eastern Mississippi. There is a common absence of
final /r/ and the lengthening and weakening of the diphthongs /aɪ/
and /ɔɪ/ as in 'ride' and 'oil'. South Midland terms in northern
Mississippi include: tow sack (burlap bag), dog irons (andirons), plum
peach (clingstone peach), snake doctor (dragonfly), and stone wall
Top 10 Non-English Languages Spoken in Mississippi
Percentage of population
(as of 2010)
German, Vietnamese, and
Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, Italian (tied)
Under French and Spanish rule beginning in the 17th century, European
colonists were mostly Roman Catholics. The growth of the cotton
culture after 1815 brought in tens of thousands of Anglo-American
settlers each year, most of whom were Protestants from Southeastern
states. Due to such migration, there was rapid growth in the number of
Protestant churches, especially Methodist,
Baptist Church, a Southern
Baptist church, the largest
Protestant denomination in Mississippi, in Liberty (Amite County),
The revivals of the
Great Awakening in the late 18th and early 19th
centuries initially attracted the "plain folk" by reaching out to all
members of society, including women and blacks. Both slaves and free
blacks were welcomed into
Baptist churches. Independent
Baptist churches were established before 1800 in Virginia,
South Carolina and Georgia, and later developed in
Mississippi as well.
In the post-Civil War years, religion became more influential as the
South became known as the "Bible Belt".
Since the 1970s, fundamentalist conservative churches have grown
rapidly, fueling Mississippi's conservative political trends among
whites. In 1973 the
Presbyterian Church in America attracted
numerous conservative congregations. As of 2010
Mississippi remained a
stronghold of the denomination, which originally was brought by Scots
immigrants. The state has the highest adherence rate of the PCA in
2010, with 121 congregations and 18,500 members. It is among the few
states where the PCA has higher membership than the PC(USA).
According to the
Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), in 2010
Baptist Convention had 907,384 adherents and was the
largest religious denomination in the state, followed by the United
Methodist Church with 204,165, and the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church with
112,488. Other religions have a small presence in Mississippi; as
of 2010, there were 5,012 Muslims; 4,389 Hindus; and 816 Bahá'í.
Public opinion polls have consistently ranked
Mississippi as the most
religious state in the United States, with 59% of Mississippians
considering themselves "very religious". The same survey also found
that 11% of the population were non-Religious. In a 2009 Gallup
poll, 63% of Mississippians said that they attended church weekly or
almost weekly – the highest percentage of all states (U.S. average
was 42%, and the lowest percentage was in
Vermont at 23%). Another
2008 Gallup poll found that 85% of Mississippians considered religion
an important part of their daily lives, the highest figure among all
states (U.S. average 65%).
Religious affiliation in
Nothing in particular
Other Non-Christian faiths
Don't know/refused answer
Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both
by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
Live Births by Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Hispanic (of any race)
United States census counted 6,286 same-sex unmarried-partner
households in Mississippi, an increase of 1,512 since the 2000 United
States census. 33% contained at least one child, giving
Mississippi the distinction of leading the nation in the percentage of
same-sex couples raising children.
Mississippi has the largest
African-American same-sex couples among total
households. The state capital, Jackson, ranks tenth in the nation in
African-American same-sex couples. The state ranks
fifth in the nation in the percentage of
Hispanic same-sex couples
Hispanic households and ninth in the highest concentration
of same-sex couples who are seniors. With the passing of HB 1523
in April 2016, from July it became legal in
Mississippi to refuse
service to same-sex couples, based on one's religious beliefs.
The bill has become the subject of controversy. A federal judge
blocked the law in July, however it was challenged and a federal
appeals court ruled in favor of the law in October 2017.
The state is ranked 50th or last place among all the states for health
care, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation
working to advance performance of the health care system.
Mississippi has the highest rate of infant and neonatal deaths of any
U.S. state. Age-adjusted data also shows
Mississippi has the highest
overall death rate, and the highest death rate from heart disease,
hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, influenza and
Mississippi (and Arkansas) had the fewest dentists in the
For three years in a row, more than 30 percent of Mississippi's
residents have been classified as obese. In a 2006 study, 22.8 percent
of the state's children were classified as such.
Mississippi had the
highest rate of obesity of any
U.S. state from 2005 to 2008, and also
ranks first in the nation for high blood pressure, diabetes, and adult
inactivity. In a 2008 study of
contributing risk factors were shown to be: lack of knowledge about
body mass index (BMI), dietary behavior, physical inactivity and lack
of social support, defined as motivation and encouragement by
friends. A 2002 report on
African-American adolescents noted a
1999 survey which suggests that a third of children were obese, with
higher ratios for those in the Delta.
The study stressed that "obesity starts in early childhood extending
into the adolescent years and then possibly into adulthood." It noted
impediments to needed behavioral modification, including the Delta
likely being "the most underserved region in the state" with African
Americans the major ethnic group; lack of accessibility and
availability of medical care; and an estimated 60% of residents living
below the poverty level. Additional risk factors were that most
schools had no physical education curriculum and nutrition education
is not emphasized. Previous intervention strategies may have been
largely ineffective due to not being culturally sensitive or
practical. A 2006 survey found nearly 95 percent of Mississippi
adults considered childhood obesity to be a serious problem.
Mississippi locations by per capita income
Mississippi U.S. quarter
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Mississippi's total
state product in 2010 was $98 billion. GDP growth was .5 percent
in 2015 and is estimated to be 2.4 in 2016 according to Dr. Darrin
Webb, the state's chief economist, who noted it would make two
consecutive years of positive growth since the recession. Per
capita personal income in 2006 was $26,908, the lowest per capita
personal income of any state, but the state also has the nation's
lowest living costs. 2015 data records the adjusted per capita
personal income at $40,105. Mississippians consistently rank as
one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions.
At 56 percent, the state has one of the lowest workforce participation
rates in the country. Approximately 70,000 adults are disabled which
is 10 percent of the workforce.
Mississippi's rank as one of the poorest states is related to its
dependence on cotton agriculture before and after the Civil War, late
development of its frontier bottomlands in the
repeated natural disasters of flooding in the late 19th and early 20th
century that required massive capital investment in levees, and
ditching and draining the bottomlands, and slow development of
railroads to link bottomland towns and river cities. In addition,
when Democrats regained control of the state legislature, they passed
the 1890 constitution that discouraged corporate industrial
development in favor of rural agriculture, a legacy that would slow
the state's progress for years.
Before the Civil War,
Mississippi was the fifth-wealthiest state in
the nation, its wealth generated by the labor of slaves in cotton
plantations along the rivers. Slaves were counted as property and
the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their
value. By 1860, a majority – 55 percent – of the population of
Mississippi was enslaved. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands
were undeveloped and the state had low overall density of population.
Sharecropper's daughter, Lauderdale County, 1935
Largely due to the domination of the plantation economy, focused on
the production of agricultural cotton, the state's elite was reluctant
to invest in infrastructure such as roads and railroads. They educated
their children privately.
Industrialization did not reach many areas
until the late 20th century. The planter aristocracy, the elite of
antebellum Mississippi, kept the tax structure low for their own
benefit, making only private improvements. Before the war the most
successful planters, such as Confederate President Jefferson Davis,
owned riverside properties along the
Mississippi and Yazoo rivers in
Mississippi Delta. Away from the riverfronts, most of the Delta
was undeveloped frontier.
During the Civil War, 30,000
Mississippi soldiers, mostly white, died
from wounds and disease, and many more were left crippled and wounded.
Changes to the labor structure and an agricultural depression
throughout the South caused severe losses in wealth. In 1860 assessed
valuation of property in
Mississippi had been more than $500 million,
of which $218 million (43 percent) was estimated as the value of
slaves. By 1870, total assets had decreased in value to roughly $177
Poor whites and landless former slaves suffered the most from the
postwar economic depression. The constitutional convention of early
1868 appointed a committee to recommend what was needed for relief of
the state and its citizens. The committee found severe destitution
among the laboring classes. It took years for the state to
rebuild levees damaged in battles. The upset of the commodity system
impoverished the state after the war. By 1868 an increased cotton crop
began to show possibilities for free labor in the state, but the crop
of 565,000 bales produced in 1870 was still less than half of prewar
Blacks cleared land, selling timber and developing bottomland to
achieve ownership. In 1900, two-thirds of farm owners in Mississippi
were blacks, a major achievement for them and their families. Due to
the poor economy, low cotton prices and difficulty of getting credit,
many of these farmers could not make it through the extended financial
difficulties. Two decades later, the majority of African Americans
were sharecroppers. The low prices of cotton into the 1890s meant that
more than a generation of
African Americans lost the result of their
labor when they had to sell their farms to pay off accumulated
After the Civil War, the state refused for years to build human
capital by fully educating all its citizens. In addition, the reliance
on agriculture grew increasingly costly as the state suffered loss of
cotton crops due to the devastation of the boll weevil in the early
20th century, devastating floods in 1912–1913 and 1927, collapse of
cotton prices after 1920, and drought in 1930.
It was not until 1884, after the flood of 1882, that the state created
the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta District Levee Board and started
successfully achieving longer term plans for levees in the upper
Delta. Despite the state's building and reinforcing levees for
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 broke through and caused
massive flooding of 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) throughout
the Delta, homelessness for hundreds of thousands, and millions of
dollars in property damages. With the Depression coming so soon after
the flood, the state suffered badly during those years. In the Great
Migration, hundreds of thousands of
African Americans migrated North
and West for jobs and chances to live as full citizens.
Entertainment and tourism
The legislature's 1990 decision to legalize casino gambling along the
Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast has led to increased revenues and
economic gains for the state. Gambling towns in
attracted increased tourism: they include the Gulf Coast resort towns
of Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Biloxi, and the
Mississippi River towns
of Tunica (the third largest gaming area in the United States),
Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez.
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast,
Mississippi was the
second-largest gambling state in the Union, after
Nevada and ahead of
New Jersey. An estimated $500,000 per day in tax
revenue was lost following Hurricane Katrina's severe damage to
several coastal casinos in Biloxi in August 2005. Because of the
destruction from this hurricane, on October 17, 2005, Governor Haley
Barbour signed a bill into law that allows casinos in Hancock and
Harrison counties to rebuild on land (but within 800 feet (240 m)
of the water). The only exception is in Harrison County, where the new
law states that casinos can be built to the southern boundary of U.S.
Route 90.
Mississippi had the sixth largest gambling revenue of any
state, with $2.25 billion. The federally recognized Mississippi
Choctaw Indians has established a gaming casino on its
reservation, which yields revenue to support education and economic
Momentum Mississippi, a statewide, public–private partnership
dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities
in Mississippi, was adopted in 2005.
2014 Toyota Corolla built by
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi on
display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum
Mississippi, like the rest of its southern neighbors, is a
right-to-work state. It has some major automotive factories, such as
Mississippi Plant in Blue Springs and a Nissan Automotive
plant in Canton. The latter produces the Nissan Titan.
Mississippi collects personal income tax in three tax brackets,
ranging from 3% to 5%. The retail sales tax rate in
Mississippi is 7%.
Tupelo levies a local sales tax of 2.5%. State sales tax growth
was 1.4 percent in 2016 and estimated to be slightly less in
2017. For purposes of assessment for ad valorem taxes, taxable
property is divided into five classes.
On August 30, 2007, a report by the
United States Census Bureau
Mississippi was the poorest state in the country. Major
cotton farmers in the Delta have large, mechanized plantations, and
they receive the majority of extensive federal subsidies going to the
state, yet many other residents still live as poor, rural, landless
laborers. The state's sizable poultry industry has faced similar
challenges in its transition from family-run farms to large mechanized
operations. Of $1.2 billion from 2002–2005 in federal subsidies
to farmers in the Bolivar County area of the Delta, only 5% went to
small farmers. There has been little money apportioned for rural
development. Small towns are struggling. More than 100,000 people have
left the region in search of work elsewhere. The state had a
median household income of $34,473.
As of March 2016, the state's unemployment rate was 6.5%, the third
highest in the country after
Alaska and West Virginia.
Federal subsidies and spending
With Mississippi's fiscal conservatism, in which Medicaid, welfare,
food stamps, and other social programs are often cut, eligibility
requirements are tightened, and stricter employment criteria are
Mississippi ranks as having the second-highest ratio of
spending to tax receipts of any state. In 2005,
received approximately $2.02 per dollar of taxes in the way of federal
spending. This ranks the state 2nd highest nationally, and represents
an increase from 1995, when
Mississippi received $1.54 per dollar of
taxes in federal spending and was 3rd highest nationally. This
figure is based on federal spending after large portions of the state
were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, requiring large amounts of
federal aid from the
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
However, from 1981 to 2005, it was at least number four in the nation
for federal spending vs. taxes received.
A proportion of federal spending in
Mississippi is directed toward
large federal installations such as Camp Shelby, John C. Stennis Space
Center, Meridian Naval Air Station, Columbus Air Force Base, and
Keesler Air Force Base. Three of these installations are located in
the area affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Law and government
Main article: Government of Mississippi
As with all other U.S. states and the federal government,
Mississippi's government is based on the separation of legislative,
executive and judicial power. Executive authority in the state rests
with the Governor, currently
Phil Bryant (R). The Lieutenant Governor,
Tate Reeves (R), is elected on a separate ballot. Both the
governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms of
office. Unlike the federal government, but like many other U.S.
States, most of the heads of major executive departments are elected
by the citizens of
Mississippi rather than appointed by the governor.
Mississippi is one of five states that elects its state officials in
odd-numbered years (the others are Kentucky, Louisiana,
New Jersey and
Mississippi holds elections for these offices every four
years, always in the year preceding Presidential elections.
Mississippi voters approved a state constitutional amendment
banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting
Mississippi from recognizing
same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The amendment passed 86% to
14%, the largest margin in any state. Same-sex marriage
became legal in
Mississippi on June 26, 2015, when the United States
Supreme Court invalidated all state-level bans on same-sex marriage as
unconstitutional in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges.
Mississippi is one of 32 states which have capital punishment as a
legal sentence (see Capital punishment in Mississippi).
Section 265 of the Constitution of the State of
that "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold
any office in this state." This religious test restriction was
held to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso v.
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election.
Mississippi led the South in developing a disfranchising constitution,
passing it in 1890. By raising barriers to voter registration, the
state legislature disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites,
excluding them from politics until the late 1960s. It established a
one-party state dominated by white Democrats.
In the mid-20th century,
Mississippi white voters together with other
southern white voters shifted their allegiance to the Republican
Party, first for national and then for state offices, but may still
vote for Democrats at the local level.
Mississippi was the last state
to have presidential elections in which one candidate gained a popular
vote exceeding 90% and 85%, in 1944 and 1964, respectively. In both
years, the voting reflected essentially only white voters in the
state, as most
African Americans were overwhelmingly still
disenfranchised under the state's 1890 constitution and discriminatory
practices. In 1944, Democrat
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt won nearly 94% of
Mississippi's popular vote. In 1964, Republican Barry M. Goldwater
carried the state with 87% of votes, reflecting the shift among
conservative white voters to supporting Republican candidates. Most
blacks were still disenfranchised, as they were until after passage of
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Voting Rights Act of 1965 and concerted grassroots efforts to
achieve registration and encourage voting.
Mississippi has two international airports, one in Jackson
(Jackson-Evers International Airport) and one in Gulfport
(Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport)
Vicksburg Bridge carries I-20 and U.S. 80 across the Mississippi
River at Vicksburg.
Mississippi is served by nine interstate highways:
and fourteen main U.S. Routes:
as well as a system of State Highways.
For more information, visit the
Mississippi Department of
Amtrak provides scheduled passenger service along two routes, the
Crescent and City of New Orleans. Prior to severe damage from
Hurricane Katrina, the
Sunset Limited traversed the far south of the
state; the route originated in Los Angeles,
California and it
terminated in Florida.
All but two of the
United States Class I railroads serve Mississippi
(the exceptions are the
Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific):
Canadian National Railway's
Illinois Central Railroad
Illinois Central Railroad subsidiary
provides north-south service.
BNSF Railway has a northwest-southeast line across northern
Kansas City Southern Railway
Kansas City Southern Railway provides east-west service in the middle
of the state and north-south service along the
Alabama state line.
Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway provides service in the extreme north and
CSX has a line along the Gulf Coast.
Big Black River
Major bodies of water
Ross Barnett Reservoir
Ross Barnett Reservoir at sunset.
Arkabutla Lake – 19,550 acres (79.1 km2) of water; constructed
and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg
Bay Springs Lake
Bay Springs Lake – 6,700 acres (27 km2) of water and 133 miles
(214 km) of shoreline; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers
Grenada Lake – 35,000 acres (140 km2) of water; became
operational in 1954; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Vicksburg District
Ross Barnett Reservoir
Ross Barnett Reservoir – Named for Ross Barnett, the 52nd Governor
of Mississippi; 33,000 acres (130 km2) of water; became
operational in 1966; constructed and managed by The Pearl River Valley
Water Supply District, a state agency; Provides water supply for the
City of Jackson.
Sardis Lake – 98,520 acres (398.7 km2) of water; became
operational in October 1940; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District
Enid Lake – 44,000 acres (180 km2) of water; constructed and
managed by the U.S. Army
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March
See also: Category:
List of colleges and universities in Mississippi and
Education in Mississippi
School students in their library, Tupelo, Mississippi, 1936
Until the Civil War era,
Mississippi had a small number of schools and
no educational institutions for African Americans. The first school
for black students was not established until 1862.
During Reconstruction in 1871, black and white Republicans drafted a
constitution that was the first to provide for a system of free public
education in the state. The state's dependence on agriculture and
resistance to taxation limited the funds it had available to spend on
any schools. In the early 20th century, there were still few schools
in rural areas, particularly for black children. With seed money from
Julius Rosenwald Fund, many rural black communities across
Mississippi raised matching funds and contributed public funds to
build new schools for their children. Essentially, many black adults
taxed themselves twice and made significant sacrifices to raise money
for the education of children in their communities, in many cases
donating land and/or labor to build such schools.
Blacks and whites attended segregated and separate public schools in
Mississippi until the late 1960s, although such segregation had been
declared unconstitutional by the
United States Supreme Court
United States Supreme Court in its
1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. In the majority-black
Mississippi Delta counties, white parents worked through White
Citizens' Councils to set up private segregation academies, where they
enrolled their children. Often funding declined for the public
But in the state as a whole, only a small minority of white children
were withdrawn from public schools. State officials believed they
needed to maintain public education to attract new businesses. After
several years of integration, whites often dominated local systems
anyway, maintaining white supremacy. Many black parents complained
that they had little representation in school administration, and that
many of their former administrators and teachers had been pushed out.
They have had to work to have their interests and children
In the late 1980s, the state had 954 public elementary and secondary
schools, with a total yearly enrollment of about 369,500 elementary
pupils and about 132,500 secondary students. Some 45,700 students
attended private schools.
In the 21st century, 91% of white children in the state attend public
schools and most of the black children. In 2008,
ranked last among the fifty states in academic achievement by the
American Legislative Exchange Council's Report Card on Education,
with the lowest average ACT scores and sixth-lowest spending per pupil
in the nation. In contrast,
Mississippi had the 17th-highest average
SAT scores in the nation. As an explanation, the Report noted that 92%
Mississippi high school graduates took the ACT, but only 3% of
graduates took the SAT, apparently a self-selection of higher
achievers. This breakdown compares to the national average of high
school graduates taking the ACT and SAT, of 43% and 45%,
Although unusual in the West, school corporal punishment is common in
Mississippi, with 31,236 public school students paddled at least
one time. A greater percentage of students were paddled in
Mississippi than in any other state, according to government data for
the 2011–2012 school year.
Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the
National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and
Jackson, the state's capital city, is the site of the state
residential school for deaf and hard of hearing students. The
Mississippi School for the Deaf was established by the state
legislature in 1854 before the civil war.
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) is a public
residential high school for academically gifted students. It is
Columbus, Mississippi on the campus of the Mississippi
University for Women. MSMS was founded in 1987 by appropriations from
Legislature and it is the fourth public, residential
high school for academically gifted students in the United States.
The school enrolls students only in the last two years of high school.
Rising tenth-grade students from across the state apply and are
selected on a competitive basis.
Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) is an upper high school of
literary, visual, and performing arts on the historic Whitworth
College Campus in Brookhaven, Mississippi, about sixty miles
(97 km) south of Jackson, Mississippi. MSA teaches 11th and
12th grade students. The campus has six buildings designated as
Mississippi Landmarks, and is itself an historic district listed on
the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Mississippi School of the Arts provides advanced, residential
programs of study in visual arts, vocal music, theatre, dance, and
literary arts for "artistically gifted" 11th/12th grade students from
throughout Mississippi. The comprehensive residential and
academic curriculum prepares students for further studies or to pursue
employment. Some non-arts courses (some math, science, etc.) are
taught in conjunction with Brookhaven High School, 6 blocks away, to
provide a wider curriculum. Students apply for admission during
their sophomore year.
Mississippi has been especially known for its music and
literature, it has embraced other forms of art. Its strong religious
traditions have inspired striking works by outsider artists who have
been shown nationally.
Jackson established the USA International Ballet Competition, which is
held every four years. This ballet competition attracts the most
talented young dancers from around the world.
Magnolia Independent Film Festival, still held annually in
Starkville, is the first and oldest in the state.
George Ohr, known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi" and the father of
abstract expressionism in pottery, lived and worked in Biloxi, MS.
Musicians of the state's Delta region were historically significant to
the development of the blues. Although by the end of the 19th century,
two-thirds of the farm owners were black, continued low prices for
cotton and national financial pressures resulted in most of them
losing their land. More problems built up with the boll weevil
infestation, when thousands of agricultural jobs were lost.
Jimmie Rodgers, a native of Meridian and guitarist/singer/songwriter
known as the "Father of Country Music", played a significant role in
the development of the blues. He and
Chester Arthur Burnett
Chester Arthur Burnett were
friends and admirers of each other's music. Their friendship and
respect is an important example of Mississippi's musical legacy. While
the state has had a reputation for being the most racist in the United
States, individual musicians created an integrated music community.
Mississippi musicians created new forms by combining and creating
variations on musical traditions from Africa with the musical
traditions of white Southerners, a tradition largely rooted in
The state is creating a
Blues Trail, with dedicated
markers explaining historic sites significant to the history of blues
music, such as Clarksdale's Riverside Hotel, where
Bessie Smith died
after her auto accident on Highway 61. The Riverside Hotel is just one
of many historical blues sites in Clarksdale. The Delta
there is visited by tourists from all over the world. Close by is
"Ground Zero", a contemporary blues club and restaurant co-owned by
actor Morgan Freeman.
Elvis Presley, who created a sensation in the 1950s as a crossover
artist and contributed to rock 'n' roll, was a native of Tupelo. From
Leontyne Price to the alternative rock band 3 Doors Down,
to gulf and western singer Jimmy Buffett, modern rock/jazz/world music
guitarist-producer Clifton Hyde, to rappers David Banner, Big K.R.I.T.
Mississippi musicians have been significant in all
Mississippi Braves outfielder Cody Johnson at Trustmark Park
See also: List of college athletic programs in Mississippi
Biloxi is home to the
Biloxi Shuckers baseball team, a AA minor league
affiliate of the
Milwaukee Brewers and member of the Southern League
are currently located in Biloxi at MGM Park
Clinton is home to the
Mississippi Brilla soccer team. The Brilla are
a member of the USL Premier Development League.
Pearl is home to the
Mississippi Braves baseball team. The Braves are
an AA minor league affiliate of the
Atlanta Braves. They play in the
Southaven is home to the
Mississippi RiverKings hockey team, formerly
known as the Memphis RiverKings. The RiverKings are a member of
Southern Professional Hockey League.
Main article: List of people from Mississippi
Oprah Winfrey, pictured in 2011, was born in Kosciusko.
Actors: Lacey Chabert, Morgan Freeman, Jim Henson, James Earl Jones,
Gerald McRaney, Parker Posey, Jamie Lynn Spears, Sela Ward, and Oprah
Walter Inglis Anderson
Walter Inglis Anderson and George E. Ohr
Athletes: Leon Bramlett, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Cool Papa Bell, Brett
Favre, Kris Mangum, John Mangum, Al Jefferson, Monta Ellis, Clinton
Portis, Eric Moulds, Archie Manning, Deuce McAllister, Steve McNair,
Travis Outlaw, Walter Payton, and Jerry Rice
Authors: William Faulkner, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris, Thomas
Harris, Germany Kent, Kathryn Stockett, Jesmyn Ward, Eudora Welty,
Tennessee Williams, Shelby Foote,
Barry Hannah and Richard Wright
Civil rights leaders: James Bevel, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer,
Aaron Henry, James Meredith, and Anne Moody
Classical musicians: John Alexander, Ruby Elzy, Elizabeth Taylor
Greenfield, Leontyne Price, and William Grant Still
Fashion Designers: Patrick Kelly
Musicians: Pepper Keenan, Jimi Jamison, 3 Doors Down, Saving Abel,
David Banner, Hayley Williams, Big K.R.I.T., Lance Bass, Brandy, Jimmy
Buffett, David L Cook, Bo Diddley, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Faith
Hill, Randy Houser,
Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, Robert
Johnson, Albert King, B.B. King, Denise LaSalle, Elvis Presley,
Charlie Patton, Charley Pride, LeAnn Rimes, Jimmie Rodgers, David
Ruffin, Britney Spears, Conway Twitty, Muddy Waters, Tammy Wynette,
Jumpin' Gene Simmons, Bobbie Gentry, and Blind Melon.
In popular culture
This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated
references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to
explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply
listing appearances; add references to reliable sources if possible.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2017)
Children in the
United States and Canada often count "One-Mississippi,
two-Mississippi" during informal games such as hide and seek to
approximate counting by seconds.
Mississippi's low state rankings has given rise to the saying "Thank
God for Mississippi", denoting relief that the speaker's state isn't
On March 12, 1894, the Biedenharn Candy Company bottled the first
Coca-Cola in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Root beer was invented in Biloxi
in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, the namesake of
Barq's Root Beer.
Teddy bear gets its name from President Theodore "Teddy"
Roosevelt. On a 1902 hunting trip to Sharkey County, Mississippi, he
ordered the mercy killing of a wounded bear.
In 1935, the world's first night rodeo held outdoors under electric
lights was produced by
Earl Bascom and Weldon Bascom in Columbia,
Marion County, Mississippi
In 1936, Dr. Leslie Rush, of Rush Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi,
performed the first bone pinning in the United States. The "Rush Pin"
is still in use.
Burnita Shelton Matthews
Burnita Shelton Matthews from near Hazlehurst, Mississippi, was the
first woman appointed as a judge of a U.S. district court. She was
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman on October 21, 1949.
Marilyn Monroe won the Mrs.
Mississippi finals in the 1952 film We're
Texas Rose Bascom, of Columbia, Mississippi, became the most famous
female trick roper in the world, performing on stage and in Hollywood
movies. She toured the world with Bob Hope, billed as the "Queen of
the Trick Ropers", and was the first Mississippian to be inducted into
the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
In 1963, Dr. James D. Hardy of the University of
Center performed the first human lung transplant in Jackson,
Mississippi. In 1964, Dr. Hardy performed the first heart transplant,
transplanting the heart of a chimpanzee into a human, where it beat
for 90 minutes.
"At 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1964, the
United States government
detonated an underground nuclear device in Lamar County, in south
Mississippi. (...) The Project Salmon blast was about one-third as
powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. (...) The
Project Sterling blast, on December 3, 1966, was considerably weaker
than the blast two years earlier, as it was intended to be."
On January 8, 1935,
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo.
In the 1964 song
Mississippi Goddam the anger over racial murders in
the southern states is described by Nina Simone.
Several warships have been named USS Mississippi.
The comic book character Rogue, from the well-known series X-Men, is a
Mississippian and self-declared southern belle. Her home town is
located in the fictional county of Caldecott.
In 2013, researchers at the University of
Mississippi Medical Center
discovered a functional cure for
HIV/AIDS in infants.
Many of legal thriller writer John Grisham's novels are set in and
around the fictional town of Clanton, in the equally fictional Ford
County, northwest Mississippi.
In Star Trek, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Chief Medical Officer on the
U.S.S. Enterprise, studied medicine at the University of Mississippi
Medical Center.
Johnny Carson attended
Millsaps College under an elite Navy program to
train officers, known as the V-12 Program from November 1943 to
Mississippi Burning (1988) is based around the FBI
investigation of the 1964 murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.
It stars Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.
Index of Mississippi-related articles
Outline of Mississippi
Outline of Mississippi – organized list of topics about Mississippi
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^ "Aquaculture: Catfish",
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1954–68 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1996), p. 132-135
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Pleistocene pathway into the Tunica Hills". The American Midland
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^ McCook, Lucile M.; Kartesz, John. "A preliminary checklist of the
plants of Mississippi". University of
Mississippi - Pullen Herbarium.
Retrieved 22 March 2018.
Magnolia grandiFLORA: The digital herbarium for Mississippi".
Herbarium Consortium. Retrieved 22
^ Ross, Stephen T. (2002). Inland Fishes of Mississippi. Jackson, MS:
University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1578062461.
^ Jones, Robert L.; Slack, William T.; Hartfield, Paul D. (2005). "The
freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of Mississippi".
Southeastern Naturalist. 4 (1): 77-92. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
Mississippi Crayfishes". Crayfishes of Mississippi. U.S. Forest
Service, Southern Research Station. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
^ Nations, Tina M.; Stark, Bill P.; Hicks, Matthew B. (2007). "The
winter stoneflies (Plecoptera: Capniidae) of Mississippi" (PDF).
Illiesia. 3 (9): 70-94. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
^ David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of
the American Working Class, New York: Verso, 1999, p. 146
^ a b John Otto Solomon,The Final Frontiers, 1880–1930: Settling the
Southern Bottomlands. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999, pp.10–11
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^ John Otto Solomon, The Final Frontiers, 1880–1930: Settling the
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^ Prentice, Guy (2003). "Pushmataha,
Choctaw Indian Chief". Southeast
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February 11, 2008.
^ Mikko Saikku (January 28, 2010). "Bioregional Approach to Southern
History: The Yazoo-
Mississippi Delta". Southern Spaces. Retrieved
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^ Ben Wynne,
Mississippi (On-The-Road Histories) (2007) p. 12
^ Kappler, Charles (1904). "Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Vol. II,
Treaties". Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on
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^ Baird, W. David (1973). "The Choctaws Meet the Americans, 1783 to
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^ Bond, Bradley (2005). Mississippi: A Documentary History. Univ.
Press of Mississippi. p. 68. ISBN 1617034304.
^ Morris, Thomas D. (1999). Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619–1860.
North Carolina Press. p. 172.
^ Fede, Andrew (2012). People Without Rights (
Routledge Revivals): An
Interpretation of the Fundamentals of the Law of Slavery in the U.S.
South. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 1136716106.
^ McCain, William D. (1967), "The Administrations of David Holmes,
Governor of the
Mississippi Territory, 1809–1817", Journal of
Mississippi History, vol. 29 (no. 3): pp. 328–347
^ a b c d e f g h John C. Willis, Forgotten Time: The
Mississippi Delta after the Civil War. Charlottesville:
Virginia Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0813919829.
^ "Historical Census Browser". Fisher.lib.virginia.edu. Archived from
the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
^ a b James T. Campbell (1995). Songs of Zion: The African Methodist
Episcopal Church in the
United States and South Africa. New York:
Oxford University Press. pp. 53–54.
^ "The Church in the Southern Black Community", Documenting the South,
University of North Carolina, 2004, accessed January 15, 2009
^ a b W. E. B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880.
New York: Harcourt Brace, 1935; reprint New York: The Free Press,
1998, p. 437, ASIN B00HMUYS7C.
^ V. L. Wharton, "The Race Issue in the Overthrow of Reconstruction in
Mississippi:" A Paper Read before the American Historical Association,
1940, in Phylon (1940–1956), Vol. 2, No. 4 (4th Qtr., 1941), pp.
362–370 via JSTOR (subscription required)
^ McMillen, Neil R. (1990). "The Politics of the Disfranchised". Dark
Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. p. 43.
^ Stephen Edward Cresswell, Rednecks, Redeemers and Race: Mississippi
after Reconstruction, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006,
p. 124, ISBN 978-1578068470.
^ "The Louisville Leader. Louisville, Kentucky". Louisville Leader
Collection. library.louisville.edu. May 19, 1923. Retrieved May 28,
^ Randy J. Sparks. Religion in
Mississippi (online edition). Rice
^ Historical Census Browser, 1960
United States Census, University of
Virginia Archived August 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., accessed
March 13, 2008
^ Joseph Crespino, "
Mississippi as Metaphor: State, Region and Nation
in Historical Imagination", Southern Spaces, October 23, 1996,
accessed October 1, 2013
^ Michael Schenkler, "Memories of Queens College and an American
Tragedy", Queens Press, October 18, 2002, accessed March 15, 2008
^ "Robert G. Clark, 26 October 2000 (video)", The Morris W. H. (Bill)
Collins Speaker Series,
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^ "Mississippi: Bourbon Borealis", Time, February 11, 1966.
^ "After oversight,
Mississippi ratifies 13th Amendment abolishing
slavery almost 150 years after its adoption". Daily News. New York.
Retrieved February 19, 2013.
Mississippi Officially Abolishes Slavery, Ratifies 13th Amendment".
ABC News. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
Mississippi fixes oversight, formally ratifies 13th Amendment on
slavery". Fox News. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
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^ John Blake (July 30, 2008). "Segregated Sundays". CNN. Retrieved
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^ a b c d Susan Saulny, "Black and White and Married in the Deep
South: A Shifting Image", The New York Times, March 20, 2011, accessed
October 25, 2012
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^ a b "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the
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1, 2015". U.S. Census Bureau. December 26, 2015. Archived from the
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^ "Population and Population Centers by State – 2000". United States
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^ Pender, Geoff. (February 16, 2017). "13 things you need to know
about the state economy". Clarion Ledger website Retrieved February
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Quickfacts.census.gov. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012.
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^ Liptak, Adam. "Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right, Supreme Court Rules,
5–4". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
Mississippi leads nation in same-sex child rearing". Northeast
Mississippi Daily Journal. August 26, 2011. Archived from the original
on July 13, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
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Quickfacts.census.gov. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012.
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^ Exner, Rich (June 3, 2012). "Americans under age 1 now mostly
minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot". The Plain
^ "Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to
1990, and By
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^ Population of Mississippi: Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map,
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^ David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in
America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp.602–645
^ Dominic Pulera (2004). Sharing the Dream: White Males in
Multicultural America. A&C Black. p. 57.
^ "Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980 - Table 3" (PDF).
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^ James C. Cobb, The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi
Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (1994) p. 244
^ Vivian Wu Wong, "Somewhere between White and Black: The Chinese in
Mississippi", Magazine of History, v10, n4, pp33–36, Summer 1996,
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Chinese", Southeast Review of Asian Studies 30: 196–202
^ Loewen, James W. 1971. The
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Chinese, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi
^ Judge, Phoebe. "Vietnamese Shrimpers May Lose Way Of Life Again".
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^ Frank Newport (March 27, 2012). "
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^ Ost, Jason. "Facts and Findings from ''The Gay and Lesbian Atlas''".
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^ Park, Madison (July 1, 2016). "Judge blocks controversial
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set to take effect, unless Supreme Court intervenes". foxnews.com.
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House Bill 1523, will take effect Oct. 6; appeal planned".
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Mississippi Department of Health (October 29, 2008). "Impact
of Social, Behavioral and Environmental Factors on Overweight and
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^ a b c Gail D. Hughes, DrPH, MPH and Gloria Areghan, MSN both with
Department of Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology, University of
Mississippi Medical Centre; Bern'Nadette Knight, MSPH with Department
of General Internal Medicine, University of
Mississippi Medical Center
and Abiodun A. Oyebola, MD with Department of Public Health, Jackson
State University (November 11, 2008). "Obesity and the African
American Adolescent, The
Mississippi Delta Report". American Public
Health Association: 2002 130th Annual APHA Meeting. Retrieved December
20, 2008. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Lei Zhang, PhD MBA, Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi
State Department of Health; Jerome Kolbo, PhD ACSW, College of Health,
Bonnie Harbaugh, PhD RN, School of Nursing and Charkarra
Anderson-Lewis, PhD MPH, Department of Community Health Sciences,
University of Southern
Mississippi (October 29, 2008). "Public
Perception of Childhood Obesity among
Mississippi Adults". American
Public Health Association: : APHA Scientific Session and Event
Listing at 2008 136th Annual Meeting. Archived from the original on
August 11, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2008. CS1 maint: Multiple
names: authors list (link)
^ "GDP by State". Greyhill Advisors. Retrieved September 13,
^ a b c d Pender, 2017.
^ "Generosity Index". Catalogueforphilanthropy.org. Archived from the
original on December 4, 2002. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
^ a b John Otto Solomon,The Final Frontiers, 1880–1930: Settling the
Southern Bottomlands. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999, pp.10–11,
42–43, 50–51, and 70
^ Naipaul, V.S. (1990). A Turn in the South. Vintage. p. 216.
ISBN 978-0679724889. The people who wrote the constitution wanted
the state to remain 'a pastoral state, an agricultural state.' They
didn't want big business or the corporations coming in, encouraging
'unfavorable competition for jobs with the agricultural
Mississippi Almanac Entry". The New York Times. July 15, 2004.
Retrieved May 12, 2010. [permanent dead link], The New York Times
Travel Almanac (2004)
^ "Historical Census Browser". Fisher.lib.virginia.edu. Retrieved July
30, 2010. [permanent dead link]
^ W. E. B. DuBois,Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880. New
York: Harcourt Brace, 1935; reprint New York: The Free Press, 1998, p.
^ Du Bois (1935), Black Reconstruction, p. 437
^ Du Bois (1935), Black Reconstruction, pp. 432, 434
^ Katrina Stats. City of Biloxi. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
^ 2013 edition of State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino
Entertainment Archived October 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine..
American Gaming Association. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
Mississippi Direct Financial Incentives 2011 - Mississippi,
Momentum Mississippi". Area Development Online. March 2011. Retrieved
June 16, 2014.
^ "Local Sales Taxes Add Significant Burden on Consumers". The Tax
Foundation. September 22, 2011. Archived from the original on January
17, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
^ "Ad Valorem Tax".
Mississippi Department of Revenue. Archived from
the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
^ Stuesse, Angela and Laura Helton. "Low-Wage Legacies, Race, and the
Golden Chicken in Mississippi: Where Contemporary Immigration Meets
African American Labor History", Southern Spaces, December 31, 2013,
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 14, 2014.
Retrieved August 13, 2014. .
^ Gilbert M. Gaul and Dan Morgan (June 19, 2007), "A Slow Demise in
the Delta: US Farm Subsidies Favor Big Over Small and White Over
Blacks", The Washington Post, accessed March 29, 2008
^ Les Christie (August 30, 2007). "The Richest (and Poorest) Places in
the U.S." CNNMoney.com. Archived from the original on September 14,
2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
^ Bls.gov; Local Area Unemployment Statistics
^ "Tax Foundation". Tax Foundation. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
^ "Federal Taxes Paid Vs Federal Spending Received State
^ "Amendment banning gay marriage passes". USA Today. November 2,
2004. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
^ "Voters pass all 11 bans on gay marriage". MSNBC. Associated Press.
November 3, 2004. Retrieved December 7, 2007.
^ "Mississippi's Ban on Gay Marriage Officially Lifted". Retrieved
October 16, 2015.
Mississippi State Constitution". Retrieved February 15, 2011.
^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District: Arkabutla Lake
Archived July 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District: Grenada Lake
Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District: Sardis Lake
Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^ James D. Anderson,The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1988, pp. 160–161
^ a b Bolton, Charles C. The Hardest Deal of All: The Battle Over
School Integration in Mississippi, 1870–1980. University Press of
Mississippi, 2005, pp. 136, 178–179. ISBN 1604730609,
^ Bolton (2005), The Hardest Deal of All, pp. 178–179
^ a b Report Card on Education Archived April 7, 2011, at the Wayback
^ Please note this figure refers to only the number of students
paddled, regardless of whether a student was spanked multiple times in
a year, and does not refer to the number of instances of corporal
punishment, which would be substantially higher.
^ a b Farrell, Colin (February 2016). "Corporal punishment in US
schools". World Corporal Punishment Research. Retrieved April 4,
^ Dillon, Sam (November 14, 2007). "Study Compares States' Math and
Science Scores With Other Countries'". The New York Times. Retrieved
May 12, 2010. , The New York Times (2007)
^ "USA International Ballet Competition". Usaibc.com. Retrieved July
^ "History of the Teddy Bear". Retrieved March 7, 2006.
^ "Dr. James D. Hardy". University of
Mississippi Medical Center.
Retrieved May 18, 2017.
^ "Nuclear Blasts in Mississippi". Mshistory.k12.ms.us. Archived from
the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
^ "Biography of
Elvis Presley – Life of Elvis Aaron Presley –
Elvis Biography". Elvis.com. Archived from the original on February
20, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
^ "Baby born with AIDS virus appears to have been cured". CBS News.
Retrieved March 3, 2013.
^ "Roommate Recalls Carson's Millsaps Days". wlbt.net. Retrieved
October 24, 2014.
Dennis J. Mitchell, A New History of Mississippi. Jackson, MS:
Mississippi Press, 2014.
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Coordinates: 33°N 90°W / 33°N 90°W / 33; -90
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