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This article is about the U.S. state of Mississippi. Mississippi_sentence_0

For the river, see Mississippi River. Mississippi_sentence_1

For other uses, see Mississippi (disambiguation). Mississippi_sentence_2


CountryMississippi_header_cell_0_1_0 United StatesMississippi_cell_0_1_1
Before statehoodMississippi_header_cell_0_2_0 Mississippi TerritoryMississippi_cell_0_2_1
Admitted to the UnionMississippi_header_cell_0_3_0 December 10, 1817 (20th)Mississippi_cell_0_3_1

(and largest city)Mississippi_header_cell_0_4_0

Largest metroMississippi_header_cell_0_5_0 Greater JacksonMississippi_cell_0_5_1
GovernorMississippi_header_cell_0_7_0 Tate Reeves (R)Mississippi_cell_0_7_1
Lieutenant GovernorMississippi_header_cell_0_8_0 Delbert Hosemann (R)Mississippi_cell_0_8_1
LegislatureMississippi_header_cell_0_9_0 Mississippi LegislatureMississippi_cell_0_9_1
Upper houseMississippi_header_cell_0_10_0 State SenateMississippi_cell_0_10_1
Lower houseMississippi_header_cell_0_11_0 House of RepresentativesMississippi_cell_0_11_1
U.S. senatorsMississippi_header_cell_0_12_0 Roger Wicker (R)

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R)Mississippi_cell_0_12_1

U.S. House delegationMississippi_header_cell_0_13_0 1: Trent Kelly (R)

2: Bennie Thompson (D) 3: Michael Guest (R) 4: Steven Palazzo (R) (list)Mississippi_cell_0_13_1

TotalMississippi_header_cell_0_15_0 48,430 sq mi (125,443 km)Mississippi_cell_0_15_1
LandMississippi_header_cell_0_16_0 46,952 sq mi (121,607 km)Mississippi_cell_0_16_1
WaterMississippi_header_cell_0_17_0 1,521 sq mi (3,940 km)  3%Mississippi_cell_0_17_1
Area rankMississippi_header_cell_0_18_0 32ndMississippi_cell_0_18_1
LengthMississippi_header_cell_0_20_0 340 mi (545 km)Mississippi_cell_0_20_1
WidthMississippi_header_cell_0_21_0 170 mi (275 km)Mississippi_cell_0_21_1
ElevationMississippi_header_cell_0_22_0 300 ft (90 m)Mississippi_cell_0_22_1
Highest elevation (Woodall Mountain)Mississippi_header_cell_0_23_0 807 ft (246.0 m)Mississippi_cell_0_23_1
Lowest elevation (Gulf of Mexico)Mississippi_header_cell_0_24_0 0 ft (0 m)Mississippi_cell_0_24_1
TotalMississippi_header_cell_0_26_0 2,976,149Mississippi_cell_0_26_1
RankMississippi_header_cell_0_27_0 34thMississippi_cell_0_27_1
DensityMississippi_header_cell_0_28_0 63.5/sq mi (24.5/km)Mississippi_cell_0_28_1
Density rankMississippi_header_cell_0_29_0 32ndMississippi_cell_0_29_1
Median household incomeMississippi_header_cell_0_30_0 US$43,567Mississippi_cell_0_30_1
Income rankMississippi_header_cell_0_31_0 50thMississippi_cell_0_31_1
Demonym(s)Mississippi_header_cell_0_32_0 MississippianMississippi_cell_0_32_1
Official languageMississippi_header_cell_0_34_0 EnglishMississippi_cell_0_34_1
Time zoneMississippi_header_cell_0_35_0 UTC−06:00 (Central)Mississippi_cell_0_35_1
Summer (DST)Mississippi_header_cell_0_36_0 UTC−05:00 (CDT)Mississippi_cell_0_36_1
USPS abbreviationMississippi_header_cell_0_37_0 MSMississippi_cell_0_37_1
ISO 3166 codeMississippi_header_cell_0_38_0 US-MSMississippi_cell_0_38_1
Trad. abbreviationMississippi_header_cell_0_39_0 Miss.Mississippi_cell_0_39_1
LatitudeMississippi_header_cell_0_40_0 30°12′ N to 35° NMississippi_cell_0_40_1
LongitudeMississippi_header_cell_0_41_0 88°06′ W to 91°39′ WMississippi_cell_0_41_1
WebsiteMississippi_header_cell_0_42_0 Mississippi_cell_0_42_1


Mississippi state symbolsMississippi_header_cell_1_0_0
Living insigniaMississippi_header_cell_1_1_0
BirdMississippi_header_cell_1_2_0 Mississippi_cell_1_2_1
ButterflyMississippi_header_cell_1_3_0 Mississippi_cell_1_3_1
FishMississippi_header_cell_1_4_0 Mississippi_cell_1_4_1
FlowerMississippi_header_cell_1_5_0 MagnoliaMississippi_cell_1_5_1
InsectMississippi_header_cell_1_6_0 Mississippi_cell_1_6_1
MammalMississippi_header_cell_1_7_0 White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)Mississippi_cell_1_7_1
ReptileMississippi_header_cell_1_8_0 Mississippi_cell_1_8_1
TreeMississippi_header_cell_1_9_0 Mississippi_cell_1_9_1
Inanimate insigniaMississippi_header_cell_1_10_0
BeverageMississippi_header_cell_1_11_0 MilkMississippi_cell_1_11_1
ColorsMississippi_header_cell_1_12_0 red and blueMississippi_cell_1_12_1
DanceMississippi_header_cell_1_13_0 CloggingMississippi_cell_1_13_1
FoodMississippi_header_cell_1_14_0 Sweet potatoMississippi_cell_1_14_1
GemstoneMississippi_header_cell_1_15_0 EmeraldMississippi_cell_1_15_1
MineralMississippi_header_cell_1_16_0 GoldMississippi_cell_1_16_1
RockMississippi_header_cell_1_17_0 GraniteMississippi_cell_1_17_1
ShellMississippi_header_cell_1_18_0 Mississippi_cell_1_18_1
SloganMississippi_header_cell_1_19_0 Virtute et armis  (Latin)Mississippi_cell_1_19_1
State route markerMississippi_header_cell_1_20_0
State quarterMississippi_header_cell_1_21_0

Mississippi (/ˌmɪsɪˈsɪpi/ (listen)) is a state in the Deep South region of the United States. Mississippi_sentence_3

Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 34th-most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Mississippi_sentence_4

Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southwest by Louisiana, and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi_sentence_5

Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Mississippi_sentence_6

Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Mississippi_sentence_7

Greater Jackson is the state's most populous metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 580,166 in 2018. Mississippi_sentence_8

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state admitted to the Union. Mississippi_sentence_9

By 1860, Mississippi was the nation's top cotton-producing state and enslaved persons accounted for 55% of the state population. Mississippi_sentence_10

Mississippi declared its secession from the Union on March 23, 1861, and was one of the seven original Confederate States, which constituted the largest slaveholding states in the nation. Mississippi_sentence_11

Following the Civil War, it was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870. Mississippi_sentence_12

Until the Great Migration of the 1930s, African Americans were a majority of Mississippi's population. Mississippi_sentence_13

Mississippi was the site of many prominent events during the civil rights movement, including the Ole Miss riot of 1962 by white students objecting to desegregation, the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers, and the 1964 Freedom Summer murders of three activists working on voting rights. Mississippi_sentence_14

With large areas of agriculture and rural towns, Mississippi frequently ranks low among states in measures of health, education, and development, and high in measures of poverty. Mississippi_sentence_15

In 2010, 37.3% of Mississippi's population was African American, the highest percentage of any state. Mississippi_sentence_16

Mississippi is almost entirely within the Gulf coastal plain, and generally consists of lowland plains and low hills. Mississippi_sentence_17

The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Mississippi_sentence_18

Mississippi's highest point is Woodall Mountain at 807 feet (246 m) above sea level adjacent to the Cumberland Plateau; the lowest is the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi_sentence_19

Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate classification. Mississippi_sentence_20

Etymology Mississippi_section_0

The state's name is derived from the Mississippi River, which flows along and defines its western boundary. Mississippi_sentence_21

European-American settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi (English: Great river). Mississippi_sentence_22

Geography Mississippi_section_1

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 and Arkansas. Mississippi_sentence_23

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. Mississippi_sentence_24

Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla, Sardis, and Grenada, with the largest being Sardis Lake. Mississippi_sentence_25

Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 ft (246 m) above sea level. Mississippi_sentence_26

The lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. Mississippi_sentence_27

The state's mean elevation is 300 ft (91 m) above sea level. Mississippi_sentence_28

Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. Mississippi_sentence_29

The coastal plain is generally composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. Mississippi_sentence_30

The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Mississippi_sentence_31

Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state. Mississippi_sentence_32

The northeast is a region of fertile black earth uplands, a geology that extend into the Alabama Black Belt. Mississippi_sentence_33

The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, and Pascagoula. Mississippi_sentence_34

It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, and Cat Island. Mississippi_sentence_35

The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Mississippi_sentence_36

The plain is narrow in the south and widens north of Vicksburg. Mississippi_sentence_37

The region has rich soil, partly made up of silt which had been regularly deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Mississippi_sentence_38

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Mississippi_sentence_39


Major cities and towns Mississippi_section_2

Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000 (United States Census Bureau as of 2017): Mississippi_sentence_40

Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000 (United States Census Bureau as of 2017): Mississippi_sentence_41

Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000 (United States Census Bureau as of 2017): Mississippi_sentence_42

(See: Lists of cities, towns and villages, census-designated places, metropolitan areas, micropolitan areas, and counties in Mississippi) Mississippi_sentence_43

Climate Mississippi_section_3

Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with long, hot and humid summers, and short, mild winters. Mississippi_sentence_44

Temperatures average about 81 °F (27 °C) in July and about 42 °F (6 °C) in January. Mississippi_sentence_45

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. Mississippi_sentence_46

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. Mississippi_sentence_47

Heavy snowfall rarely occurs, but isn't unheard of, such as during the New Year's Eve 1963 snowstorm. Mississippi_sentence_48

Yearly precipitation generally increases from north to south, with the regions closer to the Gulf being the most humid. Mississippi_sentence_49

Thus, Clarksdale, in the northwest, gets about 50 in (1,300 mm) of precipitation annually and Biloxi, in the south, about 61 in (1,500 mm). Mississippi_sentence_50

Small amounts of snow fall in northern and central Mississippi; snow is occasional in the southern part of the state. Mississippi_sentence_51

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. Mississippi_sentence_52

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. Mississippi_sentence_53

Both caused nearly total storm surge destruction of structures in and around Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula. Mississippi_sentence_54

As in the rest of the Deep South, thunderstorms are common in Mississippi, especially in the southern part of the state. Mississippi_sentence_55

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. Mississippi_sentence_56

Two of the five deadliest tornadoes in United States history have occurred in the state. Mississippi_sentence_57

These storms struck Natchez, in southwest Mississippi (see The Great Natchez Tornado) and Tupelo, in the northeast corner of the state. Mississippi_sentence_58

About seven F5 tornadoes have been recorded in the state. Mississippi_sentence_59


Monthly normal high and low temperatures (°F) for various Mississippi citiesMississippi_cell_2_0_0
CityMississippi_header_cell_2_1_0 JanMississippi_header_cell_2_1_1 FebMississippi_header_cell_2_1_2 MarMississippi_header_cell_2_1_3 AprMississippi_header_cell_2_1_4 MayMississippi_header_cell_2_1_5 JunMississippi_header_cell_2_1_6 JulMississippi_header_cell_2_1_7 AugMississippi_header_cell_2_1_8 SepMississippi_header_cell_2_1_9 OctMississippi_header_cell_2_1_10 NovMississippi_header_cell_2_1_11 DecMississippi_header_cell_2_1_12
GulfportMississippi_header_cell_2_2_0 61/43Mississippi_cell_2_2_1 64/46Mississippi_cell_2_2_2 70/52Mississippi_cell_2_2_3 77/59Mississippi_cell_2_2_4 84/66Mississippi_cell_2_2_5 89/72Mississippi_cell_2_2_6 91/74Mississippi_cell_2_2_7 91/74Mississippi_cell_2_2_8 87/70Mississippi_cell_2_2_9 79/60Mississippi_cell_2_2_10 70/51Mississippi_cell_2_2_11 63/45Mississippi_cell_2_2_12
JacksonMississippi_header_cell_2_3_0 55/35Mississippi_cell_2_3_1 60/38Mississippi_cell_2_3_2 68/45Mississippi_cell_2_3_3 75/52Mississippi_cell_2_3_4 82/61Mississippi_cell_2_3_5 89/68Mississippi_cell_2_3_6 91/71Mississippi_cell_2_3_7 91/70Mississippi_cell_2_3_8 86/65Mississippi_cell_2_3_9 77/52Mississippi_cell_2_3_10 66/43Mississippi_cell_2_3_11 58/37Mississippi_cell_2_3_12
MeridianMississippi_header_cell_2_4_0 58/35Mississippi_cell_2_4_1 63/38Mississippi_cell_2_4_2 70/44Mississippi_cell_2_4_3 77/50Mississippi_cell_2_4_4 84/60Mississippi_cell_2_4_5 90/67Mississippi_cell_2_4_6 93/70Mississippi_cell_2_4_7 93/70Mississippi_cell_2_4_8 88/64Mississippi_cell_2_4_9 78/51Mississippi_cell_2_4_10 68/43Mississippi_cell_2_4_11 60/37Mississippi_cell_2_4_12
TupeloMississippi_header_cell_2_5_0 50/30Mississippi_cell_2_5_1 56/34Mississippi_cell_2_5_2 65/41Mississippi_cell_2_5_3 74/48Mississippi_cell_2_5_4 81/58Mississippi_cell_2_5_5 88/66Mississippi_cell_2_5_6 91/70Mississippi_cell_2_5_7 91/68Mississippi_cell_2_5_8 85/62Mississippi_cell_2_5_9 75/49Mississippi_cell_2_5_10 63/40Mississippi_cell_2_5_11 54/33Mississippi_cell_2_5_12

Climate change Mississippi_section_4

Ecology, flora, and fauna Mississippi_section_5

Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state's area covered by wild or cultivated trees. Mississippi_sentence_60

The southeastern part of the state is dominated by longleaf pine, in both uplands and lowland flatwoods and Sarracenia bogs. Mississippi_sentence_61

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain, or Delta, is primarily farmland and aquaculture ponds but also has sizeable tracts of cottonwood, willows, bald cypress, and oaks. Mississippi_sentence_62

A belt of loess extends north to south in the western part of the state, where the Mississippi Alluvial Plain reaches the first hills; this region is characterized by rich, mesic mixed hardwood forests, with some species disjunct from Appalachian forests. Mississippi_sentence_63

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. Mississippi_sentence_64

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. Mississippi_sentence_65

The rest of the state, primarily north of 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. Mississippi_sentence_66

Areas along large rivers are commonly inhabited by bald cypress, water tupelo, water elm, and bitter pecan. Mississippi_sentence_67

Commonly cultivated trees include loblolly pine, longleaf pine, cherrybark oak, and cottonwood. Mississippi_sentence_68

There are approximately 3000 species of vascular plants known from Mississippi. Mississippi_sentence_69

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 distribution. Mississippi_sentence_70

About 420 species of birds are known to inhabit Mississippi. Mississippi_sentence_71

Mississippi has one of the richest fish faunas in the United States, with 204 native fish species. Mississippi_sentence_72

Mississippi also has a rich freshwater mussel fauna, with about 90 species in the primary family of native mussels (Unionidae). Mississippi_sentence_73

Several of these species were extirpated during the construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Mississippi_sentence_74

Mississippi is home to 63 crayfish species, including at least 17 endemic species. Mississippi_sentence_75

Mississippi is home to eight winter stonefly species. Mississippi_sentence_76

Ecological problems Mississippi_section_6

Flooding Mississippi_section_7

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. Mississippi_sentence_77

The river's flooding created natural levees, which planters had built higher to try to prevent flooding of land cultivated for cotton crops. Mississippi_sentence_78

Temporary workers built levees along the Mississippi River on top of the natural levees that formed from dirt deposited after the river flooded. Mississippi_sentence_79

From 1858 to 1861, the state took over levee building, accomplishing it through contractors and hired labor. Mississippi_sentence_80

In those years, planters considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous work. Mississippi_sentence_81

Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build levees and sometimes clear land. Mississippi_sentence_82

Many of the Irish were relatively recent immigrants from the famine years who were struggling to get established. Mississippi_sentence_83

Before the American Civil War, the earthwork levees averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached twenty feet. Mississippi_sentence_84

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. Mississippi_sentence_85

The banks of the river were denuded, becoming unstable and changing the character of the river. Mississippi_sentence_86

After the Civil War, major floods swept down the valley in 1865, 1867, 1874 and 1882. Mississippi_sentence_87

Such floods regularly overwhelmed levees damaged by Confederate and Union fighting during the war, as well as those constructed after the war. Mississippi_sentence_88

In 1877, the state created the Mississippi Levee District for southern counties. Mississippi_sentence_89

In 1879, the United States Congress created the Mississippi River Commission, whose responsibilities included aiding state levee boards in the construction of levees. Mississippi_sentence_90

Both white and black transient workers were hired to build the levees in the late 19th century. Mississippi_sentence_91

By 1882, levees averaged seven feet in height, but many in the southern Delta were severely tested by the flood that year. Mississippi_sentence_92

After the 1882 flood, the levee system was expanded. Mississippi_sentence_93

In 1884, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District was established to oversee levee construction and maintenance in the northern Delta counties; also included were some counties in Arkansas which were part of the Delta. Mississippi_sentence_94

Flooding overwhelmed northwestern Mississippi in 1912–1913, causing heavy damage to the levee districts. Mississippi_sentence_95

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. Mississippi_sentence_96

Although U.S. participation in 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. Mississippi_sentence_97

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. Mississippi_sentence_98

The region was severely damaged due to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which broke through the levees. Mississippi_sentence_99

There were losses of millions of dollars in property, stock and crops. Mississippi_sentence_100

The most damage occurred in the lower Delta, including Washington and Bolivar counties. Mississippi_sentence_101

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. Mississippi_sentence_102

Scientists now understand that the widespread clearing of land and building of the levees have changed the nature of the river. Mississippi_sentence_103

Such work removed the natural protection and absorption of wetlands and forest cover, strengthening the river's current. Mississippi_sentence_104

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. Mississippi_sentence_105

History Mississippi_section_8

Main article: History of Mississippi Mississippi_sentence_106

Near 10,000 BC Native Americans or Paleo-Indians arrived in what today is referred to as the American South. Mississippi_sentence_107

Paleo-Indians in the South were hunter-gatherers who pursued the megafauna that became extinct following the end of the Pleistocene age. Mississippi_sentence_108

In the Mississippi Delta, Native American settlements and agricultural fields were developed on the natural levees, higher ground in the proximity of rivers. Mississippi_sentence_109

The Native Americans developed extensive fields near their permanent villages. Mississippi_sentence_110

Together with other practices, they created some localized deforestation but did not alter the ecology of the Mississippi Delta as a whole. Mississippi_sentence_111

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. Mississippi_sentence_112

Both were mound builder cultures. Mississippi_sentence_113

Those of the Mississippian culture were the largest and most complex, constructed beginning about 950 AD. Mississippi_sentence_114

The peoples had a trading network spanning the continent from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. Mississippi_sentence_115

Their large earthworks, which expressed their cosmology of political and religious concepts, still stand throughout the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. Mississippi_sentence_116

Descendant Native American tribes of the Mississippian culture in the Southeast include the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Mississippi_sentence_117

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 Biloxi. Mississippi_sentence_118

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. Mississippi_sentence_119

Colonial era Mississippi_section_9

Main articles: New France, Louisiana (New France), French and Indian War, Treaty of Paris (1763), New Spain, West Florida, Indian Reserve (1763), American Revolutionary War, Treaty of Paris (1783), and Spanish West Florida Mississippi_sentence_120

In April 1699, French colonists established the first European settlement at Fort Maurepas (also known as Old Biloxi), built in the vicinity of present-day Ocean Springs on the Gulf Coast. Mississippi_sentence_121

It was settled by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. Mississippi_sentence_122

In 1716, the French founded Natchez on the Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie); it became the dominant town and trading post of the area. Mississippi_sentence_123

The French called the greater territory "New France"; the Spanish continued to claim part of the Gulf coast area (east of Mobile Bay) of present-day southern Alabama, in addition to the entire area of present-day Florida. Mississippi_sentence_124

Through the 18th century, the area was ruled variously by Spanish, French, and British colonial governments. Mississippi_sentence_125

The colonists imported African slaves as laborers. Mississippi_sentence_126

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 or free black women, and their mixed-race children. Mississippi_sentence_127

In the early days the French and Spanish colonists were chiefly men. Mississippi_sentence_128

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. Mississippi_sentence_129

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. Mississippi_sentence_130

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. Mississippi_sentence_131

After Great Britain's victory in the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), the French surrendered the Mississippi area to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763). Mississippi_sentence_132

They also ceded their areas to the north that were east of the Mississippi River, including the Illinois Country and Quebec. Mississippi_sentence_133

After the Peace of Paris (1783), the lower third of Mississippi came under Spanish rule as part of West Florida. Mississippi_sentence_134

In 1819 the United States completed the purchase of West Florida and all of East Florida in the Adams–Onís Treaty, and in 1822 both were merged into the Florida Territory. Mississippi_sentence_135

United States territory Mississippi_section_10

Main articles: Seminole Wars, Adams–Onís Treaty, Organic act § List of organic acts, and Mississippi Territory Mississippi_sentence_136

After the American Revolution (1765–83), Britain ceded this area to the new United States of America. Mississippi_sentence_137

The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina to the United States. Mississippi_sentence_138

Their original colonial charters theoretically extended west to the Pacific Ocean. Mississippi_sentence_139

The Mississippi Territory was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. Mississippi_sentence_140

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. Mississippi_sentence_141

The latter were mostly migrants from other Southern states, particularly Virginia and North Carolina, where soils were exhausted. Mississippi_sentence_142

New settlers kept encroaching on Choctaw land, and they pressed the federal government to expel the Native Americans. Mississippi_sentence_143

On September 27, 1830, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed between the U.S. Government and the Choctaw. Mississippi_sentence_144

The Choctaw agreed to sell their traditional homelands in Mississippi and Alabama, for compensation and removal to reservations in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Mississippi_sentence_145

This opened up land for sale to European-American migrant settlement. Mississippi_sentence_146

Article 14 in the treaty allowed those Choctaw who chose to remain in the states to become U.S. citizens, as they were considered to be giving up their tribal membership. Mississippi_sentence_147

They were the second major Native American ethnic group to do so (some Cherokee were the first, who chose to stay in North Carolina and other areas during rather than join the removal). Mississippi_sentence_148

Today their descendants include approximately 9,500 persons identifying as Choctaw, who live in Neshoba, Newton, Leake, and Jones counties. Mississippi_sentence_149

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reorganized in the 20th century and is a Federally recognized tribe. Mississippi_sentence_150

Many slaveholders brought enslaved African Americans with them or purchased them through the domestic slave trade, especially in New Orleans. Mississippi_sentence_151

Through the trade, an estimated nearly one million slaves were forcibly transported to the Deep South, including Mississippi, in an internal migration that broke up many slave families of the Upper South, where planters were selling excess slaves. Mississippi_sentence_152

The Southerners imposed slave laws in the Deep South and restricted the rights of free blacks. Mississippi_sentence_153

Beginning in 1822, slaves in Mississippi were protected by law from cruel and unusual punishment by their owners. Mississippi_sentence_154

The Southern slave codes made the willful killing of a slave illegal in most cases. Mississippi_sentence_155

For example, the 1860 Mississippi case of Oliver v. State charged the defendant with murdering his own slave. Mississippi_sentence_156

Statehood, 1817–1861 Mississippi_section_11

Main articles: Admission to the Union and List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union Mississippi_sentence_157

Mississippi became the 20th state on December 10, 1817. Mississippi_sentence_158

David Holmes was the first governor. Mississippi_sentence_159

The state was still occupied as ancestral land by several Native American tribes, including Choctaw, Natchez, Houma, Creek, and Chickasaw. Mississippi_sentence_160

Plantations were developed primarily along the major rivers, where the waterfront provided access to the major transportation routes. Mississippi_sentence_161

This is also where early towns developed, linked by the steamboats that carried commercial products and crops to markets. Mississippi_sentence_162

The remainder of Native American ancestral land remained largely undeveloped but was sold through treaties until 1826, when the Choctaws and Chickasaws refused to sell more land. Mississippi_sentence_163

The combination of the Mississippi state legislature's abolition of Choctaw Tribal Government in 1829, President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act and the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830, the Choctaw were effectively forced to sell their land and were transported to Oklahoma Territory. Mississippi_sentence_164

The forced migration of the Choctaw, together with other southeastern tribes removed as a result of the Act, became known as the Trail of Tears. Mississippi_sentence_165

When cotton was king during the 1850s, Mississippi plantation 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 free labor gained through their holding enslaved African Americans. Mississippi_sentence_166

They used some of their profits to buy more cotton land and more slaves. Mississippi_sentence_167

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. Mississippi_sentence_168

Mississippi was a slave society, with the economy dependent on slavery. Mississippi_sentence_169

The state was thinly settled, with population concentrated in the riverfront areas and towns. Mississippi_sentence_170

By 1860, the enslaved African-American population numbered 436,631 or 55% of the state's total of 791,305 persons. Mississippi_sentence_171

Fewer than 1000 were free people of color. Mississippi_sentence_172

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. Mississippi_sentence_173

Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were still frontier and undeveloped. Mississippi_sentence_174

The state needed many more settlers for development. Mississippi_sentence_175

The land further away from the rivers was cleared by freedmen and white migrants during Reconstruction and later. Mississippi_sentence_176

Civil War to 20th century Mississippi_section_12

Main articles: Ordinance of Secession, Confederate States of America, Mississippi in the American Civil War, and Reconstruction era Mississippi_sentence_177

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. Mississippi_sentence_178

The first six states to secede were those with the highest number of slaves. Mississippi_sentence_179

During the war, Union and Confederate forces struggled for dominance on the Mississippi River, critical to supply routes and commerce. Mississippi_sentence_180

More than 80,000 Mississippians fought in the Civil War, and casualties were extremely heavy. Mississippi_sentence_181

Union General Ulysses S. Grant's long siege of Vicksburg finally gained the Union control of the river in 1863. Mississippi_sentence_182

In the postwar period, freedmen withdrew from white-run churches to set up independent congregations. Mississippi_sentence_183

The majority of blacks left the Southern Baptist Church, sharply reducing its membership. Mississippi_sentence_184

They created independent black Baptist congregations. Mississippi_sentence_185

By 1895 they had established numerous black Baptist state associations and the National Baptist Convention of black churches. Mississippi_sentence_186

In addition, independent black denominations, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church (established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 19th century) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (established in New York City), sent missionaries to the South in the postwar years. Mississippi_sentence_187

They quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of converts and founded new churches across the South. Mississippi_sentence_188

Southern congregations brought their own influences to those denominations as well. Mississippi_sentence_189

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. Mississippi_sentence_190

The convention was the first political organization in the state to include African-American representatives, 17 among the 100 members (32 counties had black majorities at the time). Mississippi_sentence_191

Some among the black delegates were freedmen, but others were educated free blacks who had migrated from the North. Mississippi_sentence_192

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. Mississippi_sentence_193

Under the terms of Reconstruction, Mississippi was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870. Mississippi_sentence_194

Because the Mississippi Delta contained so much fertile bottomland that had not been developed before the Civil War, 90 percent of the land was still frontier. Mississippi_sentence_195

After the Civil War, tens of thousands of migrants were attracted to the area by higher wages offered by planters trying to develop land. Mississippi_sentence_196

In addition, black and white workers could earn money by clearing the land and selling timber, and eventually advance to ownership. Mississippi_sentence_197

The new farmers included many freedmen, who by the late 19th century achieved unusually high rates of land ownership in the Mississippi bottomlands. Mississippi_sentence_198

In the 1870s and 1880s, many black farmers succeeded in gaining land ownership. Mississippi_sentence_199

Around the start of the 20th century, two-thirds of the Mississippi farmers who owned land in the Delta were African American. Mississippi_sentence_200

But many had become overextended with debt during the falling cotton prices of the difficult years of the late 19th century. Mississippi_sentence_201

Cotton prices fell throughout the decades following the Civil War. Mississippi_sentence_202

As another agricultural depression lowered cotton prices into the 1890s, numerous African-American farmers finally had to sell their land to pay off debts, thus losing the land which they had developed by hard, personal labor. Mississippi_sentence_203

Democrats had 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. Mississippi_sentence_204

Democratic whites were well armed and formed paramilitary organizations such as the Red Shirts to suppress black voting. Mississippi_sentence_205

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. Mississippi_sentence_206

They killed a total of 150 blacks, although other estimates place the death toll at twice as many. Mississippi_sentence_207

A total of three white Republicans and five white Democrats were reported killed. Mississippi_sentence_208

In rural areas, deaths of blacks could be covered up. Mississippi_sentence_209

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. Mississippi_sentence_210

Seeing the success of this deliberate "Mississippi Plan", South Carolina and other states followed it and also achieved white Democratic dominance. Mississippi_sentence_211

In 1877 by a national compromise, the last of federal troops were withdrawn from the region. Mississippi_sentence_212

Even in this environment, black Mississippians continued to be elected to local office. Mississippi_sentence_213

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. Mississippi_sentence_214

It erected barriers to voter registration and instituted electoral provisions that effectively disenfranchised most black Mississippians and many poor whites. Mississippi_sentence_215

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. Mississippi_sentence_216

The loss of political influence contributed to the difficulties of African Americans in their attempts to obtain extended credit in the late 19th century. Mississippi_sentence_217

Together with imposition of Jim Crow and racial segregation laws, whites increased violence against blacks, lynching mostly men, through the period of the 1890s and extending to 1930. Mississippi_sentence_218

Cotton crops failed due to boll weevil infestation and successive severe flooding in 1912 and 1913, creating crisis conditions for many African Americans. Mississippi_sentence_219

With control of the ballot box and more access to credit, white planters bought out such farmers, expanding their ownership of Delta bottomlands. Mississippi_sentence_220

They also took advantage of new railroads sponsored by the state. Mississippi_sentence_221

20th century to present Mississippi_section_13

In 1900, blacks made up more than half of the state's population. Mississippi_sentence_222

By 1910, a majority of black farmers in the Delta had lost their land and become sharecroppers. Mississippi_sentence_223

By 1920, the third generation after freedom, most African Americans in Mississippi were landless laborers again facing poverty. Mississippi_sentence_224

Starting about 1913, tens of thousands of black Americans left Mississippi for the North in the Great Migration to industrial cities such as St. Mississippi_sentence_225 Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and New York. Mississippi_sentence_226

They sought jobs, better education for their children, the right to vote, relative freedom from discrimination, and better living. Mississippi_sentence_227

In the migration of 1910–1940, they left a society that had been steadily closing off opportunity. Mississippi_sentence_228

Most migrants from Mississippi took trains directly north to Chicago and often settled near former neighbors. Mississippi_sentence_229

Blacks also faced violence in the form of lynching, shooting, and the burning of churches. Mississippi_sentence_230

In 1923, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stated "the Negro feels that life is not safe in Mississippi and his life may be taken with impunity at any time upon the slightest pretext or provocation by a white man". Mississippi_sentence_231

In the early 20th century, some industries were established in Mississippi, but jobs were generally restricted to whites, including child workers. Mississippi_sentence_232

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. Mississippi_sentence_233

The state depended on agriculture, but mechanization put many farm laborers out of work. Mississippi_sentence_234

By 1900, many white ministers, especially in the towns, subscribed to the Social Gospel movement, which attempted to apply Christian ethics to social and economic needs of the day. Mississippi_sentence_235

Many strongly supported Prohibition, believing it would help alleviate and prevent many sins. Mississippi_sentence_236

Mississippi became a dry state in 1908 by an act of the State legislature. Mississippi_sentence_237

It remained dry until the legislature passed a local option bill in 1966. Mississippi_sentence_238

African-American Baptist churches grew to include more than twice the number of members as their white Baptist counterparts. Mississippi_sentence_239

The African-American call for social equality resonated throughout the Great Depression in the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s. Mississippi_sentence_240

The Second Great Migration from the South started in the 1940s, lasting until 1970. Mississippi_sentence_241

Almost half a million people left Mississippi in the second migration, three-quarters of them black. Mississippi_sentence_242

Nationwide during the first half of the 20th century, African Americans became rapidly urbanized and many worked in industrial jobs. Mississippi_sentence_243

The Second Great Migration included destinations in the West, especially California, where the buildup of the defense industry offered higher-paying jobs to both African Americans and whites. Mississippi_sentence_244

Blacks and whites in Mississippi generated rich, quintessentially American music traditions: gospel music, country music, jazz, blues and rock and roll. Mississippi_sentence_245

All were invented, promulgated or heavily developed by Mississippi musicians, many of them African American, and most came from the Mississippi Delta. Mississippi_sentence_246

Many musicians carried their music north to Chicago, where they made it the heart of that city's jazz and blues. Mississippi_sentence_247

So many African Americans left in the Great Migration that after the 1930s, they became a minority in Mississippi. Mississippi_sentence_248

In 1960 they made up 42% of the state's population. Mississippi_sentence_249

The whites maintained their discriminatory voter registration processes established in 1890, preventing most blacks from voting, even if they were well educated. Mississippi_sentence_250

Court challenges were not successful until later in the century. Mississippi_sentence_251

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 rights. Mississippi_sentence_252

The Civil Rights Movement had many roots in religion, and the strong community of churches helped supply volunteers and moral purpose for their activism. Mississippi_sentence_253

Mississippi was a center of activity, based in black churches, to educate and register black voters, and to work for integration. Mississippi_sentence_254

In 1954 the state had created the Mississippi State 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. Mississippi_sentence_255

White Citizens Councils had been formed in many cities and towns to resist integration of schools following the unanimous 1954 United States Supreme Court ruling (Brown v. Board of Education) that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. Mississippi_sentence_256

They used intimidation and economic blackmail against activists and suspected activists, including teachers and other professionals. Mississippi_sentence_257

Techniques included loss of jobs and eviction from rental housing. Mississippi_sentence_258

In the summer of 1964 students and community organizers from across the country came to help register black voters in Mississippi and establish Freedom Schools. Mississippi_sentence_259

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was established to challenge the all-white Democratic Party of the Solid South. Mississippi_sentence_260

Most white politicians resisted such changes. Mississippi_sentence_261

Chapters of the Ku Klux Klan and its sympathizers used violence against activists, most notably the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in 1964 during the Freedom Summer campaign. Mississippi_sentence_262

This was a catalyst for Congressional passage the following year of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mississippi_sentence_263

Mississippi earned a reputation in the 1960s as a reactionary state. Mississippi_sentence_264

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. Mississippi_sentence_265

Registration of African-American voters increased and black candidates ran in the 1967 elections for state and local offices. Mississippi_sentence_266

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party fielded some candidates. Mississippi_sentence_267

Teacher Robert G. Clark of Holmes County was the first African American to be elected to the State House since Reconstruction. Mississippi_sentence_268

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 House. Mississippi_sentence_269

In 1966, the state was the last to repeal officially statewide prohibition of alcohol. Mississippi_sentence_270

Before that, Mississippi had taxed the illegal alcohol brought in by bootleggers. Mississippi_sentence_271

Governor Paul Johnson urged repeal and the sheriff "raided the annual Junior League 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 state officials". Mississippi_sentence_272

On August 17, 1969, Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars). Mississippi_sentence_273

Mississippi ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, in March 1984, which had already entered into force by August 1920; granting women the right to vote. Mississippi_sentence_274

In 1987, 20 years after the U.S. Mississippi_sentence_275 Supreme Court had ruled in 1967's 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. Mississippi_sentence_276

It also repealed the segregationist-era poll tax in 1989. Mississippi_sentence_277

In 1995, the state symbolically ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which had abolished slavery in 1865. Mississippi_sentence_278

Though ratified in 1995, the state never officially notified the Federal 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. Mississippi_sentence_279

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. Mississippi_sentence_280

Republican Governor Haley Barbour signed the bill into law. Mississippi_sentence_281

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. Mississippi_sentence_282

After the Civil War, most 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. Mississippi_sentence_283

They wanted to express their own traditions of worship and practice. Mississippi_sentence_284

In more diverse communities, such as Hattiesburg, some churches have multiracial congregations. Mississippi_sentence_285

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 from Louisiana to Alabama. Mississippi_sentence_286

The previous flag of Mississippi, used until June 30, 2020, featured the Confederate battle flag. Mississippi_sentence_287

Mississippi became the last state to remove the Confederate battle flag as an official state symbol on June 30, 2020, when Governor Tate Reeves signed a law officially retiring the second state flag. Mississippi_sentence_288

A new flag, The "New Magnolia" flag, was selected via referendum as part of the general election on November 3, 2020. Mississippi_sentence_289

Demographics Mississippi_section_14

The center of population of Mississippi is located in Leake County, in the town of Lena. Mississippi_sentence_290

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Mississippi was 2,976,149 on July 1, 2019, a 0.30% increase since the 2010 census. Mississippi_sentence_291

The state's economist characterized the state as losing population as job markets elsewhere have caused 3.2 per 1000 to migrate recently. Mississippi_sentence_292

From 2000 to 2010, the 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. Mississippi_sentence_293

In addition, Mississippi led the nation for most of the last decade in the growth of mixed marriages among its population. Mississippi_sentence_294

The total population has not increased significantly, but is young. Mississippi_sentence_295

Some of the above change in identification as mixed race is due to new births. Mississippi_sentence_296

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. Mississippi_sentence_297

A binary racial system had been in place since slavery times and the days of racial segregation. Mississippi_sentence_298

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. Mississippi_sentence_299

As the demographer William H. Frey noted, "In Mississippi, I think it's [identifying as mixed race] changed from within." Mississippi_sentence_300

Historically in Mississippi, after Indian removal in the 1830s, the major groups were designated as black (African American), who were then mostly enslaved, and white (primarily European American). Mississippi_sentence_301

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." Mississippi_sentence_302

After having accounted for a majority of the state's population since well before the Civil War and through the 1930s, today African Americans constitute approximately 37.8 percent of the state's population. Mississippi_sentence_303

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. Mississippi_sentence_304

Some of these slaves were mixed race, with European ancestors, as there were many children born into slavery with white fathers. Mississippi_sentence_305

Some also have Native American ancestry. Mississippi_sentence_306

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. Mississippi_sentence_307

They became a minority in the state for the first time since early in its development. Mississippi_sentence_308

Ancestry Mississippi_section_15

At the 2010 U.S. census, the racial makeup of the population was: Mississippi_sentence_309


Ethnically, 2.7% of the total population, among all racial groups, was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race). Mississippi_sentence_310

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 non-Hispanic white. Mississippi_sentence_311

For more information on racial and ethnic classifications in the United States see race and ethnicity in the United States Census. Mississippi_sentence_312


Mississippi Racial Breakdown of PopulationMississippi_table_caption_3
Racial compositionMississippi_header_cell_3_0_0 1990Mississippi_header_cell_3_0_1 2000Mississippi_header_cell_3_0_2 2010Mississippi_header_cell_3_0_3
WhiteMississippi_cell_3_1_0 63.5%Mississippi_cell_3_1_1 61.4%Mississippi_cell_3_1_2 59.1%Mississippi_cell_3_1_3
BlackMississippi_cell_3_2_0 35.6%Mississippi_cell_3_2_1 36.3%Mississippi_cell_3_2_2 37.0%Mississippi_cell_3_2_3
AsianMississippi_cell_3_3_0 0.5%Mississippi_cell_3_3_1 0.7%Mississippi_cell_3_3_2 0.9%Mississippi_cell_3_3_3
NativeMississippi_cell_3_4_0 0.3%Mississippi_cell_3_4_1 0.4%Mississippi_cell_3_4_2 0.5%Mississippi_cell_3_4_3
Other raceMississippi_cell_3_5_0 0.1%Mississippi_cell_3_5_1 0.5%Mississippi_cell_3_5_2 1.3%Mississippi_cell_3_5_3
Two or more racesMississippi_cell_3_6_0 Mississippi_cell_3_6_1 0.7%Mississippi_cell_3_6_2 1.2%Mississippi_cell_3_6_3

Americans of Scots-Irish, English and Scottish ancestry are present throughout the state. Mississippi_sentence_313

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. Mississippi_sentence_314

English, Scottish and Scots-Irish are generally the most under-reported ancestry groups in both the South Atlantic States and the East South Central States. Mississippi_sentence_315

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. Mississippi_sentence_316

Many Mississippians of such ancestry identify simply as American on questionnaires, because their families have been in North America for centuries. Mississippi_sentence_317

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 time. Mississippi_sentence_318

The state in 2010 had the highest proportion of African Americans in the nation. Mississippi_sentence_319

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). Mississippi_sentence_320

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. Mississippi_sentence_321

African Americans are the majority ethnic group in the northwestern Yazoo Delta, and the southwestern and the central parts of the state. Mississippi_sentence_322

These are areas where, historically, African Americans owned land as farmers in the 19th century following the Civil War, or worked on cotton plantations and farms. Mississippi_sentence_323

People of French Creole ancestry form the largest demographic group in Hancock County on the Gulf Coast. Mississippi_sentence_324

The African-American; Choctaw, mostly in Neshoba County; and Chinese American portions of the population are also almost entirely native born. Mississippi_sentence_325

The Chinese first came to Mississippi as contract workers from Cuba and California in the 1870s, and they originally worked as laborers on the cotton plantations. Mississippi_sentence_326

However, most Chinese families came later between 1910 and 1930 from other states, and most operated small family-owned groceries stores in the many small towns of the Delta. Mississippi_sentence_327

In these roles, the ethnic Chinese carved out a niche in the state between black and white, where they were concentrated in the Delta. Mississippi_sentence_328

These small towns have declined since the late 20th century, and many ethnic Chinese have joined the exodus to larger cities, including Jackson. Mississippi_sentence_329

Their population in the state overall has increased in the 21st century. Mississippi_sentence_330

In the early 1980s many Vietnamese immigrated to Mississippi and other states along the Gulf of Mexico, where they became employed in fishing-related work. Mississippi_sentence_331

Language Mississippi_section_16

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. Mississippi_sentence_332

English is largely Southern American English, with some South Midland speech in northern and eastern Mississippi. Mississippi_sentence_333

There is a common absence of final /r/, particularly in the elderly natives and African Americans, and the lengthening and weakening of the diphthongs /aɪ/ and /ɔɪ/ as in 'ride' and 'oil'. Mississippi_sentence_334

South Midland terms in northern Mississippi include: tow sack (burlap bag), dog irons (andirons), plum peach (clingstone peach), snake doctor (dragonfly), and stone wall (rock fence). Mississippi_sentence_335


Top 10 non-English languages spoken in MississippiMississippi_table_caption_4
LanguageMississippi_header_cell_4_0_0 Percentage of population

(as of 2010)Mississippi_header_cell_4_0_1

SpanishMississippi_cell_4_1_0 1.9%Mississippi_cell_4_1_1
FrenchMississippi_cell_4_2_0 0.4%Mississippi_cell_4_2_1
German, Vietnamese, and Choctaw (tied)Mississippi_cell_4_3_0 0.2%Mississippi_cell_4_3_1
Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, Italian (tied)Mississippi_cell_4_4_0 0.1%Mississippi_cell_4_4_1

Religion Mississippi_section_17

Under French and Spanish rule beginning in the 17th century, European colonists were mostly Roman Catholics. Mississippi_sentence_336

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. Mississippi_sentence_337

Due to such migration, there was rapid growth in the number of Protestant churches, especially Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist. Mississippi_sentence_338

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. Mississippi_sentence_339

Both slaves and free blacks were welcomed into Methodist and Baptist churches. Mississippi_sentence_340

Independent black Baptist churches were established before 1800 in Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia, and later developed in Mississippi as well. Mississippi_sentence_341

In the post-Civil War years, religion became more influential as the South became known as the "Bible Belt". Mississippi_sentence_342

Since the 1970s, fundamentalist conservative churches have grown rapidly, fueling Mississippi's conservative political trends among whites. Mississippi_sentence_343

In 1973 the Presbyterian Church in America attracted numerous conservative congregations. Mississippi_sentence_344

As of 2010, Mississippi remained a stronghold of the denomination, which originally was brought by Scots immigrants. Mississippi_sentence_345

The state has the highest adherence rate of the PCA in 2010, with 121 congregations and 18,500 members. Mississippi_sentence_346

It is among the few states where the PCA has higher membership than the PC(USA). Mississippi_sentence_347

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), in 2010 the Southern 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 with 112,488. Mississippi_sentence_348

Other religions have a small presence in Mississippi; as of 2010, there were 5,012 Muslims; 4,389 Hindus; and 816 of the Baháʼí Faith. Mississippi_sentence_349

Public opinion polls have consistently ranked Mississippi as the most religious state in the United States, with 59% of Mississippians considering themselves "very religious". Mississippi_sentence_350

The same survey also found that 11% of the population were non-Religious. Mississippi_sentence_351

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%). Mississippi_sentence_352

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%). Mississippi_sentence_353


Religious affiliation in Mississippi (2014)Mississippi_table_caption_5
AffiliationMississippi_header_cell_5_0_0 % of Mississippi populationMississippi_header_cell_5_0_1
ChristianMississippi_cell_5_1_0 83Mississippi_cell_5_1_1 83Mississippi_cell_5_1_2
ProtestantMississippi_cell_5_2_0 77Mississippi_cell_5_2_1 77Mississippi_cell_5_2_2
Evangelical ProtestantMississippi_cell_5_3_0 41Mississippi_cell_5_3_1 41Mississippi_cell_5_3_2
Mainline ProtestantMississippi_cell_5_4_0 12Mississippi_cell_5_4_1 12Mississippi_cell_5_4_2
Black churchMississippi_cell_5_5_0 24Mississippi_cell_5_5_1 24Mississippi_cell_5_5_2
CatholicMississippi_cell_5_6_0 4Mississippi_cell_5_6_1 4Mississippi_cell_5_6_2
MormonMississippi_cell_5_7_0 1Mississippi_cell_5_7_1 1Mississippi_cell_5_7_2
Jehovah's WitnessesMississippi_cell_5_8_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_8_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_8_2
Eastern OrthodoxMississippi_cell_5_9_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_9_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_9_2
Other ChristianMississippi_cell_5_10_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_10_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_10_2
UnaffiliatedMississippi_cell_5_11_0 14Mississippi_cell_5_11_1 14Mississippi_cell_5_11_2
Nothing in particularMississippi_cell_5_12_0 11Mississippi_cell_5_12_1 11Mississippi_cell_5_12_2
AgnosticMississippi_cell_5_13_0 3Mississippi_cell_5_13_1 3Mississippi_cell_5_13_2
AtheistMississippi_cell_5_14_0 1Mississippi_cell_5_14_1 1Mississippi_cell_5_14_2
Non-Christian faithsMississippi_cell_5_15_0 2Mississippi_cell_5_15_1 2Mississippi_cell_5_15_2
JewishMississippi_cell_5_16_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_16_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_16_2
MuslimMississippi_cell_5_17_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_17_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_17_2
BuddhistMississippi_cell_5_18_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_18_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_18_2
HinduMississippi_cell_5_19_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_19_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_19_2
Other Non-Christian faithsMississippi_cell_5_20_0 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_20_1 0.5Mississippi_cell_5_20_2
Don't know/refused answerMississippi_cell_5_21_0 1Mississippi_cell_5_21_1 1Mississippi_cell_5_21_2
TotalMississippi_cell_5_22_0 100Mississippi_cell_5_22_1 100Mississippi_cell_5_22_2

Birth data Mississippi_section_18

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. Mississippi_sentence_354


Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of MotherMississippi_table_caption_6
RaceMississippi_header_cell_6_0_0 2013Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_1 2014Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_2 2015Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_3 2016Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_4 2017Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_5 2018Mississippi_header_cell_6_0_6
White:Mississippi_cell_6_1_0 20,818 (53.9%)Mississippi_cell_6_1_1 20,894 (53.9%)Mississippi_cell_6_1_2 20,730 (54.0%)Mississippi_cell_6_1_3 ...Mississippi_cell_6_1_4 ...Mississippi_cell_6_1_5 ...Mississippi_cell_6_1_6
> Non-Hispanic WhiteMississippi_cell_6_2_0 19,730 (51.0%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_1 19,839 (51.3%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_2 19,635 (51.1%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_3 19,411 (51.2%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_4 18,620 (49.8%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_5 18,597 (50.2%)Mississippi_cell_6_2_6
BlackMississippi_cell_6_3_0 17,020 (44.0%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_1 17,036 (44.0%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_2 16,846 (43.9%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_3 15,879 (41.9%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_4 16,087 (43.1%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_5 15,797 (42.7%)Mississippi_cell_6_3_6
AsianMississippi_cell_6_4_0 504 (1.3%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_1 583 (1.5%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_2 559 (1.5%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_3 475 (1.3%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_4 502 (1.3%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_5 411 (1.1%)Mississippi_cell_6_4_6
American IndianMississippi_cell_6_5_0 292 (0.7%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_1 223 (0.6%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_2 259 (0.7%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_3 215 (0.6%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_4 225 (0.6%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_5 238 (0.6%)Mississippi_cell_6_5_6
Hispanic (of any race)Mississippi_cell_6_6_0 1,496 (3.9%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_1 1,547 (4.0%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_2 1,613 (4.2%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_3 1,664 (4.4%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_4 1,650 (4.4%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_5 1,666 (4.5%)Mississippi_cell_6_6_6
Total MississippiMississippi_cell_6_7_0 38,634 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_1 38,736 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_2 38,394 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_3 37,928 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_4 37,357 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_5 37,000 (100%)Mississippi_cell_6_7_6


  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.Mississippi_item_2_13

LGBT Mississippi_section_19

The 2010 United States Census counted 6,286 same-sex unmarried-partner households in Mississippi, an increase of 1,512 since the 2000 United States census. Mississippi_sentence_355

Of those same-sex couples roughly 33% contained at least one child, giving Mississippi the distinction of leading the nation in the percentage of same-sex couples raising children. Mississippi_sentence_356

Mississippi has the largest percentage of African-American same-sex couples among total households. Mississippi_sentence_357

The state capital, Jackson, ranks tenth in the nation in concentration of African-American same-sex couples. Mississippi_sentence_358

The state ranks fifth in the nation in the percentage of Hispanic same-sex couples among all Hispanic households and ninth in the highest concentration of same-sex couples who are seniors. Mississippi_sentence_359

Health Mississippi_section_20

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_sentence_360

Mississippi has the highest rate of infant and neonatal deaths of any U.S. state. Mississippi_sentence_361

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 pneumonia. Mississippi_sentence_362

In 2011, Mississippi (and Arkansas) had the fewest dentists per capita in the United States. Mississippi_sentence_363

For three years in a row, more than 30 percent of Mississippi's residents have been classified as obese. Mississippi_sentence_364

In a 2006 study, 22.8 percent of the state's children were classified as such. Mississippi_sentence_365

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. Mississippi_sentence_366

In a 2008 study of African-American women, 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. Mississippi_sentence_367

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. Mississippi_sentence_368

The study stressed that "obesity starts in early childhood extending into the adolescent years and then possibly into adulthood". Mississippi_sentence_369

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. Mississippi_sentence_370

Additional risk factors were that most schools had no physical education curriculum and nutrition education is not emphasized. Mississippi_sentence_371

Previous intervention strategies may have been largely ineffective due to not being culturally sensitive or practical. Mississippi_sentence_372

A 2006 survey found nearly 95 percent of Mississippi adults considered childhood obesity to be a serious problem. Mississippi_sentence_373

A 2017 study found that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi was the leading health insurer with 53% followed by UnitedHealth Group at 13%. Mississippi_sentence_374

Economy Mississippi_section_21

See also: Mississippi locations by per capita income Mississippi_sentence_375

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Mississippi's total state product in 2010 was $98 billion. Mississippi_sentence_376

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. Mississippi_sentence_377

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. Mississippi_sentence_378

2015 data records the adjusted per capita personal income at $40,105. Mississippi_sentence_379

Mississippians consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions. Mississippi_sentence_380

At 56 percent, the state has one of the lowest workforce participation rates in the country. Mississippi_sentence_381

Approximately 70,000 adults are disabled, which is 10 percent of the workforce. Mississippi_sentence_382

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 Mississippi Delta, 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. Mississippi_sentence_383

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. Mississippi_sentence_384

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. Mississippi_sentence_385

Slaves were counted as property and the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their value. Mississippi_sentence_386

By 1860, a majority—55 percent—of the population of Mississippi was enslaved. Mississippi_sentence_387

Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were undeveloped and the state had low overall density of population. Mississippi_sentence_388

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. Mississippi_sentence_389

They educated their children privately. Mississippi_sentence_390

Industrialization did not reach many areas until the late 20th century. Mississippi_sentence_391

The planter aristocracy, the elite of antebellum Mississippi, kept the tax structure low for their own benefit, making only private improvements. Mississippi_sentence_392

Before the war the most successful planters, such as Confederate President Jefferson Davis, owned riverside properties along the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers in the Mississippi Delta. Mississippi_sentence_393

Away from the riverfronts, most of the Delta was undeveloped frontier. Mississippi_sentence_394

During the Civil War, 30,000 Mississippi soldiers, mostly white, died from wounds and disease, and many more were left crippled and wounded. Mississippi_sentence_395

Changes to the labor structure and an agricultural depression throughout the South caused severe losses in wealth. Mississippi_sentence_396

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. Mississippi_sentence_397

By 1870, total assets had decreased in value to roughly $177 million. Mississippi_sentence_398

Poor whites and landless former slaves suffered the most from the postwar economic depression. Mississippi_sentence_399

The constitutional convention of early 1868 appointed a committee to recommend what was needed for relief of the state and its citizens. Mississippi_sentence_400

The committee found severe destitution among the laboring classes. Mississippi_sentence_401

It took years for the state to rebuild levees damaged in battles. Mississippi_sentence_402

The upset of the commodity system impoverished the state after the war. Mississippi_sentence_403

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 figures. Mississippi_sentence_404

Blacks cleared land, selling timber and developing bottomland to achieve ownership. Mississippi_sentence_405

In 1900, two-thirds of farm owners in Mississippi were blacks, a major achievement for them and their families. Mississippi_sentence_406

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. Mississippi_sentence_407

Two decades later, the majority of African Americans were sharecroppers. Mississippi_sentence_408

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 debts. Mississippi_sentence_409

After the Civil War, the state refused for years to build human capital by fully educating all its citizens. Mississippi_sentence_410

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. Mississippi_sentence_411

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. Mississippi_sentence_412

Despite the state's building and reinforcing levees for years, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 broke through and caused massive flooding of 27,000 square miles (70,000 km) throughout the Delta, homelessness for hundreds of thousands, and millions of dollars in property damages. Mississippi_sentence_413

With the Depression coming so soon after the flood, the state suffered badly during those years. Mississippi_sentence_414

In the Great Migration, hundreds of thousands of African Americans migrated North and West for jobs and chances to live as full citizens. Mississippi_sentence_415

Entertainment and tourism Mississippi_section_22

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. Mississippi_sentence_416

Gambling towns in Mississippi have 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. Mississippi_sentence_417

Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Mississippi was the second-largest gambling state in the Union, after Nevada and ahead of New Jersey. Mississippi_sentence_418

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. Mississippi_sentence_419

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). Mississippi_sentence_420

The only exception is in Harrison County, where the new law states that casinos can be built to the southern boundary of U.S. Mississippi_sentence_421 Route 90. Mississippi_sentence_422

In 2012, Mississippi had the sixth largest gambling revenue of any state, with $2.25 billion. Mississippi_sentence_423

The federally recognized Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has established a gaming casino on its reservation, which yields revenue to support education and economic development. Mississippi_sentence_424

Momentum Mississippi, a statewide, public–private partnership dedicated to the development of economic and employment opportunities in Mississippi, was adopted in 2005. Mississippi_sentence_425

Manufacturing Mississippi_section_23

Mississippi, like the rest of its southern neighbors, is a right-to-work state. Mississippi_sentence_426

It has some major automotive factories, such as the Toyota Mississippi Plant in Blue Springs and a Nissan Automotive plant in Canton. Mississippi_sentence_427

The latter produces the Nissan Titan. Mississippi_sentence_428

Taxation Mississippi_section_24

Mississippi collects personal income tax in three tax brackets, ranging from 3% to 5%. Mississippi_sentence_429

The retail sales tax rate in Mississippi is 7%. Mississippi_sentence_430

Tupelo levies a local sales tax of 2.5%. Mississippi_sentence_431

State sales tax growth was 1.4 percent in 2016 and estimated to be slightly less in 2017. Mississippi_sentence_432

For purposes of assessment for ad valorem taxes, taxable property is divided into five classes. Mississippi_sentence_433

On August 30, 2007, a report by the United States Census Bureau indicated that Mississippi was the poorest state in the country. Mississippi_sentence_434

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. Mississippi_sentence_435

The state's sizable poultry industry has faced similar challenges in its transition from family-run farms to large mechanized operations. Mississippi_sentence_436

Of $1.2 billion from 2002 to 2005 in federal subsidies to farmers in the Bolivar County area of the Delta, only 5% went to small farmers. Mississippi_sentence_437

There has been little money apportioned for rural development. Mississippi_sentence_438

Small towns are struggling. Mississippi_sentence_439

More than 100,000 people have left the region in search of work elsewhere. Mississippi_sentence_440

The state had a median household income of $34,473. Mississippi_sentence_441

Employment Mississippi_section_25

As of December 2018, the state's unemployment rate was 4.7%, the seventh highest in the country after Arizona (4.9%), Louisiana (4.9%), New Mexico (5.0%), West Virginia (5.1%), District of Columbia (5.4%) and Alaska (6.5%). Mississippi_sentence_442

Federal subsidies and spending Mississippi_section_26

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 imposed, Mississippi ranks as having the second-highest ratio of spending to tax receipts of any state. Mississippi_sentence_443

In 2005, Mississippi citizens received approximately $2.02 per dollar of taxes in the way of federal spending. Mississippi_sentence_444

This ranks the state second-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. Mississippi_sentence_445

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 (FEMA). Mississippi_sentence_446

However, from 1981 to 2005, it was at least number four in the nation for federal spending vs. taxes received. Mississippi_sentence_447

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. Mississippi_sentence_448

Three of these installations are located in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi_sentence_449

Politics and government Mississippi_section_27

Main articles: Government of Mississippi, List of Governors of Mississippi, and Political party strength in Mississippi Mississippi_sentence_450

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. Mississippi_sentence_451

Executive authority in the state rests with the Governor, currently Tate Reeves (R). Mississippi_sentence_452

The lieutenant governor, currently Delbert Hosemann (R), is elected on a separate ballot. Mississippi_sentence_453

Both the governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms of office. Mississippi_sentence_454

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_sentence_455

Mississippi is one of five states that elects its state officials in odd-numbered years (the others are Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia). Mississippi_sentence_456

Mississippi holds elections for these offices every four years, always in the year preceding presidential elections. Mississippi_sentence_457

Laws Mississippi_section_28

In 2004, Mississippi voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting Mississippi from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Mississippi_sentence_458

The amendment passed 86% to 14%, the largest margin in any state. Mississippi_sentence_459

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_sentence_460

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. Mississippi_sentence_461

The bill has become the subject of controversy. Mississippi_sentence_462

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. Mississippi_sentence_463

Mississippi has banned sanctuary cities. Mississippi_sentence_464

Mississippi is one of thirty-one states which have capital punishment (see Capital punishment in Mississippi). Mississippi_sentence_465

Section 265 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi declares that "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state." Mississippi_sentence_466

This religious test restriction was held to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso v. Watkins (1961). Mississippi_sentence_467

Political alignment Mississippi_section_29

Mississippi led the South in developing a disenfranchising constitution, passing it in 1890. Mississippi_sentence_468

By raising barriers to voter registration, the state legislature disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites, excluding them from politics until the late 1960s. Mississippi_sentence_469

It established a one-party state dominated by white Democrats. Mississippi_sentence_470

In the 1980s whites divided evenly between the parties. Mississippi_sentence_471

In the 1990s those voters shifted their allegiance to the Republican Party, first for national and then for state offices. Mississippi_sentence_472

Most blacks were still disenfranchised under the state's 1890 constitution and discriminatory practices, until passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and concerted grassroots efforts to achieve registration and encourage voting. Mississippi_sentence_473

In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against an 1890 election law known as The Mississippi Plan, which requires that candidates must win the popular vote and a majority of districts. Mississippi_sentence_474

Transportation Mississippi_section_30

Air Mississippi_section_31

Mississippi has six airports with commercial passenger service, the busiest in Jackson (Jackson-Evers International Airport) and one in Gulfport (Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport) Mississippi_sentence_475

Roads Mississippi_section_32

Mississippi is the only American state where people in cars may legally consume beer. Mississippi_sentence_476

Some localities have laws restricting the practice. Mississippi_sentence_477

In 2018, the state was ranked number eight in the Union in terms of impaired driving deaths. Mississippi_sentence_478

Mississippi is served by nine interstate highways: Mississippi_sentence_479

and fourteen main U.S. Mississippi_sentence_480 Routes: Mississippi_sentence_481

as well as a system of State Highways. Mississippi_sentence_482

Rail Mississippi_section_33

Passenger Mississippi_section_34

Amtrak provides scheduled passenger service along two routes, the Crescent and City of New Orleans. Mississippi_sentence_483

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. Mississippi_sentence_484

Freight Mississippi_section_35

All but two of the United States Class I railroads serve Mississippi (the exceptions are the Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific): Mississippi_sentence_485


Water Mississippi_section_36

Major rivers Mississippi_section_37


Major bodies of water Mississippi_section_38


  • Arkabutla Lake 19,550 acres (79.1 km) of water; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg DistrictMississippi_item_5_25
  • Bay Springs Lake 6,700 acres (27 km) of water and 133 miles (214 km) of shoreline; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of EngineersMississippi_item_5_26
  • Grenada Lake 35,000 acres (140 km) of water; became operational in 1954; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg DistrictMississippi_item_5_27
  • Ross Barnett Reservoir Named for Ross Barnett, the 52nd Governor of Mississippi; 33,000 acres (130 km) 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.Mississippi_item_5_28
  • Sardis Lake 98,520 acres (398.7 km) of water; became operational in October 1940; constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg DistrictMississippi_item_5_29
  • Enid Lake 44,000 acres (180 km) of water; constructed and managed by the U.S. ArmyMississippi_item_5_30

Education Mississippi_section_39

See also: List of colleges and universities in Mississippi and Education in Mississippi Mississippi_sentence_486

Until the Civil War era, Mississippi had a small number of schools and no educational institutions for African Americans. Mississippi_sentence_487

The first school for black students was not established until 1862. Mississippi_sentence_488

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. Mississippi_sentence_489

The state's dependence on agriculture and resistance to taxation limited the funds it had available to spend on any schools. Mississippi_sentence_490

In the early 20th century, there were still few schools in rural areas, particularly for black children. Mississippi_sentence_491

With seed money from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, many rural black communities across Mississippi raised matching funds and contributed public funds to build new schools for their children. Mississippi_sentence_492

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. Mississippi_sentence_493

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 in its 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Mississippi_sentence_494

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. Mississippi_sentence_495

Often funding declined for the public schools. Mississippi_sentence_496

But in the state as a whole, only a small minority of white children were withdrawn from public schools. Mississippi_sentence_497

State officials believed they needed to maintain public education to attract new businesses. Mississippi_sentence_498

After several years of integration, whites often dominated local systems anyway, maintaining white supremacy. Mississippi_sentence_499

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. Mississippi_sentence_500

They have had to work to have their interests and children represented. Mississippi_sentence_501

In the late 1980s Mississippi's 954 public schools enrolled about 369,500 elementary and 132,500 secondary students. Mississippi_sentence_502

Some 45,700 students attended private schools. Mississippi_sentence_503

In the 21st century, 91% of white children and most of the black children in the state attend public schools. Mississippi_sentence_504

In 2008, Mississippi was 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. Mississippi_sentence_505

In contrast, Mississippi had the 17th-highest average SAT scores in the nation. Mississippi_sentence_506

As an explanation, the Report noted that 92% of Mississippi high school graduates took the ACT, but only 3% of graduates took the SAT, apparently a self-selection of higher achievers. Mississippi_sentence_507

This breakdown compares to the national average of high school graduates taking the ACT and SAT, of 43% and 45%, respectively. Mississippi_sentence_508

Generally prohibited in the West at large, school corporal punishment is not unusual in Mississippi, with 31,236 public school students paddled at least one time circa 2016. Mississippi_sentence_509

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_sentence_510

In 2007, Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and science. Mississippi_sentence_511

Jackson, the state's capital city, is the site of the state residential school for deaf and hard of hearing students. Mississippi_sentence_512

The Mississippi School for the Deaf was established by the state legislature in 1854 before the civil war. Mississippi_sentence_513

Culture Mississippi_section_40

While Mississippi has been especially known for its music and literature, it has embraced other forms of art. Mississippi_sentence_514

Its strong religious traditions have inspired striking works by outsider artists who have been shown nationally. Mississippi_sentence_515

Jackson established the USA International Ballet Competition, which is held every four years. Mississippi_sentence_516

This ballet competition attracts the most talented young dancers from around the world. Mississippi_sentence_517

The Magnolia Independent Film Festival, still held annually in Starkville, is the first and oldest in the state. Mississippi_sentence_518

George Ohr, known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi" and the father of abstract expressionism in pottery, lived and worked in Biloxi, MS. Mississippi_sentence_519

Music Mississippi_section_41

Musicians of the state's Delta region were historically significant to the development of the blues. Mississippi_sentence_520

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. Mississippi_sentence_521

More problems built up with the boll weevil infestation, when thousands of agricultural jobs were lost. Mississippi_sentence_522

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. Mississippi_sentence_523

He and Chester Arthur Burnett were friends and admirers of each other's music. Mississippi_sentence_524

Their friendship and respect is an important example of Mississippi's musical legacy. Mississippi_sentence_525

While the state has had a reputation for being racist, Mississippi musicians created new forms by combining and creating variations on musical traditions from Africa, African American traditions, and the musical traditions of white Southerners strongly shaped by Scots-Irish and other styles. Mississippi_sentence_526

The state is creating a Mississippi 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. Mississippi_sentence_527

The Riverside Hotel is just one of many historical blues sites in Clarksdale. Mississippi_sentence_528

The Delta Blues Museum there is visited by tourists from all over the world. Mississippi_sentence_529

Close by is "Ground Zero", a contemporary blues club and restaurant co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman. Mississippi_sentence_530

Elvis Presley, who created a sensation in the 1950s as a crossover artist and contributed to rock 'n' roll, was a native of Tupelo. Mississippi_sentence_531

From opera star 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_sentence_532

and Afroman, Mississippi musicians have been significant in all genres. Mississippi_sentence_533

Sports Mississippi_section_42

See also: List of college athletic programs in Mississippi Mississippi_sentence_534


See also Mississippi_section_43


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi.