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Facts about Mississippi

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  December 10, 1817, the 20th state

Capital:  Jackson

Total Area:  32nd among states, 125,443 sq km (48,434 sq mi)

Water Area:  3,553 sq km (1,372 sq km) 

Highest Point:  Woodall Mountain, 246 m (806 ft)

Total Population:   31st among states
2010 census -  2,967,297

Population Density in 2010:  63.2 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000: 49.1% Urban, 50.9% Rural

Gross State Product - $98.9 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $30,103 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Jackson:  173,514
Gulfport:  70,055
Hattiesburg:  51,993

  • Mississippi's warm climate and rich soil proved ideal for growing cotton, which became the main economic crop before 1800 and remained important until the 20th century.

  • Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, discovered the Mississippi River in1540. Spain did not relinquish its claims on the Mississippi region until 1798.

  • Mississippi has a larger percentage of black residents than any other state.

  • In June 1963 Medgar Evers, state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was shot dead in front of his Jackson home.

  • Although cotton is the most important crop in Mississippi, corn, peanuts, pecans, rice, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, soybeans, food grains, poultry, eggs, meat animals, dairy products, feed crops and horticultural crops are all important to the state's economy.

  • Nearly 60% of Mississippi is covered by forests, and more than 100 species of trees are found in the state.

  • In 1902 while on a hunting expedition in Sharkey County, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear.  This act resulted in the creation of the world-famous teddy bear.

  • The first nuclear submarine built in the south was produced in Mississippi.

  • The Mississippi River is the largest in the United States and is the nation's chief waterway.  Its nickname is Old Man River.