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General background about this state

Mississippi Flag     Mississippi Great Seal


  Horn Lake
  Olive Branch

Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Mississippi is bordered on the north by Tennessee, on the east by Alabama, on the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico and on the west, across the Mississippi River, by Louisiana and Arkansas.

  • NICKNAME: The Magnolia State
  • POPULATION: 2,984,926 (2012 est.)
  • CAPITAL: Jackson
  • STATE BIRD: Mockingbird
  • STATE FLOWER: Magnolia
  • AREA: 48,430 sq. mi.
  • TIME ZONE: Central
  • ENTERED UNION: Dec. 10, 1817
  • ALTITUDE: High, 807 ft. Woodall Mountain
  • CLIMATE: Long, hot, humid summers with many thunder showers; short, mild winters.


This is where cotton was once king, and it is still the traditional cotton belt. But here, too, as elsewhere in the south, the breakup of the vast semi-feudal plantations and the depredations of the boll weevil, as well as of erosion, have forced Mississippi into a diversity of crops-notably soybeans, corn, wheat, rice and peanuts. The agricultural stable of the Old South grows in vast fields stretching from the fertile plains along the great Mississippi, across the Pontotoc Ridge to the east, and far south through the pine hills.

Like its sister states in the south, Mississippi has turned towards industries in addition to agriculture. Manufacturing and Casinos help subsidize income for the 'poorest state in the nation'. Production in furniture, chemicals, motor vehicles, electrical products, ocean-going freighters and tankers help provide much needed jobs. However, wages are low, the median household income in Mississippi is under $35,000. In recent years more than 100,000 residents have moved away from the Magnolia State in search of higher incomes.

Bottomland hardwood swamp
Bottomland hardwood swamp, Mississippi

As the countryside empties and the cities grow, the state's population growth rate is 40th of all the states, while it's economic growth rate is 17th. But Mississippi's acceptance of the economic realities of the 21st Century has not diminished the homage they pay to an earlier, heroic era. In this state are the sites of such famous and hard-fought battles as Vicksburg, Jackson, and Corinth-and "old times...are not forgotten".



  • Natchez, settled by the French in 1716, is the oldest permanent European settlement in Mississippi.
  • NASA space shuttle engines were tested at the John C. Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis.
  • Mississippi is the country's leading supplier of farm-raised catfish. This industry supports other segments of the economy, such as corn, soybeans, and cottonseed, all of which are used as fish food.
  • The famous crash of the Cannonball Express, which killed folk-song hero Jonathan Luther 'Casey' Jones, occurred in Vaughn on April 30, 1900.
  • In 1902 while on a hunting expedition in Mississippi, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear. The act resulted in the creation of the world-famous teddy bear.
  • Edward Adolf Barq Sr. invented Root beer in Biloxi in 1898.


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