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Picayune, Mississippi
Downtown Picayune
Downtown Picayune
Flag of Picayune, Mississippi
Official seal of Picayune, Mississippi
Location of Picayune, Mississippi
Location of Picayune, Mississippi
Picayune is located in Mississippi
Location in the United States
Picayune is located in the United States
Picayune (the United States)
Coordinates: 30°31′41″N 89°40′49″W / 30.52806°N 89.68028°W / 30.52806; -89.68028
Country United States
State Mississippi
CountyPearl River
 • Total18.11 sq mi (46.91 km2)
 • Land18.04 sq mi (46.72 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.20 km2)
73 ft (22 m)
 • Total11,885
 • Density658.89/sq mi (254.40/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code601
FIPS code28-57160
GNIS feature ID0675698
WebsitePicayune official website

Picayune (/pɪkəˈjn/ pik-ə-YOON) is the largest city in Pearl River County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 11,885 at the 2020 census. The city is located approximately 45 miles (72 km) from New Orleans, Hattiesburg, and GulfportBiloxi. The Stennis Space Center is 10 miles (16 km) away. Picayune is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Hammond combined statistical area.


The word "picayune" was the name of a Spanish coin, worth half a real or 1/16 of a Spanish dollar (6.25 cents). Its name derives from the French "picaillon", which is itself from the Provençal "picaioun", the name of an unrelated small copper coin from Savoy. By extension, picayune can mean "trivial" or "of little value". Picayune was incorporated in 1904, and was named by Eliza Jane Poitevent Nicholson in late 1883 or early 1884. She was the owner and publisher of the The Daily Picayune, a newspaper named for the coin.[2]

The local post office contained a mural, subsequently covered over, Lumber Region of Mississippi, painted by Donald H. Robertson in 1940.[3] Federally commissioned murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department.[4]

Hurricane Katrina

While Picayune received extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina, it was not as severe as in other nearby cities. This caused Picayune to become the temporary home for many who relocated from the New Orleans area and from the Mississippi Gulf Coast who were seeking a safer home site with easy commuting to those areas.[5]

The bulk of the Katrina damage in Picayune was caused by high winds, as the eye wall passed over the city. This resulted in widespread roof, window, and fence damage. The wind also caused hundreds, if not thousands, of downed trees and power outages of up to a few weeks.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.8 square miles (31 km2), of which 11.8 square miles (31 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (7.34%) is water. Picayune is a part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Hammond combined statistical area.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

2020 census

Picayune racial composition[7]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 6,709 56.45%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,975 33.45%
Native American 33 0.28%
Asian 103 0.87%
Other/Mixed 601 5.06%
Hispanic or Latino 464 3.9%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 11,885 people, 4,457 households, and 2,951 families residing in the city.

2000 census

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 10,535 people, 4,100 households, and 2,865 families residing in the city. The population density was 895.6 inhabitants per square mile (345.8/km2). There were 4,568 housing units at an average density of 388.3 per square mile (149.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.02% White, 35.92% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.15% of the population.

There were 4,100 households, out of which 31.8% had a children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 20.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $26,958, and the median income for a family was $33,260. Males had a median income of $31,438 versus $20,035 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,798. About 18.9% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.2% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.


All of Pearl River County is in the service area of Pearl River Community College.[11]

Elementary schools (Picayune School District)



Picayune's local newspaper is the Picayune Item.[12]


The local radio station is WRJW 1320-AM.[13]

Television and radio stations that are part of the New Orleans and Gulfport–Biloxi listening areas serve the city.


The United States Postal Service operates the Picayune Post Office. There is a mural made by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) but subsequent renovations covered up the mural with new paint.[14]


Highway 11 and Fourth Street
Palestine Road and Beech Street


Amtrak's Crescent train connects Picayune with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 100 South U.S. Route 11. There is daily service in each direction.

U.S. 11 is the main highway through Picayune. Interstate 59 (via Interstate 10) connects Picayune with New Orleans, LA, to the south and Hattiesburg, MS, Meridian, MS, and Birmingham, AL, to the north.

Mississippi Highway 43 is the main connection to and from the east, connecting to Interstate 10 near Kiln, MS.

Picayune Municipal Airport has a 5,000 ft (1,500 m) runway and is a popular destination for private fixed-wing and rotary aircraft visiting the New Orleans area. Rental car, taxi and limousine services are available.


Major highways


The Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library serves Picayune and is the headquarters of the Pearl River County Library System.

Notable people

Points of interest


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "History | City of Picayune". Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  3. ^ ELMalvaney (October 11, 2012). "Restoring Picayune's Disappeared WPA Mural". Preservation in Mississippi. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  4. ^ Arnesen, Eric (2007). Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History. Vol. 1. New York: Routledge. p. 1540. ISBN 9780415968263.
  5. ^ Hooks, Justin (April 14, 2007). "Population doubles to more than 32,000: Picayune is packed full". SunHerald. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  9. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Pearl River County, MS" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  10. ^ "Message missing (possible session timeout)". Archived from the original on August 12, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "2014-2016 Catalog" (PDF). Pearl River Community College. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  12. ^ "Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April | Press Releases | CNHI sells newspapers in Picayune and Poplarville, Mississippi". Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "WRJW AM radio". Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  14. ^ Wright, Jesse (January 1, 2016). "Historic post office mural lies hidden under paint". Picayune Item. Retrieved August 16, 2018.