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Location of Mississippi

Mississippi (/ˌmɪsəˈsɪpi/ MISS-ə-SIH-pee) is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. It borders Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Louisiana to the southwest, and Arkansas to the northwest. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River, or its historical course. Mississippi is the 32nd largest by area and 35th-most populous of the 50 U.S. states and has the lowest per-capita income. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson is the state's most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 591,978 in 2020.

The state's history traces back to around 10,000 BC with the arrival of Paleo-Indians, evolving through periods marked by the development of agricultural societies, rise of the Mound Builders, and flourishing of the Mississippian culture. European exploration began with the Spanish in the 16th century, followed by French colonization in the 17th century. Mississippi's strategic location along the Mississippi River made it a site of significant economic and strategic importance, especially during the era of cotton plantation agriculture, which led to its wealth pre-Civil War, but entrenched slavery and racial segregation. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state admitted to the Union. By 1860, Mississippi was the nation's top cotton-producing state and slaves accounted for 55% of the state population. Mississippi declared its secession from the Union on January 9, 1861, and was one of the seven original Confederate States, which constituted the largest slaveholding states in the nation. Following the Civil War, it was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870. Mississippi's political and social landscape was dramatically shaped by the Civil War, Reconstruction era, and civil rights movement, with the state playing a pivotal role in the struggle for civil rights. From the end of the Civil War to the 1960s, Mississippi was dominated by socially conservative and segregationist Democrats dedicated to upholding white supremacy.

Despite progress, Mississippi continues to grapple with challenges related to health, education, and economic development, often ranking low in national metrics for wealth, health care quality, and educational attainment. Economically, it relies on agriculture, manufacturing, and an increasing focus on tourism, highlighted by its casinos and historical sites. Mississippi produces more than half of the country's farm-raised catfish, and is a top producer of sweet potatoes, cotton and pulpwood. Others include advanced manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and health services. Mississippi is almost entirely within the east Gulf Coastal Plain, and generally consists of lowland plains and low hills. The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta. 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 has a humid subtropical climate classification.

Mississippi is known for its deep religious roots, which play a central role in its residents' lives. Mississippi ranks among the highest of U.S. states in religiosity. Mississippi's governance structure is based on the traditional separation of powers, with political trends showing a strong alignment with conservative values. Mississippi boasts a rich cultural heritage, especially in music, being the birthplace of the blues and contributing significantly to the development of the music of the United States as a whole. (Full article...)

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The nearly completed bridge, viewed from the Arkansas side (October 2009)

The Greenville Bridge, or the Jesse Brent Memorial Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River, in the United States, carrying US 82 and US 278 between Refuge, Mississippi, and Shives, Arkansas. When it opened in 2010, it was the fourth-longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge, the first bridge to connect the two towns, had become functionally obsolete. Its narrow road had only two lanes with no shoulders. Because of its location near a sharp bend in the Mississippi River, the bridge had become a hazard to river traffic; barges and towboats frequently collided with it. In 1994, a study concluded that a new bridge was needed and the old one should be torn down. Construction was begun in 2001 and the new bridge opened in 2010. In 2011, the process of removing the old bridge began. (Full article...)
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Did you know?

  • ... that for more than a decade, WNJC-FM at Northwest Mississippi Junior College was the state's only public radio station?
  • ... that the area of responsibility of the 6th Military Police Group includes all of the United States west of the Mississippi River?
  • ... that Jaz Brisack, leader of the movement to unionize Starbucks, was the first woman Rhodes Scholar at the University of Mississippi?
  • ... that in its final years, Mississippi radio station WKXG allegedly attempted to maintain its broadcast license by "taking turns" with another station in their transmitter facility?
  • ... that the owner of Mississippi radio stations WGUF and WGUF-FM purposefully fell behind on his royalty payments because he did not like copyright fees?
  • ... that the street from which Mississippi radio station WMPR broadcasts was renamed in honor of the station's longtime owner and general manager, former politician Charles Evers?
  • ... that a 1971 format change and firing of three Black disc jockeys contributed to the Mississippi radio station WSWG losing its broadcast license?
  • ... that a section of Mississippi Highway 489 was designated as the Jason Boyd Memorial Highway to commemorate the MDOT superintendent who was killed while removing debris from the road?

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Jimmy Buffett, of Pascagoula, Mississippi, playing a USO concert for American military troops.


Hello! As a past or current member of WikiProject Mississippi, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Mississippi, you are cordially invited to edit, assess, and improve our coverage of all things Mississippi on Wikipedia!

Mississippi topics

Topics: Constitution - Supreme Court - History - Music

Regions: Golden Triangle - Mississippi Plain - Mississippi Delta - Mississippi Gulf Coast - Natchez District - Pine Belt - Tennessee Valley

Cities: Biloxi - Clarksdale - Clinton - Columbus - Greenville - Gulfport - Hattiesburg - Jackson - Meridian - Olive Branch - Pascagoula - Pearl - Ridgeland - Southaven - Starkville - Tupelo - Vicksburg

History: State of Mississippi

Geography: Rivers - Lakes - Mountains - National forests - Islands - Wilderness areas - Natural disasters - Parks - State Parks

Education: Elementary schools - Middle schools - High schools - UIL

People: Actors - Writers - Musicians - Native American Tribes

Industries: Agriculture - Oil

CDPs: Byram - Diamondhead - Kiln - Lyman - Pearlington - Saucier - Shoreline Park - West Hattiesburg

Metros: Gulfport‑Biloxi - Hattiesburg - Jackson - Memphis - Pascagoula

Statistics: Population

Lists: Mississippi-related lists


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State symbols

Symbols of Mississippi
NicknameThe Magnolia State
MottoVirtute et armis (Latin)
transl. By Valor and Arms
RockPetrified wood
ToyTeddy bear
OtherMississippi Symbols for more

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Official State of Mississippi website
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