Mississippi (state)

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Flag of Mississippi.svg Seal of Mississippi (2014 – present) .svg
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Capital: Jackson
State motto: Virtute et armis
(Latin: with virtue and weapons )
Official language : English
Area: 125,443 km²
Residents: 2,986,530 (2018 estimated) (24.5 U / km²)
Member since: December 10, 1817
Time zone: Central: UTC − 6 / −5
The highest point: 246 m ( Woodall Mountain )
Average Height: 91 m
Deepest point: 0 m Gulf of Mexico
Governor : Tate Reeves ( R )
Post  / Office /  ISO MS / MS / US-MS
Map of Mississippi (State)
Map of Mississippi (State)

Mississippi ( English pronunciation [ ˌmɪsɪˈsɪpi ]) is a state in the United States of America . It is one of the southern states and has almost three million inhabitants on an area of ​​125,443 km². The capital of Mississippi is Jackson .

The state takes its name from the Mississippi River , which is designated by the Indian word for "great river". The nickname is Mississippi Magnolia State - Magnolia State .


Mississippi is east of the river of the same name on its lower reaches. The area is mostly flat with a few low elevations in the extreme northeast. In the south the state has a narrow coast to the Gulf of Mexico . Mississippi borders the US state of Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, and Arkansas and Louisiana are on the western side of the Mississippi River . In addition to the dominant Mississippi, one of its tributaries, the Yazoo River , is also significant.



Mississippi can be classified in the subtropical zone, with mild winters and very warm summers. In summer the amount of precipitation is greater than in winter. In winter (9 ° C to 18 ° C) it is too warm for permanent snow.



Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1800 7600 -
1810 31,306 311.9%
1820 75,448 141%
1830 136,621 81.1%
1840 375.651 175%
1850 606.526 61.5%
1860 791.305 30.5%
1870 827.922 4.6%
1880 1,131,597 36.7%
1890 1,289,600 14%
1900 1,551,270 20.3%
1910 1,797,114 15.8%
1920 1,790,618 −0.4%
1930 2,009,821 12.2%
1940 2,183,796 8.7%
1950 2,178,914 −0.2%
1960 2,178,141 −0%
1970 2,216,912 1.8%
1980 2,520,638 13.7%
1990 2,573,216 2.1%
2000 2,844,658 10.5%
2010 2,967,297 4.3%
Before 1900

1900–1990 2000 + 2010

Population density

Mississippi has 2,967,297 inhabitants (Census 2010), of which 57.3 percent are white, 37.5 percent black and African-American , 0.6 percent Indian, 1.0 percent Asian, 3.0 percent Hispanic. Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of African Americans.

The living conditions of the residents of Mississippi are rather poor compared to other states. In 2009, the state ranked worst in the United States for poverty, access to good health care, education, and life expectancy. One in five people lives below the national poverty line , which was $ 22,000 for a family of four in 2010. In some counties, up to 48 percent of the population live below this poverty line.


The most important religious communities in 2000:

There are many other denominations, mainly Protestant ones.


The most important state universities in Mississippi are the Mississippi State University in Starkville , the University of Mississippi at Oxford and the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg .

Biggest cities

List of localities in Mississippi

Pascagoula (Mississippi) Columbus (Mississippi) Vicksburg (Mississippi) Starkville (Mississippi) Ridgeland (Mississippi) Madison (Mississippi) Pearl (Mississippi) Clinton (Mississippi) Horn Lake Olive Branch (Mississippi) Greenville (Mississippi) Tupelo (Mississippi) Meridian (Mississippi) Biloxi (Mississippi) Hattiesburg Southaven Gulfport (Mississippi) Jackson (Mississippi)


Fishing boats in Biloxi

The area of ​​what is now Mississippi was traditionally inhabited by Natchez , Caddo and Chickasaw . The first Europeans to enter the area were the expedition participants with Hernando de Soto . The first European settlement was French and in the Biloxi area .

18th century

Starting from New Orleans , the French colonists advanced into the territory of the present-day state. There were repeated clashes with the Natchez. In 1729 there was a military confrontation, as a result of which the Natchez were almost exterminated, but the French also left the national territory.

In 1763 the area east of the Mississippi River came to Great Britain. The southern area still benefited economically from the French in New Orleans. They also brought the timber industry to the area, as well as cattle breeding, many fruits, rice, tobacco, indigo and a certain valuable type of cotton that originally came from Siam . From their Caribbean colonies, the French also brought the plantation system into the country with slave labor.

Larger numbers of settlers only came to Mississippi with the British. First, veterans of the French and Indian wars were granted land there. So from the beginning it was a question of migration for economic reasons of people with a largely medium-sized background. The settlers were the first to establish Natchez . As a result of the American Revolutionary War , which was largely rejected by the settlers in Mississippi , the area fell to Spain. The Spanish crown wanted to secure its influence and therefore granted the settlers in the area many privileges: tax exemption, a fixed high price for cultivated tobacco and generous land allocation to new settlers. The settlers reacted by acquiring significant numbers of slaves for the first time and at the same time, trusting the high tobacco prices, borrowed.

When tobacco subsidies finally ended, most of the settlers were suddenly threatened with poverty. It was only after various experiments that they came up with the idea of growing cotton on a large scale , which would ultimately become the determining income base of the southern economy. The success was favored on the one hand by the invention of the Egrenier machine by Eli Whitney , on the other hand by severe slave uprisings and racial unrest, which paralyzed the primary producer of the time, Santo Domingo . By 1800, most of the plantations in southern Mississippi had switched to cotton.

During the presidency of Andrew Jackson , the Muskogee , Chickasaw, and Choctaw who were still living in the state were evicted. In the north and east of Mississippi, too, large areas of land were made available for European settlement. Almost all settlers had previously settled in the USA; in Mississippi they hoped for economic advancement through free and very fertile land in the state and through the connection to the Mississippi River and thus also to the European markets.

19th century

The state of Mississippi became the 20th state to join the Union on December 10, 1817. Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the largest producer of cotton in the United States.

Mississippi experienced an economic boom in the 1830s . This upswing was also promoted by the debt-financed expansion of the transport routes. In 1840, Mississippi's national debt had risen significantly. Even if the debt ratio of 16 percent of economic output was significantly lower than in Florida, for example, at 77 percent, Mississippi declared state bankruptcy three years earlier as a result of the economic crisis and stopped servicing its government bonds .

On January 9, 1861, Mississippi broke away from the Union as the second state after South Carolina . Jefferson Davis , President of the Confederate States of America , was a Mississippi citizen. To this day, this part of history plays an important role in self-awareness. In Mississippi, the Battle of Vicksburg took place in 1863 . In Vicksburg, which had to surrender to the Union troops on July 4th, Independence Day was not celebrated by most of the inhabitants until long after the Second World War and by some to this day. It is worth noting that Mississippi rejected the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution , which abolished slavery in all American states, in 1865. This ratification was only made up in 1995. Due to a formal error, slavery was officially in force until February 2013. After the end of the Reconstruction , the state was a pioneer among the southern states in creating a new constitution that enshrined "white supremacy" . For example, the constitution passed in 1890 set conditions for the right to vote , which systematically excluded African Americans, who were the majority of the population at the time, from exercising their right to vote.

20th century

Flag of Mississippi 1894 to 2020

Mississippi was the 20th century the scene of so-called "race riots" ( "race riots"). Numerous blacks were lynched without the perpetrators being prosecuted. Due to the poor economic conditions and the lack of legal security , many blacks emigrated to the northern states between 1910 and 1970. Theodore G. Bilbo , two-time governor of the state (from 1916 to 1920, from 1928 to 1932) and a senator for the state of Mississippi from 1935 to 1947, was a rabid advocate of the superiority of the white race and, among other things, advocated lynching legalize - but without success. He also expressed himself anti-Semitic.

In 1956 the Southern Manifesto was drawn up, a letter of protest against racial integration that was also signed by numerous Mississippi politicians. In the course of the investigation into the murders of three civil rights activists , authorities found other bodies of murdered blacks in Neshoba County . In this regard, Mississippi Governor Paul B. Johnson Jr. refused to cooperate with the authorities and suspected the missing activists to be in Cuba . In 1962 a riot broke out in what became known as the Ole Miss Riots .

In 1966, Mississippi became the last state in the United States to abolish prohibition . From the perspective of fighters for equality, the state remained one of the most backward. On June 12, 1967, a ruling by the US Supreme Court forced Mississippi to allow mixed marriages, which were previously prohibited by law; the state was one of 16 stragglers.

Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi coast on August 17, 1969, killing 248 people and causing $ 1.5 billion in damage. On March 16, 1995, Mississippi became the last state in the United States to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Abolition of Slavery; because the decision was not served on the Federal Register for a long time, it did not officially take effect until February 7, 2013.

21st century

At the end of August 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused enormous destruction with consequences for years.

In June 2020, in the wake of the racism debate following the death of George Floyd , the Mississippi MPs decided to part with the old state flag after 126 years . A commission should decide on a new draft by September 2020. The state flag , introduced in 1894 and valid until June 30, 2020, contained the war flag of the Confederate States of America , which was no longer the case in any other US state. Tate Reeves , Acting Governor of Mississippi, signed the law to abolish the flag on the last day of June 2020. The state flag had met with increasing opposition in Mississippi over the past 20 years. Until a new draft was approved, the state did not have an official flag. On November 3, 2020, the citizens of Mississippi voted on drafts for a new state flag as part of the presidential election.


Presidential election results
year republican Democrats
2016 57.86% 700,714 40.06% 485,131
2012 55.29% 710,746 43.79% 562,949
2008 56.17% 724,597 43.00% 554,662
2004 59.44% 684,981 39.75% 458,094
2000 57.62% 573,230 40.70% 404,964
1996 49.21% 439,838 44.08% 394,022
1992 49.68% 487,793 40.77% 400,258
1988 59.89% 557,890 39.07% 363,921
1984 61.85% 581,477 37.46% 352,192
1980 49.42% 441,089 48.09% 429,281
1976 47.68% 366,846 49.56% 381,309
1972 78.20% 505,125 19.63% 126,782
1968 13.52% 88,516 23.02% 150,644
1964 87.14% 356,528 12.86% 52,618
1960 24.67% 73,561 36.34% 108,362

The state of Mississippi is referred to by many East Coast Americans as "The Lost South". The state in the deep south has the lowest per capita income of any US state, but also the lowest cost of living. The current (2013) report of the American Legislative Exchange Council on the economic prospects of the states places Mississippi in 10th place. Mississippi is politically and socially conservative . According to a poll by the Gallup Organization , Mississippi is the most conservative of all US states. 50.5% of the respondents described themselves as conservative. A poll before the 2012 presidential election found that around 50% of active voters believed Barack Obama was a Muslim . After his re-election, students from the University of Mississippi demonstrated with racist chants against the old and new president. In 2012, the last clinic that allowed abortions was closed in Jackson . In 2012, a poll found that 29% of potential Republican Party voters believe that multiracial marriages should be banned. The state of Mississippi stipulates in its constitution that anyone who holds public office must believe in God, but this law no longer exists. A survey found that 66% of Mississippi citizens do not believe in the theory of evolution . In April 2016, the Mississippi State Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow business people and government employees to refuse to serve homosexuals on the grounds of their beliefs.

The state of Mississippi is also a land of contrasts. There is still a planter aristocracy here , as it was 150 years ago , which still has huge plantations . Most of the former Afro-American farm workers who have now been replaced by machines live in extreme poverty. In Mississippi , as in most of the other southern states , some Democrats openly advocated racial segregation until the 1980s . Despite the Democrats' superiority in gubernatorial and Senate elections, which continued into the 1980s, the Democrats gave up their leading role in Solid South in presidential elections as early as 1960. At the time, John F. Kennedy did not meet the expectations of a WASP . In addition, he was considered too moderate in racial matters from their point of view. The Mississippi electors therefore cast their votes in the Electoral College for Harry F. Byrd , a Democratic Senator from Virginia who, although not running, clearly insisted, unlike Kennedy, on racial segregation. After this election, Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win in Mississippi in 1976; since then, the Democrats have only been selective in electoral districts with a black majority ( Bennie Thompson ) or through quasi-republican voting behavior ( Gene Taylor ).

The state already had prominent Republicans in Congress , such as the long-standing Republican majority leader in the US Senate , Trent Lott . Currently, Republicans Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker represent the state in the Senate; In the US House of Representatives , the Mississippi delegation to the 116th Congress consists of three Republicans and one Democrat. Mississippi has had six electors since 2004 at Electoral College. Before that, there were eight electors in 1960 and seven between 1964 and 2000.



death penalty

The death penalty is available in Mississippi . The last executions took place in 2012 under Governor Phil Bryant .

Number of executions
year 1983 1987 1989 2002 2005 2006 2008 2010 2011 2012
number 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 7th

Economy and Infrastructure

Mississippi is at the bottom of the US economy. The real gross domestic product per capita (GDP) in 2016 was 36,029 dollars (national average of the 50 US states: 57,118 dollars; national ranking: 50). The unemployment rate was 4.8% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Important industries are:


Mississippi was the third state in the United States to re-allow gambling in the 20th century. Since 1990, the USA’s second largest gaming industry, after Nevada, has been developing, concentrated in Biloxi , but now stretching along the entire Gulf Coast. In 1997, around 30,000 employees in 29 casinos served 33,876 slot machines and 1,370 table games. Mississippi can look back on a long experience with illegal gambling: the so-called Dixie Mafia had been operating large and prosperous casinos since the 1960s, and the extent of illegal gambling in Biloxi exceeded that in Atlantic City . Gambling on ships has been legal since 1990. The ships must be moored to a quay and swim automatically, but real seaworthiness is not necessary. The ships are even forbidden to break free. However, Hurricane Katrina hit the boat casinos so hard that the industry has been in a recovery phase ever since.


In September 2012, with the government's decision to launch an economic program, the concept of the Golden Triangle was created to promote the region's economy and promote economic developments.


Mississippi is very rural, churches (especially fundamentalist- Baptist ) play an important role in conveying culture.


Several well-known blues and rock 'n' roll artists are from Mississippi. They often made their breakthroughs in cities that are outside Mississippi, but directly across the state border, such as New Orleans / Louisiana or Memphis / Tennessee . The best known interpreter from Mississippi is Elvis Presley .


Mississippi is the home of Nobel Prize winner for literature William Faulkner . Many of his novels are set in a fictional Yoknapatawpha County in the Mississippi Hills. The Arkansas- born bestselling author John Grisham has also lived in Mississippi since childhood, many of his stories take place in the fictional town of Clanton in Ford County, Mississippi, which is also fictional . The author Kathryn Stockett is from Jackson, Mississippi. Her book Gute Geister also plays there and was filmed in 2011.


  • Westley F. Busbee, Jr: Mississippi: A History. Second edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester 2015, ISBN 978-1-118-75590-7 .

Web links

Commons : Mississippi  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Mississippi  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ US Census Bureau _ Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved February 28, 2011
  2. ^ Extract from Census.gov . Retrieved February 28, 2011
  3. Extract from census.gov (2000 + 2010) ( Memento of March 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved on April 4, 2012
  4. US Census Bureau ( Memento of March 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Rights at Risk: State Response to HIV in Mississippi - IV. Background , hrw.org
  6. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives Maps & Reports ( Memento from December 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Last US state to ratify the Slavery Amendment. In: sueddeutsche.de. February 18, 2013, accessed March 9, 2018 .
  8. Rudolph Alexander Jr .: Racism, African Americans, and Social Justice. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2005, ISBN 0-7425-4348-X , p. 8.
  9. https://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,897227-1,00.html
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/1/newsid_2538000/2538169.stm
  11. Mississippi finally ratifies 13th Amendment outlawing slavery , The Washington Times, February 18, 2013 (English)
  12. Mississippi Finally Ratifies 13th Amendment To Ban Slavery , The Inquisitr, February 18, 2013 (English)
  13. Torsten Teichmann: Racism Debate: Mississippi separates from its flag , tagesschau.de , June 29, 2020
  14. With a pen stroke, Mississippi drops Confederate-themed flag . WKBN. June 30, 2020. Archived from the original on August 22, 2020.
  15. ^ David Leip: Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections. Retrieved November 28, 2018 .
  16. Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, Jonathan Williams: Rich States, Poor States - ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2013, online
  17. http://www.gallup.com/poll/146348/Mississippi-Rates-Conservative-State.aspx
  18. Article in the Ceasefiremagazine
  19. US University: Students protest against Obama with racist slogans. In: Spiegel Online . November 8, 2012, accessed May 1, 2016 .
  20. ^ Crusade against abortions , in the daily newspaper
  21. Interracial Marriage: Many Deep South Republican Voters Believe Interracial Marriage Should Be Illegal in Huffington Post
  22. Mississippi constitution ( Memento of October 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  23. Mississippi and Alabama primary day - Tuesday 13 March in The Guardian
  24. New law in Mississippi: Service providers are allowed to reject homosexuals. In: Spiegel Online. Retrieved May 26, 2016 .
  25. 270towin.com
  26. ^ US Bureau of Economic Analysis: Regional Economic Accounts
  27. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .
  28. Thomas Barker and Marije Britz: Jokers Wild. Legalized Gambling in the Twenty-First Century , Greenwood Publishing 2000 ISBN 0-275-96587-2 pp. 71f.
  29. Clay Chandler: Golden Triangle economic development model could be emulated across state. In: Mississippi Business Journal , September 23, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2017.

Coordinates: 32 ° 47 ′  N , 89 ° 38 ′  W