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About Mississippi


about mississippi quicklinks

Map of Mississippi

Map of Mississippi. Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, 
and Alabama all border the state.

​Mississippi is named for the Mississippi river which forms its western boundary and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The name roughly translated from Native American folklore means “Father of Waters.” The translation comes from the Chippewa words “mici zibi” meaning “great river” or “gathering in of all the waters” and the Algonquin word “Messipi”.

Mississippi was organized as a territory in 1798 and was admitted as the 20th state to join the Union on December 10, 1817. Jackson is the capital city and the largest metropolitan area.

Facts about mississippi

Full Name:
State of Mississippi
Joined Union:
December 10, 1817
2.984 million (2012)
Land Area (square miles):
Race: white: 60%; black/African American: 37.3%; two or more races: 1.1%; Asian: 0.9%; other: 0.8%; Native American: 0.6%; Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Sex: female: 51.4%; male: 48.6%
Age: 0 to 14: 25.7%; 15 to 64: 61.7%; 65+: 12.6%
US Representatives:
Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
10 Largest Cities:
Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Southhaven, Greenville, Meridian, Tupelo, Olive Branch, and Clinton

Famous Mississippians

  • Jimmy Buffet (Musician): Born in Pascagoula on December 25, 1946
  • Medger Evers (Civil Rights Activist): Born in Decatur on July 2, 1925
  • Brett Favre (Football Player): Born in Gulfport on October 10, 1969
  • William Faulkner (Author): Born in New Albany on September 25, 1897
  • Jim Henson (Creator of the Muppets): Born in Greenville on September 24, 1936
  • James Earl Jones (Actor): Born in Arkabutla on January 17, 1931
  • B.B. King (Blues Musician): Born in Itta Bena on September 16, 1925
  • Archie Manning (Football Player): Born in Drew on May 19, 1949
  • Walter Payton (Football Player): Born in Columbia on July 25, 1953
  • Elvis Presley (Singer): Born in Tupelo on January 8, 1935
  • Eudora Welty (Author): Born in Jackson on April 13, 1909
  • Tennessee Williams (Playwright): Born in Columbus on March 16, 1911
  • Oprah Winfrey (Talk Show Host): Born in Kosciusko on January 29, 1954
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Did you know...?

The Natchez Trace Parkway, named an All American Road by the federal government, extends from Natchez to just south of Nashville, Tennessee. The Trace began as an Indian Trail more than 8,000 years ago.​

Did You Know..? Directory
Visit MDOT to view Online Maps of Mississippi 
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Mississippi State Quarter

The Mississippi State Quarter was released on October 15, 2002 and features the state flower, the magnolia, and the inscription “The Magnolia State”.

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