The cities of Mississippi

Mississippi is not a densely populated area. The constant threat of floods has kept urbanization down and the State contains two main population centres with a number of smaller towns being located around the region.

Jackson the capital of Mississippi State

Jackson the capital of Mississippi State

The largest city in Mississippi is the State’s capital Jackson which holds a population of 173,514 residents. The city is situated on the Pearl River and geographically is found virtually in the centre of the State. Jackson also acts as the capital of Hinds County. The area was once under occupation by the Choctaw Nation. In 1820 the “Treaty of Doak’s Stand” resulted in the Choctaw giving up their land for the European settlers and the area was expanded with further treaties in 1830. The city is named after General Andrew Jackson who fought in the Battle of Orleans in 1812 and later served as US President. The main period growth occurred for the city with the development of the rail-roads following the American Civil War. The city was damaged so badly by the two sieges it experienced during the conflict that it virtually had to be rebuilt.

The rebuilding of the city gathered pace at the start of the 20th century but was held back as it still had strong republican feelings and wanted to protect the power of the whites in the region. The city benefited from discovery of gas and oil in the area although supplies were rather limited. Mississippi had an extended prohibition period from the 1920s up until the 1960s. This resulted in illegal liquor stores, gambling dens and night clubs operating just across the Pearl River. This attracted the blues musicians to play in the area and although this particular spot disappeared with the ending of prohibition, the city is now famed as “the city with soul” with a flourishing music scene.

The city now has many jobs associated with the administrative role as the States capital, plus many of the State’s top universities are situated in the city. The development of medical research resulted in the first successful lung transplant taking place at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre in 1963.

Gulfport Mississippi

Gulfport Mississippi

The States second city is Gulfport with a population of 67,000 and is famed for being the home of the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. The city was originally created by William H Hardy the president of Gulf and Ship Island Rail Road that connected railroads to the coast. The company dredged the harbor and opened it as a seaport to the sea. It nowadays earns Mississippi millions of dollars each year from the business it attracts. The majority who work in the city are employed by the navy, the docks, educational institutions, and tourist related industries.The area has a number of casinos along its coast and many tourists are attracted to visit these, as well as enjoying the normal pleasures that can be enjoyed by a location on the coast. This coastal area has proved to be an attractive place to live for wealthy families as it is environmentally a good place to reside.Currently the fastest growing city in the State is Southaven with a population of 49,000. It first grew as being a commuter settlement for Memphis Tennessee. The construction of the interstate highway 55 in the 1970s made it easier for people to access the city from both Jackson and Memphis.

As the transport routes have improved there were also developments in the city’s medical centres, plus the creation of large shopping malls has brought new employment opportunities into the area.With many people still working in the larger cities the main industries that have been attracted into Southaven has been service industries with education, medicine and retail leading the way.Mississippi has few large urban settlements but it does have over 40 settlements that have populations of over 10,000 people. This is fairly typical of an area that depends on the agricultural community. These communities have grown fairly evenly over the state in order to supply the services to the farmers in the region.

 

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