Mississippi Population 2018


Situated in the southwest US, Mississippi is the 32nd largest state in the country with an area that covers 48,430 square miles. Population figures are consistent with its size, and it is the 31st most populous state. Its population density ranks 32nd in the United States. As of 2018, the population of Mississippi is estimated to be 2.98 million.

The 2018 population of Mississippi is estimated at 2.98 million, which is up slightly from the 2010 Census. At the time of the Census, the population was recorded as 2,967,297. Mississippi currently has a population growth rate of 0.30%, which is fairly slow and ranks at 40th in the nation.

The last nationwide US Census figures represented a rise of 4.3% from the numbers declared at the Census in 2000. The population has grown only modestly since then, and it is now estimated to be just 2.99 million. If similar increases continue to occur, then the number of people living in Mississippi may soon surpass 3 million.

Mississippi has a very widely spread population with a density of just 63.2 people per square mile, which ranks 32nd in the country. For many generations, people have been leaving the rural areas of the United States and concentrating in urban areas, with only 1 in 5 people in the country classified as rural. Mississippi is a sharp contrast, however, as 51.2% still live in rural areas, which is the 4th largest rural population in the country. There is only one city in the state with a population of over 100,000, and that's Jackson. Only two other cities currently have a population of at least 50,000: Hattiesburg and Gulfport.

Mississippi Population History

Most of present-day Mississippi was part of Georgia until the south-central portions of Mississippi and Alabama were established as Mississippi Territory, authorized by Congress in 1798 and agreed to by Georgia in 1802. In 1804, the Territory was expanded to include the northern parts of the two future States. The Gulf Coast portions were added in 1812, although still in dispute with Spain until 1819. Mississippi was admitted as a State on December 10, 1817 with essentially its present boundaries.

Census coverage of present-day Mississippi began in 1800 in the southwestern section close to the Mississippi River. The populations shown for 1800 and 1810 exclude counties now in Alabama. The central and northern portions were not fully covered by the census until 1840.

Mississippi Population Chart

Mississippi Population History

Like most states in the US, Mississippi enjoyed a population explosion through the 19th century. In 1800, numbers were recorded at 7,600 but just ten years later, those figures had increased by over 300% to 31,306. That was by far the biggest population spike in the state’s history but further significant growth saw the figures rise to 606,526 by 1850.

By the start of the 20th century, the population of Mississippi had comfortably exceeded 1.5 million, and while growth has slowed in the modern era, the overall picture remains one of sustained growth. By 1930, numbers had already hit 2 million and continued expansion throughout the latter half of the 20th century has left the Mississippi population in 2016 close to the 3 million mark.

Mississippi Population Projections

Over the years, the big picture is one of population growth, but percentage rises on a decade by decade basis have fluctuated to a great extent and have therefore been a little hard to predict. Mississippi also has a fairly slow growth rate. However, by the time of the next Census in 2020, numbers should have comfortably exceeded 3 million and the only question is how far can they rise beyond that milestone? According to current projections, the Mississippi population will reach 3.15 million by 2020.

Population Data via US Census

Mississippi Growth Rate

Mississippi Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

Mississippi Facts

Mississippi Population in 2018Source: chmeredith from Jackson, MS, USA

  • The first permanent settlement in Mississippi was established in 1699 by the French near what is now Ocean Springs.
  • The oldest permanent settlement along the Mississippi River is Natchez, which was settled in 1716.
  • Natchez once was home to 500 millionaires, exceeding every other city in the US with the exception of New York City.
  • About 60% of the country's farm-raised catfish come from Mississippi.
  • The state has the largest percentage of black residents in the United States.

Mississippi Population Density by County

Hinds County

  • Population241,818
  • Density278.03 per sq km
  • Growth Since 2010-1.58%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State8.10%

Mississippi Population Growth Rate by County

The state of Mississippi has many counties, and when looking at the population of each county, data shows that there have been more declines across the state than there have been population increases when tracking by county. Between the 2010 Census and data taken in 2015, there have been three counties that have shown significant population growth. This includes the northern county of Lafayette, which posted the highest growth of 11.76%, central Madison County with 8.24% and southern Lamar County at 8.09%. Other counties that showed growth were mostly located in the southernmost and northernmost areas of the state.

As far as population declines, almost every county along the western border of Mississippi saw declining populations. Wilson County, located in the southwestern corner, had the most signifiant decline at 7.48%. Other counties that showed decreased growth between 2010 and 2015 include Washington County at 5.77%, Sunflower County at 6.92%, and Holmes County at 5.46%.

Mississippi Population Pyramid 2018

0k5k10k15k20kMississippi Male Population0k5k10k15k20kMississippi Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare Mississippi to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Black or African American1,134,958
Two or More Races33,852
Some Other Race30,583
American Indian and Alaska Native13,260
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander631

Up until the 1930s, black Americans made up the majority of citizens in Mississippi, and although that picture has changed, there is still a relatively large black community in the state. In 2010, Mississippi had the highest proportion of African Americans in the United States.

People of Scots-Irish, Scottish and English ancestry are widespread throughout Mississippi, and people with these ancestries are thought to be higher than reported. One historian estimates at least 20% of the state's population is of English ancestry alone.

Interestingly, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830 between the U.S. Government and the Choctaw allowed these people to sell their land and agree to be removed to a reservation in current-day Oklahoma, although Article 14 of the treaty allowed those who wanted to remain to become U.S. citizens. Today, about 9,500 Choctaw live in Leake, Jones, Newton and Neshoba counties in Mississippi.

Mississippi also has one of the highest rates of increase of its mixed-race population, which increased 70% from 2000 to 2012, even though the population of the state itself has not increased much.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in Mississippi

Language Population Percentage
India n.e.c.5250.02%
Mayan languages4450.02%

This chart shows the top 10 languages that are spoken at home in Mississippi. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Mississippi Economy

High school graduate or higher 81.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher 20.4%
With a Disability 11.9%
Persons Without Health Insurance 16.8%
In Civilian Labor Force 57.9%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 54%
Food Services Sales $6,999,175
Health Care Revenue $16,630,587,000
Manufacturers Shipments $66,441,608,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $28,302,952,000
Total Retail Sales $37,053,190,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $12,413
Mean Travel Time to Work 24 minutes
Median Household Income $39,464
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $20,956
Persons in Poverty 21.5%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Mississippi for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.9% and the labor force participation rate is 58%.

Mississippi Business

Total Nonemployer Establishments 209,279
All firms 235,454
Men-owned Firms 125,079
Women-owned Firms 89,159
Minority-owned Firms 74,824
Nonminority-owned Firms 155,094
Veternan-owned Firms 26,789
Nonveteran-owned Firms 198,566

Mississippi Housing

Housing Units 1,274,719
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 68.9%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $100,800
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,090
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $342
Median Gross Rent $714
Building Permits 6,845
Households 1,092,627
Persons per Household 2.64 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 86%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 3.9%
Data Sources
  1. State Data Center of Mississippi
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)