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.
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.
Mississippi Area and Population Density
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.
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. The most populated counties are Hinds (239,479 - but has been losing population since 2010), Harrison (205,027), and DeSoto (178,751) counties. Both Harrison and DeSoto counties have a substantial growth rate of over 9% in each county.
Mississippi Gender and Religion Statistics
The median age of the Mississippi population is approximately 36.7 years of age. The state's gender ratio is split at 51.5% female and 48.5% male.
In terms of preferred religions across the state, 83% of the population are affiliated with a Christian based faith, 2% affiliate with a non-Christian based faith, and 14% have no affiliation with any religion.
Mississippi Boundary, Census and Statehood 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.