North America

Mississippi History and Economy

According to agooddir, the population of Mississippi was 2,884,658 residents, a growth of 12.1% in relation to the population of the state in 1990, of 2,573,216 residents.4 An estimate made in 2005 calculated the population of Mississippi in 2,925,426 residents, a growth of 13.5% in relation to the population of the State in 1990, of 2.7% in relation to the population of the State in 2000, and 0.7% in relation to the estimated population in 2004. The natural growth of the Mississippi population between 2000 and 2005 was 80,733 residents —228,849 births minus 148,116 deaths— the population growth caused by immigration was 10,653 residents., while interstate migration resulted in a loss of 10,578 residents.


Until 1817 Choctaw Village near Chefuncte, by Francois Bernard, 1869, Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. Three different Native American tribes lived in the region that now constitutes Mississippi, prior to the arrival of the first European explorers to the region. These tribes were the Chickasaw (called Chicazas by the Spanish), who lived in the central region of present-day Mississippi, the Choctaw, who lived in the north and east, and the Natchez, who lived in the southwest.

The Native American population in Mississippi, at the time the first European explorers arrived in the region, is estimated at 25,000 to 30,000.

The first European explorers to arrive in the region considered to be part of Florida were the members of the Spanish expedition commanded by Hernando de Soto in 1541. De Soto and his expedition explored a region devoid of natural resources such as gold, spices, etc., for which they did not found any settlement. The region would continue to be unexplored by Europeans until 1692, when the French Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville founded the first permanent settlement in present-day Mississippi, where Ocean Springs is currently located. Meanwhile, the Frenchman René Robert Cavelier had already claimed the region for the French crown, in 1682, when he claimed the entire region of the Mississippi River basin.

In 1716, the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne founded the second permanent European settlement in the region, Fort Rosalie, near the present city of Natchez. The French began the commercialization of animal skins with the natives of the region, and the cultivation of tobacco and rice. French slave traders were the first to introduce slavery to Mississippi around 1722.

Scottish economist John Law started a project to increase the population of the region at the beginning of the 17th century. However, this project failed, and the people who invested money in it lost everything they invested. But said project, whose suspension of payments was reported in the United Kingdom, attracted various English and Scottish to Mississippi. These colonists founded several settlements under alternately Spanish and French jurisdiction, such as Biloxi Vieja, Biloxi Nueva (present-day Biloxi) and Fort Louis de la Mobile (present-day Mobile). Despite this, the settlement of the Mississippi region was relatively small, and few people were interested in settling in the region, due to the frequent attacks by the natives, and the disagreements between the French and the United Kingdom – which claimed the region.


Grain elevator on the banks of the river Mississippi. Mississippi’s Gross Domestic Product in 2003 was $ 72 billion. The state’s per capita income, meanwhile, was $ 23,466, the lowest in the country. The state’s unemployment rate is 6.2%. The fact that Mississippi is considered the poorest state in the country has its origins in the American Civil War. Before the civil war, Mississippi was the fifth richest state in the country. The war cost the state about 30,000 men. Farmers who survived the war were virtually in default, due to the emancipation of slaves and the destruction caused by the war. Unlike the rest of the states in the country, Mississippi workers cannot be forced to join a union when they are employed.

The primary sector contributes 3% of Mississippi’s GDP. Agriculture and livestock account for a total of 2.9% of the State’s GDP, employing about 72 thousand people. Mississippi has about 42 thousand farms, which cover about 40% of the state. The main products produced by the Mississippi agricultural industry are bovine meat and milk, cotton, and soybeans. Fishing and forestry together contribute 0.1% of GDP, employing about three thousand people.

The secondary sector accounts for 27% of Mississippi’s GDP. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $ 17 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are industrialized food, transportation equipment, mobiles, clothing and textiles. The manufacturing industry accounts for 22% of the state’s GDP, employing approximately 244 thousand people. The construction industry accounts for 4% of the State’s GDP, and employs approximately 83 thousand people. Mining, with 1% of the Mississippi’s GDP, employs about 9.5 thousand people. The main natural resources extracted in the state are oil and natural gas.

The tertiary sector accounts for 70% of Mississippi’s GDP. Community and personal services are responsible for 17% of the state’s GDP, and employ about 361 thousand people. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 17% of the state’s GDP, and employs approximately 288,000 people. Government services contribute 15% of Mississippi’s GDP, employing approximately 259,000 people. Financial services and the real estate sector account for about 11% of GDP, employing approximately 70 thousand people. transportation, telecommunications and public utilities employ about 64 thousand people, and account for 10% of GDP. About 35% of the electricity generated in Mississippi is produced in coal-fired thermoelectric plants, 30% in nuclear plants,

Mississippi History and Economy