Mississippi () is a
state located in the
Deep South region of the
United States. Mississippi is the
32nd largest and
34th-most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Mississippi is bordered to the north by
Tennessee, to the east by
Alabama, to the south by the
Gulf of Mexico, to the southwest by
Louisiana, and to the northwest by
Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the
Jackson is both the state's
capital and largest city.
Greater Jackson, with an estimated population of 580,166 in 2018, is the most populous
metropolitan area in Mississippi and the
95th-most populous in the United States.
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the
20th state admitted to the Union. By 1860, Mississippi was the nation's top
cotton-producing state and
enslaved persons accounted for 55% of the state population. Mississippi declared its
the Union on March 23, 1861, and was one of the seven original
Confederate States, which constituted the largest slaveholding states in the nation. Following the
Civil War, it was restored to the Union on February 23, 1870.
Great Migration of the 1930s,
African Americans were a majority of Mississippi's population. Mississippi was the site of many prominent events during the
civil rights movement, including the
Ole Miss riot of 1962 by white students objecting to desegregation, the 1963 assassination of
Medgar Evers, and the 1964
Freedom Summer murders of three activists working on voting rights. With large areas of agriculture and rural towns, Mississippi frequently ranks low among states in measures of health, education, and development, and high in measures of poverty. In 2010, 37.3% of Mississippi's population was African American, the
highest percentage of any state.
Mississippi is almost entirely within the
Gulf coastal plain, and generally consists of
lowland plains and low hills. The northwest remainder of the state consists of the
Mississippi Delta, a section of the
Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Mississippi's highest point is
Woodall Mountain at 807 feet (246 m) above sea level adjacent to the
Cumberland Plateau; the lowest is the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi has a
humid subtropical climate classification.