Where Is Mississippi? See Its Map Location and Surrounding States

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Updated: November 9, 2023
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Mississippi is the quintessential Southern state with a rich cultural diversity. The population is quite diverse, as well. The state has rich, fertile land because of the Mississippi Delta. The Gulf of Mexico borders Mississippi with oceanfront views and beaches people can relax in. The state also has an interesting and sometimes controversial history. 

Located in the Deep South, most people know the role Mississippi has played throughout American history. But the question is, do people know where Mississippi is? Do people know about its bordering states? If you are wondering where Mississippi is, let’s take a look at where it is on the US map. We’ll also explore Mississippi’s neighboring states, when the state officially joined the union, the climate in Mississippi, and other facts about the Magnolia State.

Where Is Mississippi Located on the Map?

Mississippi is located in the Southern United States, a region known as the Deep South. With an area of 48,430 square miles, it is the 32nd largest state in the country. But where is Mississippi on the map? Let’s take a look below.

When Did Mississippi Officially Join the US?

Mississippi has been inhabited for about 12,000 years. Native American tribes that lived on the land before they were expelled during the Trail of Tears included the Biloxi, Choctaw, Natchez, and Chickasaw. The first Europeans to settle in the area were the French who were quick to establish a slave trade. Mississippi then became a US territory in 1798 and was admitted to the union as a slave state on December 10, 1817, becoming the 20th state.

Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States and worried about the threat that slavery would be abolished, Mississippi seceded from the union and became part of the Confederate States of America. After the Civil War ended, during Reconstruction, Mississippi rejoined the US.

Which States Border Mississippi?

Four states border Mississippi — Alabama to the east, Tennessee to the north, Louisiana to the west, and Arkansas to the northwest. Mississippi sits on the Gulf of Mexico and thus shares a southern border with the Gulf. Let’s take a look at the four states that border the Magnolia State, otherwise known as the Hospitality State.

Alabama

Known as the Heart of Dixie, Alabama is in the Deep South. Its topography is diverse with mountains and valleys in the north, but also plains and a gorgeous coastline in the south. Alabama is home to coyotes, armadillos, and alligators. With a population of 5 million, Alabama’s capital is Montgomery and it is the 22nd state admitted to the union.

Tennessee

Tennessee’s nickname is the Volunteer State and it has a population of 7 million. Nashville serves as the state’s capital, which is the birthplace of bluegrass and country music. Elvis Presley built his home, Graceland, in the city of Memphis. Tennessee is a geographically diverse state with mountainous regions, swampland (making much of the state’s land quite fertile farmland), plains, valleys, and gorges. The state’s terrain is also home to black bears, mountain lions, and white-tailed deer. 

Louisiana

Known as the Pelican State, Louisiana is in the Southern United States and sits on the Gulf of Mexico. The state has a humid and subtropical climate but also has diverse wildlife. The animals that make Louisiana home include coyotes, beavers, and American alligators. With a population of 4.6 million, Louisiana’s capital is Baton Rouge and it is the 18th state admitted to the union.

Arkansas

Known as the Natural State, Arkansas is in the Southern United States. The state is quite mountainous in the northwest and central parts of the state. In the southern regions of the state, it is more of a coastal plain topography. With a population of 3 million, Arkansas’s capital is Little Rock and it is the 25th state admitted to the union.

Is Mississippi a Good Place to Live?

Beautiful Sunset in Natchez, Mississippi

Some famous people born in Mississippi include Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Buffett, Elvis Presley, Britney Spears, Lance Bass, and Tennessee Williams.

©Panoptography/Shutterstock.com

Living in Mississippi is affordable, so if you’re looking to escape the high rent prices of big cities, Mississippi is your best bet. There are also a lot of rural communities that can enchant you. In terms of food, Southern culture means good food and you won’t run out of delicious things to eat when living here. Because the state sits on the Gulf Coast, you can go to the beach any time and relax on the sandy beaches. 

Unfortunately, to every pro, there are also cons. It’s important to note that Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation. The population has stagnated because people are leaving as there aren’t many jobs available. The state also ranks as having the lowest and worst form of healthcare available to its residents. The summers are hot and humid, and sometimes even unbearable. Mississippi also lies in the center of many hurricanes, so be prepared for that.

What Is the Climate in Mississippi?

Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, the state’s capital, is named after President Andrew Jackson.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Mississippi has a humid subtropical type of climate. The summers are super hot and humid, but the winters are quite nice. They never get too cold. Snowfall and rain aren’t too common, but rainfall does exist close to the Gulf waters, especially during hurricane season. The deadliest hurricanes ever to hit the state were Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The state is also prone to tornadoes and more than 25 tornadoes are likely to hit the Magnolia State every year.

The hottest recorded temperature in the state was 115 degrees Fahrenheit in 1930 and the lowest recorded temperature in Mississippi was -19 degrees Fahrenheit in 1966.

What Is Mississippi Most Known For?

Wall Doxey State Park. Holly Springs, Mississippi State of US.

Mississippi has the most churches per capita than any other state in the nation.

©David7/Shutterstock.com

Mississippi is known for several things like its white, sandy beaches in the southern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the birthplace of Elvis Presley and is well known for its blue and bluegrass music, too. The state is also known for its Southern hospitality. The state is also a good place for those who love history and want to know about the Civil Rights Movement and African-American history and heritage.

Lastly, the state is also known for its controversial American history. Mississippi was one of the states that fought to keep slavery in the US, seceding from the nation and fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Mississippi was the site of many struggles against racism. Black people protested and fought for civil rights for over a century.

Fast Facts About Mississippi

Welcome to Mississippi Gulf Coast sign on sandy beach in Gulfport

Mississippi is the nation’s top producer of shrimp and farmed

catfish

, which has earned a city in the state, Belzoni, the nickname, “the catfish capital of the world.”

©CrackerClips Stock Media/Shutterstock.com

  • Capital: Jackson
  • Population: 2.9 million
  • Governor: Tate Reeves (R)
  • Lieutenant Governor: Delbert Hosemann (R)
  • State animal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
  • State flower: Magnolia (Magnolia)

Conclusion

Mississippi is a truly unique state. Driving through the state and witnessing the diverse wildlife, and the different types of topography and climates can put a smile on your face. From the fertile regions of the Mississippi Delta in the west to the Gulf of Mexico beaches and bayous in the south, you won’t want to miss out on such beauty.

Mississippi is not an expensive state, so housing will be quite affordable if you decide to move here. You won’t run out of things to do — whether you want to go to the beach, take a hike in the mountains, or take a trip down memory lane at a museum, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll have to get accustomed to the culture and heritage here, but you will feel welcome with the state’s Southern hospitality. After all, you are in the Hospitality State.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ingo70/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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