Mississippi Geography

Abbreviated as MS by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Mississippi has historically been a state dominated by farms and small towns, and dependent on agriculture and livestock. Currently, however, the state has a relatively diversified economy, with a growing manufacturing industry and tourism. Mississippi is considered the poorest state in the United States, with relatively high rates of unemployment and poverty, and the lowest per capita income in the country.


The name Mississippi comes from a word in the Ojibwa language, which means “great waters” or “father of the waters.” Some nicknames for Mississippi are Magnolia State and Hospitality State.


Mississippi borders Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, Alabama and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Louisiana and Arkansas to the west.

The Mississippi coastline along the Gulf of Mexico is 71 kilometers long. Counting all the regions bathed by the sea – bays, estuaries and oceanic islands – this extension increases to 578 kilometers. The state’s coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, being very flat and low in altitude, is very vulnerable to tidal variations, tropical cyclones and other geographical factors that may cause a rise in sea level along the state’s coastline. For this reason, large dams protect densely populated regions near the state’s coastline with the Gulf of Mexico. The largest of these levees is 40 kilometers long – the longest of its kind in the country.

The Mississippi River — which is the origin of the state’s name — is the most important river in the Mississippi, and forms the entire western border of the state with Arkansas, and much of the state’s border with Louisiana. The Mississippi River, being relatively flat in the region, overflows very easily, which makes the regions near the banks of the river very vulnerable to flooding. The most densely populated regions near the river are protected by dikes. The Mississippi River watershed covers the entire west and north-central part of the state. Rivers located in the eastern region of Mississippi flow directly into the Gulf of Mexico.

Forests cover about 55% of the state. Mississippi is characterized by its low altitude. No part of the state is located above 250 meters above sea level. The state’s terrain is generally relatively flat, with no major landforms.

Mississippi can be divided into three distinct geographic regions:

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Mississippi, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Mississippi.

Swamp near Ashland, Mississippi. The Mississippi Floodplains cover a narrow strip of land located along the Mississippi River. This region is extremely flat, with very few landforms. It is extremely vulnerable to the overflows of the Mississippi River. These floods, despite being able to cause great damage to urban communities, deposit large amounts of sediment in this region, which makes the soil of this region extremely fertile and ideal for the practice of agriculture.

The Western Plains of the Gulf Coast occupy most of the rest of Mississippi, and is the largest of the three geographic regions. This region is characterized by its relatively smooth terrain, covered with flat elevations and small low-lying hills, and relatively fertile soil. The largest of these hills, Woodall Mountain, is the highest point in the state at 246 meters of elevation.1 Much of the Western Plains is covered by forests.

The Black Belt is a narrow strip of land located in the eastern region of Mississippi. It is a prairie region, flat and with poor soil, compared to the rest of the state.


Fall in Montgomery County. Mississippi has a subtropical climate, with long, hot summers and short winters. During winter, the temperature drops as you travel north. The average temperature of Mississippi in the winter is 8 ° C. The average temperature of the southern region of Mississippi is of 10 ° C, and in the north, of 5 ° C. In general, the average of the lows of Mississippi in the winter is of 3 ° C, and the average of the highs, of 15 ° C. Temperatures rarely drop below -10 ° C. The lowest recorded temperature in Mississippi was -28 ° C, in Corinth, on January 30, 1966.

In the summer, the average temperature increases as one travels westward, although the variation in temperature is minimal between one region of the state and another. The average temperature of Mississippi during the summer is of 27 ° C. The average temperature in the western region of the state is 28 ° C, and in the east, 26 ° C. In general, the average of the lows of Mississippi in the summer is of 21 ° C, and the average of the highs, of 34 ° C. The highest recorded temperature in Mississippi was 46 ° C, at Holly Springs, on July 29, 1930.

Mississippi’s annual mean precipitation rate decreases as one travels north, ranging from 130 centimeters in the northwest of the state to more than 165 centimeters annually in the south. Snow is a rare phenomenon in Mississippi, occurring mainly in the north of the state. However, frost and hail showers are relatively common in the state. These weather events cause millions of dollars in losses each year in Mississippi’s agricultural sector. Hurricanes are also common in the state.

Mississippi state