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Hancock County, Mississippi
HancockCountyCourthouse14Sept07.jpg
Hancock County courthouse in Bay St. Louis
Map of Mississippi highlighting Hancock County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the U.S. highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1812
Named for John Hancock
Seat Bay St. Louis
Largest city Bay St. Louis
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

553 sq mi (1,432 km²)
474 sq mi (1,228 km²)
79 sq mi (205 km²), 14
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

46,053
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website https://hancockcounty.ms.gov/

Hancock County is the southernmost county of the U.S. state of Mississippi and is named for Founding Father John Hancock.[1] As of the 2020 census, the population was 46,053.[2] Its county seat is Bay St. Louis.[3]

Hancock County is part of the GulfportBiloxi, MS Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is situated along the Gulf of Mexico and the state line with Louisiana. The area is home to the John C. Stennis Space Center, NASA's largest rocket engine test facility.

The county was severely damaged from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, which caused a huge storm surge and catastrophic damage.

History[]

This area of Mississippi was inhabited by indigenous peoples at the time of European colonization; the French were the first settlers and traders in the area. They imported African slaves as laborers, and in time a Creole class of free people of color developed.

After the United States conducted Indian Removal in the 1830s, more Protestant Americans migrated into this area, but it retained French and African Catholic influences. Located on the Gulf Coast, the county was regularly hit by hurricanes but its residents learned to handle these incidents.

In 2005, the county was the scene of the final landfall of the eye of Hurricane Katrina, and its communities and infrastructure suffered some of the most intense damage inflicted by that storm. Over the entire 7-mile (11 km) beach front, not one building or home was left intact. Nearly the entire first block off the beach was destroyed for the entire 7-mile (11 km) stretch.

Homes as far inland as 10 miles (16 km) were flooded by the historic storm surge, which occurred during a full moon high tide. All rivers and waterways were inundated by the surge. Highway 603 south from Interstate 10 was completely submerged, and the Highway 90 - Bay St. Louis Bridge was left looking like a stack of dominoes.

Houses were floated off their foundations. In Waveland and Bay St. Louis, some homes were stranded atop the railroad tracks and others in the middle of streets. Towns like Pearlington, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, and Kiln suffered catastrophic damage.

Recovery from Hurricane Katrina[]

A loosely knit group of hippies called the "Rainbow Family" arrived in Hancock County soon after Hurricane Katrina. From early September 2005 to early December 2005, they ran the "New Waveland Cafe and Clinic" [1] [2] located in the parking lot of Fred's Dept Store on Highway 90.

The café provided free hot meals three times a day. The clinic was staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses from around the United States who saw more than 5000 patients during the duration. They provided treatment free of charge and dispensed free medications. Donations of medications and supplies came from a multitude of sources, with International Aid [3] arranging the most donations. This was the first experience of the Rainbow Family in running a disaster relief center. The Bastrop Christian Outreach Center also volunteered with the Rainbow Family.

Local churches were central points of recovery in Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and Diamondhead. Some churches provided shelter, meals, clothing, and various clean-up supplies. The churches also provided distribution points where supplies could be donated and easily passed on to those who needed help. Other disaster relief agencies that were active in Hancock County include Samaritan's Purse, Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, Red Cross, Rotary International and Salvation Army.

Businesses became operational as quickly as possible. The Waveland Wal-Mart operated out of a tent for 3 months following the storm; Diamondhead Discount Drug was opened within 2 days following Katrina, although the owner's store and home were both severely damaged. Other business such as Dairy Queen and Subway donated their foodstuffs, before it could spoil, in order to feed survivors.

Geography[]

Coastal counties of Mississippi.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 553 square miles (1,430 km2), of which 474 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 79 square miles (200 km2) (14%) is water.[4]

Major highways[]

  • I-10.svg Interstate 10
  • US 90.svg U.S. Highway 90
  • Circle sign 43.svg Mississippi Highway 43
  • Circle sign 53.svg Mississippi Highway 53
  • Circle sign 603.svg Mississippi Highway 603
  • Circle sign 607.svg Mississippi Highway 607

Adjacent counties and parishes[]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 1,594
1830 1,962 23.1%
1840 3,367 71.6%
1850 3,672 9.1%
1860 3,139 −14.5%
1870 4,239 35.0%
1880 6,439 51.9%
1890 8,318 29.2%
1900 11,886 42.9%
1910 11,207 −5.7%
1920 10,380 −7.4%
1930 11,415 10.0%
1940 11,328 −0.8%
1950 11,891 5.0%
1960 14,039 18.1%
1970 17,387 23.8%
1980 24,537 41.1%
1990 31,760 29.4%
2000 42,967 35.3%
2010 43,929 2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2020[2]

2020 census[]

Hancock County racial composition[9]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 37,341 81.08%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,911 8.49%
Native American 244 0.53%
Asian 424 0.92%
Pacific Islander 9 0.02%
Other/Mixed 2,206 4.79%
Hispanic or Latino 1,918 4.16%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 46,053 people, 20,036 households, and 13,081 families residing in the county.

2000 census[]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 42,967 people, 16,897 households, and 11,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 90 people per square mile (35/km2). There were 21,072 housing units at an average density of 44 per square mile (17/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.19% White, 6.83% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,897 households, out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.90% were married couples living together, 11.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.10% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,202, and the median income for a family was $40,307. Males had a median income of $32,229 versus $22,066 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,748. About 11.20% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.90% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.

Hancock County has the eighth highest per capita income in the State of Mississippi.


Communities[]

Cities[]

Census-designated places[]

  • Kiln
  • Pearlington

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Ansley
  • Clermont Harbor
  • Lakeshore
  • Leetown
  • Napoleon
  • Necaise
  • Shoreline Park (former CDP)

Ghost towns[]

  • Gainesville
  • Logtown

Politics[]

United States presidential election results for Hancock County, Mississippi[11]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,132 76.98% 4,504 21.49% 321 1.53%
2016 13,811 78.31% 3,344 18.96% 482 2.73%
2012 12,964 75.52% 3,917 22.82% 286 1.67%
2008 13,020 76.34% 3,768 22.09% 268 1.57%
2004 12,581 70.41% 5,107 28.58% 181 1.01%
2000 9,326 64.11% 4,801 33.00% 421 2.89%
1996 5,820 51.16% 4,303 37.82% 1,254 11.02%
1992 6,422 47.78% 4,651 34.61% 2,367 17.61%
1988 7,763 66.42% 3,760 32.17% 164 1.40%
1984 7,662 74.07% 2,630 25.43% 52 0.50%
1980 5,088 57.07% 3,544 39.75% 283 3.17%
1976 3,765 48.01% 3,855 49.16% 222 2.83%
1972 5,133 86.28% 745 12.52% 71 1.19%
1968 1,065 17.63% 904 14.96% 4,072 67.41%
1964 2,550 62.95% 1,501 37.05% 0 0.00%
1960 719 21.44% 2,132 63.58% 502 14.97%
1956 1,421 53.14% 1,179 44.09% 74 2.77%
1952 1,347 46.05% 1,578 53.95% 0 0.00%
1948 151 8.51% 222 12.51% 1,402 78.99%
1944 137 7.70% 1,642 92.30% 0 0.00%
1940 197 11.27% 1,550 88.67% 1 0.06%
1936 164 11.20% 1,284 87.70% 16 1.09%
1932 109 7.40% 1,349 91.64% 14 0.95%
1928 456 26.21% 1,284 73.79% 0 0.00%
1924 192 27.08% 467 65.87% 50 7.05%
1920 130 29.68% 305 69.63% 3 0.68%
1916 68 11.68% 512 87.97% 2 0.34%
1912 28 6.19% 365 80.75% 59 13.05%



See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hancock County, Mississippi

References[]

External links[]

Coordinates: 30°23′N 89°28′W / 30.39, -89.47


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hancock County, Mississippi. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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