Mississippi, The Magnolia State
Midway through the 2010 decade Sunflower County, Mississippi had lost over 3,000 residents, or about 11% of it’s 29,450 people. With exception to a the 1990s, the county has lost 63% of it’s population since its peak of 66,364 in 1930.
Sadly for Sunflower and other counties along the Mississippi Delta region and other rural parts of the state this trend has been going on since the 1940s as African Americans migrated north in search of better lives.
As of 2017, out of the 82 counties in the state, only 19 are growing.
Mississippi is not alone in this though. The majority of the southern states are seeing rural population decline.
Just across the river delta regions in Arkansas and Louisiana are also being hard hit. Even in Texas, with one of the fastest growth rates in the country, its rural counties have some of the highest rates of population decline over the last 50 years.
The 2019 census estimate has the state growth rate over the decade at almost zero (0.3%). With many rural communities still not recovered from the 2008 recession, there’s a chance the Covid pandemic could push Mississippi’s rural communities further into decline.
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
•Have you lived in the same rural area since the 1970/80s?
•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?
•Do you know of a small town (under 2,000 people) that is a shell of it’s former self?
•Do you just what to give me some feedback on the topics we cover?
Don’t be shy, go to the “Connect” page and drop me a line. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to me via social media, links are at the bottom of each page.