MISSISSIPPI, a State in the South Central Division of the United States, bounded by Tennessee, Alabama, Louisi ana, Arkansas, and the Gulf of Mexico; admitted to the Union, Dec. 10, 1817; area, 46,340 square miles; pop. (1900) 1,551,270; (1910) 1,797,114; (1920) 1,790,618; capital, Jackson.
Topography.—The State is divided in to two portions by a low broad water shed between, the rivers flowing toward the Atlantic, and the streams emptying into the Mississippi. A lateral branch of this ridge terminates in the bluff of Vicksburg. E. of this ridge, the surface of the State consists of broad rolling prairies, while to the W. the land is bro ken into valleys and ridges. The State is very low, the highest altitude being but 800 feet. Mississippi is well watered. Flowing W. from the central watershed are the Homochitto, Big Black, Yazoo, Sunflower; and Tallahatchie rivers, all emptying into the Mississippi, which forms the entire W. boundary line. On the E. of the ridge are Pearl river, the Pascagoula, and Tombigbee, all empty ing into the Gulf of Mexico. A chain of islands extends along the coast, sepa rated from it by Mississippi sound. the largest being the Cat Islands, Petit Bois, Horse, and Ship Islands. There is but one good harbor on the Gulf coast, Ship Harbor, the mouths of all the rivers be ing swampy. The principal ports on the Mississippi river are Vicksburg and Natchez. Mississippi is often called the Bayou State.
Geology.—The geological formations of Mississippi are principally of the Car boniferous, Cretaceous, Tertiary, and post-Tertiary periods. In the N. the Carboniferous is represented by the lime stones and sandstones along the Tennes see river. S. of this are four groups of Cretaceous limestone, bounded on the W. by silicious deposits of Tertiary forma tions. This region abounds in brown coal, pipe and fire clay, and mineral fer tilizers. The alluvial or Quaternary period is represented in the bottom lands of the Mississippi river. An orange sand of post-Tertiary formation is found over the entire S. portion of the State. Fossil remains of a gigantic marine ani mal resembling 'the alligator are found in the prairie regions.
Mineral Production.—The only mineral products of the State are clay, sand and gravel and mineral water. The total value of this is about $1,000,000.
Soil.—In the N. section and the up lands of the central portion the soil is very fertile, but the land in the Missis sippi bottoms, though of exceeding fer tility in places, contains much clayey and wet ground. The prairie lands are, as a rule, quite fertile. The most fertile land in the State is in the Yazoo delta, in the extreme W. part of the State, N. of Vicksburg. Mississippi has still a vast area covered by virgin forests. The prin cipal trees are the oak, willow, chestnut, wateroak, walnut, butternut, dogwood, black gum, sweet gum, beech, cotton wood, sycamore, magnolia, locust, mul berry, hickory, pine, cypress, and live oak.
Agrieulture.—The prairie region in the N. W. of the State has always been noted as having the best farming land in the South. The most important agricul tural product is cotton, although corn is produced in large quantities. The pro duction and value of the principal crops in 1919 were as follows: Corn, 59,700, 000 bushels, valued at $95,520,000; oats, 5,282,000 bushels, valued at $5,546,000; hay, 648,000 tons, valued at $13,284,000; potatoes, 1,530,000 bushels, valued at $2,830,000; sweet potatoes, 10,290,000 bushels, valued at $11,525,000; cotton, 946,000 bales, valued at $177,375,000.
Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 33 National banks in operation, with $3,750,000 in capital, $2,227,443 in outstanding circulation, and $2,740,250 in United States bonds. There were also 293 State banks, with $10,262,000 capital, and $5,093,000 surplus.
Manufactures. — The State is not among the most important industrially. There were in 1914, 2,209 manufacturing establishments giving employment to 42, 702 wage earners. The capital invested was $81,006,000; the amount paid wage earners was $19,177,000; the value of the materials used was $41,340,000; and the value of the completed product was $79,550,000.