Hattiesburg is a city located in Forrest County in Mississippi, a state of the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 44,779. It contains the University of Southern Mississippi. It is Mississippi's fourth-largest city and is known as "The Hub City". It has an incorporated suburb, Petal. It is the county seat of Forrest County6. Hattiesburg is also the home of Camp Shelby and the University of Southern Mississippi.
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Positioned at the fork of the Leaf and Bouie Rivers, Hattiesburg was founded in 1882 by Captain William H. Hardy, pioneer lumberman and civil engineer. Early settlers to the area were of Scottish, Irish, and English descent who came from Georgia and the Carolinas, attracted by the vast area of virgin pine timberlands.
The city of Hattiesburg was incorporated in 1884 with a population of approximately 400. Originally called Twin Forks and later Gordonville, Hardy gave the city its final name of Hattiesburg, in honor of his wife Hattie. The city's major thoroughfare remains Hardy Street, and three cross-town streets, Mamie, Adeline, and Corinne, bear the names of his daughters.
Also in 1884, the railroad, known as the Southern Railway System, was built from Meridian, Mississippi through Hattiesburg to New Orleans. The completion of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad from Gulfport, Mississippi to Jackson, Mississippi, now part of the Illinois Central System, ran through Hattiesburg and ushered in the real lumber boom in 1897. Though it was 20 years in the building, the railroad more than fulfilled its promise. It gave the state a deep water harbor, more than doubled the population of towns along its route, built the City of Gulfport and made Hattiesburg a railroad center.
First due to the crossing rail lines, Hattiesburg became known as the "Hub City" as it also became the intersection of Interstate 59 and U.S. Highways 49, U.S. Highway 98 and 11. Hattiesburg is centrally located less than 100 miles from the state capital of Jackson as well as the Mississippi Gulf Coast, New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama.
Throughout the 20th Century, Hattiesburg benefited from the founding of Camp Shelby (now a military mobilization center), two major hospitals, and most notably, the University of Southern Mississippi. This growing micropolitan area that includes Hattiesburg, Forrest County, Mississippi and Lamar County, Mississippi Counties, was designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area in 1994 with a combined population of more than 100,000 residents.
Hattiesburg is located at 31°18'57" North, 89°18'31" West (31.315974, -89.308658)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 128.6 km² (49.7 mi²). 127.6 km² (49.3 mi²) of it is land and 1.1 km² (0.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.83% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 44,779 people, 17,295 households, and 9,391 families residing in the city. The population density is 351.0/km² (909.0/mi²). There are 19,258 housing units at an average density of 150.9/km² (391.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 49.95% White, 47.34% African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 1.41% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 17,295 households out of which 25.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.1% are married couples living together, 19.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% are non-families. 34.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size is 3.01.
In the city the population is spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 24.4% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 27 years. For every 100 females there are 85.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are approximately 81.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $24,409, and the median income for a family is $32,380. Males have a median income of $26,680 versus $19,333 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,102. 28.3% of the population and 21.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 36.3% of those under the age of 18 and 16.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Amtrak's Crescent train connects Hattiesburg with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 308 Newman Street.
- Official City of Hattiesburg Website
- Maps and aerial photos