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Canton, Mississippi
Madison County Courthouse in Canton
Madison County Courthouse in Canton
Location of Canton, Mississippi
Location of Canton, Mississippi
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Madison
 • Total 18.7 sq mi (48.5 km2)
 • Land 18.6 sq mi (48.2 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
233 ft (71 m)
 • Total 13,218
 • Density 694.1/sq mi (268.0/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-11100
GNIS feature ID 0691133

Canton is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 13,189 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Madison County, and situated in the northern part of the metropolitan area surrounding the state capital, Jackson.

Much of Canton is on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse square is a historic shopping district and host to the Canton Flea Market. The picturesque Georgian courthouse is particularly notable and often appears in photographic exhibits of the South. The east side of town is a large part of the historic district with many homes.

Although not a major battle site during the Civil War, Canton was important as a rail and logistics center. Many wounded soldiers were treated in or transported through the city, and as a consequence it has a large Confederate cemetery.

The city is home to a large auto manufacturing facility owned by Nissan.


Canton is located at 32°36′43″N 90°1′54″W / 32.61194°N 90.03167°W / 32.61194; -90.03167 (32.612015, -90.031638).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), of which 18.6 square miles (48 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.69%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,963
1880 2,131 8.6%
1890 3,404 59.7%
1900 3,464 1.8%
1910 3,929 13.4%
1920 3,252 −17.2%
1930 4,725 45.3%
1940 6,011 27.2%
1950 7,048 17.3%
1960 9,707 37.7%
1970 10,503 8.2%
1980 11,116 5.8%
1990 10,062 −9.5%
2000 12,911 28.3%
2010 13,189 2.2%
Est. 2015 13,676 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 Estimate
Courthouse Square, Canton, Mississippi
Courthouse Square

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,189 people and 4,494 households in the city with an average household size of 2.99. The population density was 621.1 people per square mile (239.8/km²). There were 4,933 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 19.5% White, 74.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18 and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. 50.8% of the population were female.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,350. The per capita income for the city was $15,192. About 31.4% of the population were below the poverty line.

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,911 people, 4,093 households, and 2,991 families residing in the city. The population density was 694.1 people per square mile (268.0/km²). There were 4,333 housing units at an average density of 232.9 per square mile (89.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 18.64% White, 80.30% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.

There were 4,093 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 34.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.9% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.55.

In the city, the population was spread out with 32.3% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,237, and the median income for a family was $27,782. Males had a median income of $25,179 versus $20,815 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,643. About 27.7% of families and 34.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 49.8% of those under age 18 and 25.5% of those age 65 or over.

Mississippi Blues Trail

Canton is officially on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Elmore James, a blues singer and a familiar figure in Canton, learned electronics by working in a radio repair shop on Hickory Street. Canton is rich in blues history centered on the juke joints of Hickory Street, known to locals as "The Hollow", as well as other places in Canton. A Mississippi Blues Trail historic marker was placed in Canton on Hickory Street to honor the contribution of James to the development of the blues in Mississippi. Other noted blues performers associated with Canton include Grady Champion, Little Brother Montgomery, William “Do-Boy” Diamond, Boyd Rivers and Johnny Temple. Musicians include studio guitarist Bucky Barrett and the slide guitarist Sonny Landreth. Gospel singers include the Canton Spirituals and Reverend Cleophus Robinson.

In his dedication of Hickory Street, Governor Haley Barbour said,

With his innovative contributions to the electric slide guitar style, legendary Elmore

James is among the many reasons Mississippi is truly the birthplace of America’s music. Like so many others, Elmore’s work was greatly influenced by his childhood home in Canton, where he joined the ranks of musicians like B.B. King and Little Milton to play the blues on Hickory Street. Today’s blues trail marker not only recognizes the achievements of the talented Elmore James but also pays tribute to Canton’s colorful blues heritage.

In popular culture

  • 1974 Thieves Like Us
  • 1988 Mississippi Burning
  • 1996 A Time to Kill
  • 1998 Walking in Mississippi
  • 2000 My Dog Skip
  • 2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • 2001 The Ponder Heart
  • 2001 Biker Zombies from Detroit
  • 2008 Ballast
  • 2013 As I Lay Dying


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Canton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

January February March April May June
Average High in °F: 55 60 68 76 83 89
Average Low in °F: 33 36 43 50 59 67
Average Precipitation in Inch: 5.16 5 4.92 5.2 5.43 3.7
July August September October November December
Average High in °F: 92 92 87 78 67 58
Average Low in °F: 69 69 62 50 41 34
Average Precipitation in Inch: 3.82 3.58 3.46 4.02 4.72 5.59
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