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Canton, Mississippi
Madison County Courthouse in Canton
Madison County Courthouse in Canton
Location of Canton, Mississippi
Location of Canton, Mississippi
Canton, Mississippi is located in the United States
Canton, Mississippi
Canton, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Madison
 • Total 21.57 sq mi (55.87 km2)
 • Land 21.29 sq mi (55.13 km2)
 • Water 0.28 sq mi (0.74 km2)
233 ft (71 m)
 • Total 13,189
 • Estimate 
 • Density 568.14/sq mi (219.36/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%
2019 (est.) 12,094 −8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
Courthouse Square, Canton, Mississippi
Courthouse Square

2020 census

Canton Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 1,664 15.2%
Black or African American 7,988 72.96%
Native American 33 0.3%
Asian 47 0.43%
Pacific Islander 1 0.01%
Other/Mixed 234 2.14%
Hispanic or Latino 981 8.96%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 10,948 people, 4,774 households, and 2,953 families residing in the city.

2010 census

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.

The age distribution was 27.5% under the age of 18 and 10.8% 65 or older. 50.8% of the population were female.

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

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


There is a Nissan plant nearby. In 2011 Canton officials considered pursuing annexing it.


The city of Canton is served by the Canton Public School District. The city of Canton and Madison County are served by Canton Academy.

Notable people

  • Damien Lewis (American football) (1997-), NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks
  • Sister Thea Bowman (1937–1990), Roman Catholic nun (Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration)
  • The Canton Spirituals, gospel recording group
  • Homer Casteel (1879-1958), lieutenant governor from 1920 to 1924
  • Annie Bell Robinson Devine (1912–2000), civil rights activist
  • George Doherty (1920–1987), football player, Buffalo Bills
  • Scott Field (1847–1931), United States Congressman from Texas
  • Rowland Garrett (1950-), professional basketball player
  • L. C. Greenwood (1946-2013), NFL player with Pittsburgh Steelers, playing in Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV
  • Caroline Herring, folk singer
  • Elmore James (1918–1963), blues singer, slide guitarist
  • Sonny Landreth (1951-), blues guitar player
  • Ronnie Lester (1959-), University of Iowa basketball All-American, NBA player for Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers
  • Samuel Mockbee (1944–2001), architect
  • George Raymond (1943–1973), civil rights activist
  • Anne Moody (1940-2015), civil rights activist, author of Coming of Age in Mississippi, based on her work with CORE
  • Earl B. Dickerson (1891–1986), World War I veteran, first black graduate from University of Chicago Law School, civil rights attorney, argued Hansberry v. Lee before the United States Supreme Court, founding member of the American Legion
  • Rev. Cleophus Robinson (1932-1998), gospel singer
  • John Henry Rogers (1845–1911), United States Congressman from Arkansas and a federal judge, who grew up near Madison and practiced law in Canton
  • William M. Walton (1832–1915), Texas Attorney General
  • Quinndary Weatherspoon (1996-), NBA player

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Canton (Misisipi) para niños

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