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Mississippi Gulf Coast facts for kids

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Mississippi Gulf Coast
Locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Clockwise from top: Ingalls Shipbuilding, the Biloxi Beach, the Dantzler House, Beauvoir, the Beau Rivage Casino, the Bay Saint Louis Bridge, the USM Gulf Park, the Hard Rock Casino Biloxi, and Saint John's Epispocal Church
The Coast
Location of MS Gulf Coast
Location of coastal counties in Mississippi. Red counties are included in Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula MSA. Blue county is included in the geographical area below the 31st parallel.
 • Total 2,764,358 acre (1,118,696 ha)
 • Length 80 mi (130 km)
 • Width 55 mi (89 km)
 (April 1, 2010)
 • Total 370,702
 • Estimate 
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 228

The Mississippi Gulf Coast, also known as the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, Coastal Mississippi, or simply The Coast, is the area of southern Mississippi along the Mississippi Sound along the Gulf of Mexico.


The term has traditionally referred to the three counties that lie directly on the Gulf of Mexico within the state: Hancock County, Harrison County, and Jackson County.

The U. S. Census Bureau divided the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2003, which previously had been the three coastal counties, into two MSA's that included two additional counties.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there was considerable out-migration from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans into more inland areas.

Thus, in the present day the Mississippi Gulf Coast region is generally considered to include the next tier of counties to the north of the original three also: Pearl River County, Stone County and George County.

Populated places

Although the broad reference is to an entire region of Mississippi, in regards to towns, the "Mississippi Gulf Coast" term is most commonly used to refer to those settlements that are either directly on the coastline or the shores of its bays.
They include, from west to east:


The Biloxi people lived in the region at least as early as 1699. French settlers under Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville built Fort Maurepas ("Old Biloxi"), which served as the administrative capital of French Louisiana until 1719. A confederate base on Ship Island was seized during the American Civil War. In the 20th Century, Keesler Air Force Base would bring development to the region. Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 brought historic destruction to the Gulf Coast.


As of May 2019, there are 122 K-12 schools spread across 15 school districts, which serve students in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

In addition, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offers associate degree and career programs. The University of Southern Mississippi has a branch located in Long Beach, Mississippi which offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

District Achievement Rating Number of Schools
Harrison County School District B 20
Hancock County School District B 6
Pearl River County School District B 4
George County School District B 8
Stone County School District B 4
Jackson County School District B 13
Gulfport School District B 10
Biloxi Public School District A 8
Ocean Springs School District A 6
Picayune School District C 9
Pascagoula-Gautier School District B 17
Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District C 4
Long Beach School District A 5
Pass Christian Public School District A 4
Moss Point Separate School District D 4

Notable people

Images for kids

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