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Ocean Springs, Mississippi
City of Ocean Springs
Official seal of Ocean Springs, Mississippi
City of Discovery
Location of Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Location of Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Ocean Springs, Mississippi is located in the United States
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Jackson
Unofficially incorporated (settlement) April, 1699
Incorporated (village) 1843
Incorporated (city) September 9, 1892
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Total 15.21 sq mi (39.38 km2)
 • Land 11.55 sq mi (29.92 km2)
 • Water 3.66 sq mi (9.47 km2)
23 ft (7 m)
 • Total 17,442
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,546.49/sq mi (597.09/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 228
FIPS code 28-53520
GNIS feature ID 0675137

Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Biloxi and west of Gautier. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 U.S. Census. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Ocean Springs had a population of 17,442.

The town has a reputation as an arts community. The town was voted as a top 10 Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015. Its historic and secluded down town area, with streets lined by live oak trees, is home to several art galleries and shops. It is also home to a number of ethnic restaurants relatively uncommon in surrounding communities.

Ocean Springs was the home town of the late Walter Inglis Anderson, a nationally renowned painter and muralist who died in 1965 from lung cancer. The town plays host to several festivals, including its Peter Anderson Festival and The Herb Festival.

Ocean Springs was severely damaged on August 29, 2005, by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed many buildings along the shoreline, including the Ocean Springs Yacht Club, and the wooden replica of Fort Maurepas, and gutted or flooded other buildings. Katrina's 28 ft (8.5 m) storm surge also destroyed the Biloxi Bay Bridge, which connected Biloxi to Ocean Springs.


Ocean Springs shrimp boats in 2008

The settlement of Fort Maurepas or Old Biloxi, in colonial French Louisiana (New France), began in April 1699 at present-day Ocean Springs, under the authority of King Louis XIV, as Fort Maurepas by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. It was the first permanent French outpost in French Louisiana and was established as a foothold to prevent Spanish encroachment on France's colonial claims. The site was maintained well into the early 18th century.

The name Ocean Springs was coined by Dr. William Glover Austin in 1854. He believed the local springs had healing qualities. Ocean Springs became a prosperous resort town and after several years reinvented itself as a historically-oriented residential community. The history of the town is celebrated annually in reenactments depicting d'Iberville's landing near a replica of Fort Maurepas.

From colonial times to present day, seafood has been celebrated. The abundance of seafood allowed French and French-Canadian explorers and settlers to thrive within the Fort Maurepas/Old Biloxi area. In the late nineteenth century, the development of ice plant industries along the coast increased seafood sales. Locals and tourists can still purchase freshly harvested shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters to this day because of this thriving industry.

Ocean Springs was in the international spotlight following Hurricane Katrina's landfall on August 29, 2005. The city, part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast directly hit by the storm, sustained significant damage. The Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge, part of Highway 90 along the beach, was destroyed and was a widely broadcast visual testament to the hurricane's impact.

Biloxi Bay Bridge

FEMA - 37537 - Biloxi Bay Bridge in Mississippi
Biloxi Bay Bridge, post-Hurricane Katrina, opened in 2007

Hurricane Katrina's 28-foot (8.5 m) storm surge destroyed the Biloxi Bay Bridge, which connected Biloxi to Ocean Springs. The bridge was completed in 1962, and damaged in 1969 by Hurricane Camille. The Biloxi Bay Bridge replaced the aging War Memorial Bridge which opened in 1930. As of 2007, the majority of the bridge's remains have been removed via cranes based on barges located next to the bridge debris. The bridge ruins, capturing the breathtaking results of the force of Hurricane Katrina, had become a popular spot of photographers both professional and amateur. The construction for the new bridge was completed in April 2008. The new Biloxi Bay Bridge is 95' in height at its main span, and supports six lanes of traffic. Two lanes of the six-lane bridge opened November 1, 2007. The new bridge has a curving roadway due to the implemented design-build process. In order to speed the process of rebuilding, the main body of the bridge was moved outside of the previous bridge's debris area. The landing points for each side of U.S. Route 90 correspond with the previous bridge.

Geography and climate

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39 km2), of which 11.6 square miles (30 km2) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) (23.57%) is water. The city is classified as having a subtropical climate. This has a hot humid monsoon season beginning in late spring and ending in Early Autumn with frequent common afternoon and evening thunderstorms with torrential downpours thunderstorms usually don't last long but can be strong or even severe. The area is also prone to Tropical Cyclones such as tropical depressions tropical storms and hurricanes. Autumns are cool to warm as well as Spring's being cool to warm. Winters typically are warm with cool spells. Cool spells are accompanied with strong Northerly dry winds which are unexpectedly chilly but do not typically last more than just a couple or few days. Summers are consistently hot and humid both day and night with high temperatures usually in the low nineties and low temperatures oftentimes just barely below 80 degrees.

Climate data for Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
Average high °F (°C) 60
Average low °F (°C) 45
Record low °F (°C) 10
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.07
Ocean Springs, Mississippi (right center) is east of Biloxi, west of Gautier, along the Gulf of Mexico


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 560
1880 849 51.6%
1890 1,148 35.2%
1900 1,255 9.3%
1910 1,478 17.8%
1920 1,732 17.2%
1930 1,663 −4.0%
1940 1,881 13.1%
1950 3,058 62.6%
1960 5,025 64.3%
1970 9,580 90.6%
1980 14,504 51.4%
1990 13,327 −8.1%
2000 17,225 29.2%
2010 17,442 1.3%
2019 (est.) 17,862 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Ocean Springs racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 14,415 78.22%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,331 7.22%
Native American 64 0.35%
Asian 561 3.04%
Pacific Islander 7 0.04%
Other/Mixed 980 5.32%
Hispanic or Latino 1,071 5.81%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 18,429 people, 6,639 households, and 4,423 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 17,442 people, 6,393 households, and 4,717 families residing within the city. The population density was 1,513.5 people per square mile. There were 7,814 housing units at an average density of 678.3 per square mile. The ethnic makeup of the city was 85.4% White, 7.4% African American, 0.40% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.

Of the 6,393 households, 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households had householders living alone, and 12.5% consisted of someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 5.6% under the age of 5, 6.7% from 10 to 14, 6.6% from 15 to 19, 4.8% from 20 to 24, 5.1% from 25 to 29, 11.8% from 30 to 39, 15.4% from 40 to 49, 14.8% from 50 to 59, 11.1% from 60 to 69, and 11.6% from 70 and above. The median age was 42.1 years.

The median income for a household in Ocean Springs was $59,516, and the per capita income was $33,107. About 9.7% of the population was below the poverty line.


A pelican in Ocean Springs

Ocean Springs is served by the Ocean Springs School District.

Elementary schools

  • Pecan Park Elementary School
  • Oak Park Elementary School
  • Magnolia Park Elementary School
  • Ocean Springs Upper Elementary

Middle schools

  • Ocean Springs Middle School

High schools

  • Ocean Springs High School

Alternative schools

  • E. H. Keys Alternative School

The 3-D School, Gulf Coast Campus- A special-purpose school for children with dyslexia.

Notable people

  • James McConnell Anderson, artist
  • Peter Anderson, artist and potter
  • Walter Inglis Anderson, Artist
  • Garrett Crochet, Major League Baseball player
  • Alvin Endt, Mississippi legislator and educator
  • Jeremy England, member of the Mississippi State Senate
  • Ellen Gilchrist, author
  • Raúl González, professional soccer player
  • Jeffrey Guice, Mississippi legislator
  • Gordon Gunter, scientist
  • Eric L. Harry, lawyer and writer
  • Osborne Helveston, former football player
  • Jai Johanny Johanson, musician
  • Brett Leland McLaughlin, Golden Globe nominated songwriter
  • Connie Moran, former mayor of Ocean Springs
  • Jeremiah Joseph O'Keefe, businessman, Mississippi state legislator, and mayor of Ocean Springs
  • Laurin Pepper, football player and former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Luke Stewart, musician
  • Stephen Whiting, United States Space Force lieutenant general. First commander of the Space Operations Command
  • Al Young, educator and writer
A view of Biloxi Bay and the new Biloxi Bay Bridge from Fort Maurepas State Park in Ocean Springs, 2013
A view of Biloxi Bay and the new Biloxi Bay Bridge from Fort Maurepas State Park in Ocean Springs, 2013

See also

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