Mississippi is located in the Southern United States, and is named after the mighty Mississippi River that runs through it. The name comes from the Ojibwe word "misi-ziibi," meaning "Great River." Mississippi is divided into 82 counties. Hinds County is the most heavily populated followed by Harrison, DeSoto and Rankin Counties.

The state produces the bulk of catfish consumed in the U.S., and is also the birthplace of the King himself, Elvis Presley.

Mississippi ranks 50th, or in last place, for health care in the nation. Mississippi also has the lowest personal income per capita of any state. The state was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, and suffered large losses. In spite of these statistics, Mississippians are very generous, as can be seen by their consistently high charitable contributions.

Mississippi is known for being a very conservative state. In 2009, voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. The state constitution also declares that "No person who denies the existence of a supreme being shall hold any office in this state."

Stereotypes and more
Mississippi has been plagued by stereotypes of being backwoods, illiterate racists. One day, Mississippi business man Rick Looser sat next to a ten year old boy on a flight. When the boy learned Mr. Looser was Mississippian, he asked Mr. Looser if he hated all black people and if he saw KKK on the streets everyday.

Mr. Looser was so disturbed by these preconceived notions that he started the Cirlot Agency, which is running a huge pro bono ad campaign called "Believe It" Mississippi. The campaign is aimed at educating the public about the accomplishments of Mississippians and the progress the state is making in many areas.

Crime and Punishment
Part of Mississippi history includes the use of chain gangs as a punishment for convicted felons. The gangs were subjected to hard labor in the hot Mississippi sun, and provided a strong deterrent to crime. Chain gangs are no longer used in the Mississippi correctional system, but the state has a system of punishments set up for different offenses.

Felony crimes carry longer jail sentences than do misdemeanor charges. If you are convicted of a felony in Mississippi, it will likely show up on your record for the rest of your life. With a misdemeanor, it is possible to remove the charge from your record if you follow the right steps.

DUI Laws
Mississippi DUI laws are set up to protect people from the harmful effects of drunk driving. Mississippi laws regarding driving under the influence are strict, and carry harsh penalties for offenders. If you are charged with DUI in Mississippi, talk to an attorney who can guide you through the system.

Weird Mississippi Laws
Most states have some crazy laws on their books, and Mississippi is no exception. Obviously it's illegal to lie in court, but did you know in Mississippi it's also against the law for a man to seduce to a woman by lying about claiming he will marry her. Maybe that is why The Bachelor has never been set in Mississippi.

It is also unlawful for one individual to teach another what polygamy is. So be careful what questions you answer when your kids start asking for explanations about "Sister Wives." In Tylertown, it is unlawful to shave in the middle of the street. If you are planning a trip through there, you should probably plan to keep your unwanted hair to yourself.

Mississippi Jails