Belzoni is a small city located in Humphreys County in the US State of Mississippi. It is the county seat of Humphreys County and was named after the 19th-century Italian archaeologist and explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni. The area Belzoni is located in was named "Farm-Raised Catfish Capital of the World" in 1976, and Belzoni is known for the World Catfish Festival held every April. The main attractions in Belzoni are museums such as the Catfish Museum and Jaketown Museum, which contains artifacts of nearby Native Americans.
Geography and Climate of Belzoni
The city of Belzoni is situated in the Mississippi Delta region on the Yazoo River. According to the United States Census Bureau, it has a total area of 2.6 sq. km, all of which is occupied by land.
The climate of Belzoni is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen climate classification, the city experiences a humid subtropical climate. Summers are usually wetter than winters and the average temperature for the year is 18°C. The warmest month, on average, is July, with an average temperature of 27.9°C, and the coolest month is January, with an average temperature of 7.1°C.
The Population of Belzoni
In 2020, Belzoni was home to a population of 1,774 people with a median age of 42 and a population density of 725 people per square km. The city's population has decreased by -20.63% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 2,235 in 2010. In 2019, there were 4.54 times more Black or African American residents in Belzoni than any other race or ethnicity. The largest ethnic groups in the city are Black or African Americans making up to 77.89% of the city’s population, followed by non-Hispanic White at 17.15%, and then Hispanic other races at 4.96%. In 2019, 96% of the city’s population were U.S. residents, and 4.96% of the residents were born outside of the country. The most common birthplace for foreign-born residents of Mississippi is Mexico, followed by India and Vietnam.
The Economy of Belzoni
The median household income in Belzoni is $38,210, which is less than the median annual income of $65,712 across the entire United States. Although the median household income has increased by 8.1% between 2018 and 2019, the city is declining at a rate of -2.58% annually. The economy of Belzoni employs only 767 people in different industries, with the largest ones being Health Care & Social Assistance, Construction, and Retail Trade. The highest paying industries are Transportation & Warehousing, Agriculture & Forestry, and Fishing & Hunting.
Brief History of Belzoni
The Yazoo River was the main transportation route until replaced by railroads. Along the riverbank, there was a town called “Greasy Row,” which eventually would be Belzoni. A charter was granted for the village of Belzoni in 1895, which was developed for cotton plantations before the Civil War. It relied on agriculture well into the 20th century. Steve Castleman was the one who secured the charter and was elected as the first mayor of the town. In 1918, Humphreys County was formed by the State Legislature, and Belzoni was selected as the county seat.