Itta Bena

Itta Bena, Mississippi

Itta Bena is a city located near the Yazoo River in Leflore County, in the US State of Mississippi. The city's name has been derived from the Choctaw phrase “iti bina,” which means “forest camp.” The city developed as a trading center of an area of cotton plantation and is now part of the Greenwood, Mississippi micropolitan area. Situated at an elevation of 40 m above sea level, Itta Bena covers a total area of 3.9 sq. km, of which 3.6 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.10 sq. km is occupied by water.

The Population of Itta Bena

Itta Bena is home to a population of 1719 people with a median age of 37.8 and a population density of 476 people per sq. km. The population has decreased by -16.11% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 2,049 people in 2010. The majority of the population in Itta Bena are Black or African Americans, accounting for 90% of the city’s population, non-Hispanic White at 8.74% and two or more races at 1.10%. 

The Economy of Itta Bena

The average household income in Itta Bena is $17,210, which is less than the median annual income of $65,712 across the United States. The city is currently at a declining rate of -1.72% annually and has a poverty rate of 49.29%. The economy of Itta Bena employs only 415 people in different industries such as Manufacturing, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Educational Services. The highest paying industries in the city are Transportation & Warehousing and Educational Services.

Brief History of Itta Bena 

In 1846, a couple of families traveled up the Yazoo River from Claiborne County in South Mississippi to look for rich and fertile farmland. The families found the area, which later would be Itta Bena, and developed a viable lifestyle on their plantations, with cotton and corn serving as their chief crops. Once the Civil War began, some local men developed a company in Itta Bena named the Sunflower Guards and traveled by the Yazoo River above Sheppard Town. As the village grew rapidly, the Georgia Pacific Railroad purchased land that passed directly through the plantation in 1888. In the same year, a school was constructed, and the construction of a railway was completed in 1889. As a result, more people came to the area, and the stores and streets were built. The town of Itta Bena was officially incorporated in August 1898. Although the train depot no longer stands as a central post for the city nowadays, the train still travels directly through the downtown district. The city of Itta Bena is still known as a primarily agricultural area and is working towards becoming a “College Town” with Mississippi Valley State University located within the city limits.

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