Yazoo City, Mississippi. Editorial credit: Chad Robertson Media / Shutterstock.com

Yazoo City, Mississippi

Yazoo City is a small city and seat of Yazoo County situated in the west-central part of the US State of Mississippi. The city serves as the principal city of the Yazoo City Micropolitan Statistical Area and was named by the French explorer Robert La Salle as “Riviere des Yazous” in reference to the Yazoo tribe that lived in the area. At present, the most important industry in Yazoo City is a group of federal prisons.

Geography Of Yazoo City 

Welcome Sign to Yazoo City, Mississippi
Welcome Sign to Yazoo City, Mississippi. Editorial credit: Chad Robertson Media / Shutterstock.com

Yazoo City is located around 64 km northwest of Jackson, the capital of the US State of Mississippi, on the banks of the Yazoo River, close to the Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The city has access to two bridges crossing the Yazoo River and is near Wolf Lake. Yazoo City is also known as the “Gateway to the Delta” because of its location as the western portion lies in the Mississippi Delta. The eastern part lies in the loess bluffs that characterize most of the eastern Mississippi. According to the United States Census Bureau, Yazoo City has a total area of 28 sq. km, of which 28 sq. km is occupied by land and only 0.26 sq. km is covered by water.

The Climate Of Yazoo City 

The climate of Yazoo City 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, with springs and summers being the wettest seasons. Summers are wet, and high temperatures can lead to warm, oppressive nights. The coldest month is usually relatively mild, and winter precipitation is derived primarily from frontal cyclones along the polar front. In Yazoo City, the average temperature for the year is 18.3°C. The warmest month, on average, is July, with an average temperature of 27.8°C. The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 8.3°C. Most precipitation, on average, occurs in March, while most rain occurs in January and the least rain occurs in September.

The Population Of Yazoo City 

Colorful homes in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Joseph/Flickr.com

In 2020, Yazoo City was home to a population of 10,734 with a median age of 31.4 and a population density of 426.58 people per square km. The city's population has decreased by -5.87% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 11,043 people in 2010. Most people in Yazoo City are Black or African Americans. In fact, there were 7.37 times more Black or African American residents in the city than any other race or ethnicity in 2019. The largest ethnic groups in Yazoo City are Black or African Americans representing 85.39% of the city’s population, followed by non-Hispanic White at 11.73%, and Tow or more races at 1.55%. The minor ethnic groups in the city are the Hispanic community making up to 1.12% of the population, followed by Asians at 0.14%, and Native Americans at 0.06%. Nearly all Yazoo City residents are U.S. citizens, and as of 2019, only 0.69% of the residents were born outside the country. The most common birthplace for foreign-born residents of Mississippi is Mexico, then comes India, followed by Vietnam.

The Economy Of Yazoo City

Yazoo city

The median household income in Yazoo City is $24,688, which represents a 3% annual growth as it was $23,970 in 2018. Although the income inequality (measure using the Gini index) is 0.455, which is lower than the national average, males have an average income that is 1.4 times higher than the average income of females. The economy of Yazoo City employs around 3,400 people of the city in different industries. The largest industries in the city are Manufacturing, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Public Administration, while the highest paying ones are Construction, Federal prisons, and Manufacturing.

Brief History Of Yazoo City 

The Choctaw Nation sold their northwestern lands, including the area where Yazoo City was to be located, to the United States government by the 1820 Treaty of Doak’s Stand. In 1823, the Mississippi Legislature created Yazoo County, and it was opened for White and African Americans to move in and settle. The city was founded as a planned community in 1826. It was called Manchester and renamed for the Yazoo Indians in 1839. Yazoo City became the county seat in 1848.

During the Civil War, the city suffered severe damage caused by the conflicts between the Union troops and Federal forces. Yazoo City was rebuilt, but yellow fever struck the city and took more victims in 1878. In May of 1904, a fire destroyed much of central city, and later in 1927, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 struck the whole Delta causing damage, but Yazoo City was restored. The state’s first oil field was discovered nearby in 1939. A federal prison was built in the 1990s, contributing significantly to the economy.

Tourist Attractions In Yazoo City 

Main Street

One of Yazoo City’s outstanding features is the colorful block of Main Street, where the Main Street Hotel stands right amid colorful blocks.

Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Yazoo City is the nearest city to the Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1978, it is one of the seven refuges in the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi. The refuge encompasses more than 156 sq. km and includes one of the most significant blocks of bottomland forest and is home to natural willow, water oaks, and other 200 species of neotropical migratory songbirds. It provides habitat for American alligators, whitetail deer, swamp rabbit, wild turkey, and many more.

Sam Olden Yazoo Historical Society Museum

Visitors can enjoy a trip to the Sam Olden Yazoo Historical Society Museum. Located in the Triangle Cultural Center in Yazoo City, the museum brings together the County’s diverse past displaying fossils dating back some 45,000 years ago to Native American relics. The museum features exhibits from the Civil War, introduces African American History, and the legendary trainman Casey Jones.

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