Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River"). Mississippi is the 32nd most extensive and the 31st most populous of the 50 United States. The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area, which was cleared for cotton cultivation in the 19th century. Today, its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. The state symbol is the magnolia grandiflora tree.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Mississippi's total state product in 2010 was $98 billion.Per capita personal income in 2006 was $26,908, the lowest per capita personal income of any state, but the state also has the nation's lowest living costs. Although the state has one of the lowest per capita income rates in the United States, Mississippians consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions. A 2009 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Mississippi as having the 19th best economic outlook of all U.S. states.
Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the fifth-wealthiest state in the nation, its wealth generated by cotton plantations along the rivers.Slaves were then counted as property and the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their value. A majority – 55 percent – of the population of Mississippi was enslaved in 1860.Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were undeveloped and the state had low population overall.
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