Redistricting Process: Legislative Population Change (since 2000): 122,639
Legislature: Republican Seats: 4
Governor: Phil Bryant (R) Members of Congress: 3R, 1D
Party Control: Republican 2012: 43.5% Obama, 55.5% Romney

Map Instructions:

Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
Click on each district on the map to see more information.
Click the arrow button to switch between districts that are close together.
New Districts by Party Representation

2010 Redistricting Changes:

2010 Redistricting Analysis: Mississippi Hangs On to Its Four Seats
Old Districts by Partisan Voting Index with New District Outlines
Old Districts by Party Representation with New District Outlines

Population and Demographic Shifts

Between 2000 and 2010, Mississippi’s population grew by a paltry 4.3%, or 122,639 people, compared to national growth of 9.7%. Surprisingly, however, Mississippi did not lose a district following the 2010 redistricting process, despite having lower growth than Iowa, Missouri, and New Jersey; states that all lost seats in this cycle.

Mississippi’s low population growth can largely be attributed to the decrease in the state’s Caucasian population, which fell from comprising 61.4% of the state’s total population to 59.1% over the decade. By contrast, most of the state’s population growth comes from a 6.2% and 105.9% increase in the Black and Hispanic populations, respectively.

Mississippi is a largely rural state. There are only three cities, Jackson, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg, that have over 50,000 residents. Both Jackson and Gulfport experienced population declines of around 5%, and Hattiesburg had a population increase of only 2.7%. The counties that experienced huge population growth are those that are included in a larger city’s metropolitan area. DeSoto County, for instance, grew by 50.4% in the past decade, which is largely attributed to its proximity to Memphis, Tennessee. By contrast, largely rural and agricultural counties, such as Issaquena, Sharkey, and Jefferson Counties have had large population declines.

The Redistricting Process

In Mississippi, the Joint Reapportionment Committee (JRC), a bipartisan commission made up of 19 Mississippi State House and Senate members, is responsible for redistricting. There were eight Democrats and one Republican on the House committee, and four Democrats and six Republicans on the Senate committee. However, because Mississippi holds its gubernatorial and legislative elections on off years, the JRC was legally mandated to complete its task in the short time between the release of the US Census data and November of 2011, the date of the elections.

The JRC did not start the process of Congressional redistricting until late April, 2011, and could not complete its maps by the defacto deadline of the end of the legislative session. As the beginning of the new legislative session was a mere 10 days before the filing deadline for congressional candidates, state legislators filed papers requesting a panel of federal judges redraw the congressional districts. The court’s plan, released on December 20, 2011, became the new congressional maps for Mississippi. Because federal judges drew the districts, the state could hold its elections in 2012 without requesting pre-clearance from the United States Department of Justice. The new congressional districts are largely the same as the previous decade’s districts, except that the number of split counties has been reduced from eight to four.

First District

The First is based in northeastern Mississippi. It is bounded by Tennessee and Alabama to the north. Its western border runs along the west of DeSoto to Winston County. Its southern border goes from Lowndes County, cuts through parts of Oktibbeha County, and then turns south towards Winston County. The district is largely the same as it was before, with the exception of the fact that the western border has been moved slightly to the east. Additionally, Winston County has been newly added to the district. The First is anchored by the cities of Columbus, Tupelo, and Oxford.

Second District

The Second District is a majority-minority district, which means that minorities make up the majority of the district’s population. Currently, the Second is 64.62% Black, which makes it the only majority-minority district in the state. The Second district has been left largely unchanged through the redistricting process, with the exception of a eastern border that has been pushed further to the east. The district’s eastern border now runs along Tunica and Leake county lines. The district’s most important cities are Cleveland, Clarksdale, Canton, and Hazlehurst.

Third District

The Mississippi Third is in south-central Mississippi, and is anchored by Jackson, Meridian, and McComb. Its northern border runs between Adams County and Noxubee County, with slight deviations into Madison and Oktibbeha Counties. These deviations are represented by extensions to surround the cities of Starkville and Madison. The Mississippi Third has remained largely the same as it was before, with slight changes along the southern border to include Covington County.

The district that has a Cook PVI rating of R+15.

Fourth District

The Mississippi Fourth occupies the coastal and southern portion of the state. Its southern border is the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern border is Alabama, and the northwestern border runs along Marion, Lamar, Forrest, Jones, Wayne, and parts of Clarke County. The Fourth is much the same as before, with the exception that the split counties that previously formed the district’s northern border have been fully apportioned to the Third and the Fourth districts respectively. The district is anchored by the cities of Laurel, Hattiesburg, Gulfport, and Biloxi.

The Mississippi Fourth is the most Republican district in the state, with a Cook PVI rating of R+20.