Gulfport, Mississippi

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Gulfport, Mississippi
City of Gulfport
Highway sign along U.S. Route 90
Highway sign along U.S. Route 90
Motto: Where Your Ship Comes In
Location of Gulfport in the State of Mississippi
Location of Gulfport in the State of Mississippi
Coordinates: 30°24′6″N 89°4′34″W / 30.40167°N 89.07611°W / 30.40167; -89.07611Coordinates: 30°24′6″N 89°4′34″W / 30.40167°N 89.07611°W / 30.40167; -89.07611
Country United States
IncorporatedJuly 28, 1898
 • TypeMayor, 7 Member Council
 • MayorBilly Hewes
 • City166.4 km2 (64.2 sq mi)
 • Land147.4 km2 (56.9 sq mi)
 • Water19.0 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
Elevation6 m (20 ft)
Population (2012)
 • City70,113 (US: 475th)
 • Density459/km2 (1,191/sq mi)
 • Urban208,948 (US: 175th)
 • Metro379,582 (US: 138th)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes39501-39503, 39505-39507
Area code(s)228
FIPS code28-29700
GNIS feature ID0670771
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Gulfport, Mississippi
City of Gulfport
Highway sign along U.S. Route 90
Highway sign along U.S. Route 90
Motto: Where Your Ship Comes In
Location of Gulfport in the State of Mississippi
Location of Gulfport in the State of Mississippi
Coordinates: 30°24′6″N 89°4′34″W / 30.40167°N 89.07611°W / 30.40167; -89.07611Coordinates: 30°24′6″N 89°4′34″W / 30.40167°N 89.07611°W / 30.40167; -89.07611
Country United States
IncorporatedJuly 28, 1898
 • TypeMayor, 7 Member Council
 • MayorBilly Hewes
 • City166.4 km2 (64.2 sq mi)
 • Land147.4 km2 (56.9 sq mi)
 • Water19.0 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
Elevation6 m (20 ft)
Population (2012)
 • City70,113 (US: 475th)
 • Density459/km2 (1,191/sq mi)
 • Urban208,948 (US: 175th)
 • Metro379,582 (US: 138th)
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes39501-39503, 39505-39507
Area code(s)228
FIPS code28-29700
GNIS feature ID0670771

Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area,[1] which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city of Gulfport had a total population of 69,220. Gulfport is co-county seat with Biloxi of Harrison County, Mississippi. Gulfport is also home to the US Navy Atlantic Fleet Seabees.[2]


Gulfport was incorporated on July 28, 1898. Gulfport was founded by two men: William H. Hardy[3] who was president of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad (G&SIRR) that connected inland lumber mills to the coast, and Joseph T. Jones who later took over the G&SIRR, dredged the harbor in Gulfport, and opened the shipping channel to the sea. In 1902, the harbor was completed and the Port of Gulfport became a working seaport that now accounts for millions of dollars in annual sales and tax revenue for the state of Mississippi.

Steamer loading resin in Gulfport, 1906

From its beginnings as a lumber port, Gulfport evolved into a diversified city. With about 6.7 miles (10.7 kilometers) of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfport has become a tourism destination, due in large part to Mississippi's Coast Casinos. Gulfport has served as host to popular cultural events such as the "World's Largest Fishing Rodeo," "Cruisin' the Coast" (a week of classic cars), and "Smokin' the Sound" (speedboat races). Gulfport is a thriving residential community with a strong mercantile center. There are historic neighborhoods and home sites, as well as diverse shopping opportunities and several motels scattered throughout to accommodate golfing, gambling, and water-sport tourism.

In 1910, the U.S. Post Office and Customhouse was built. The Gulfport Post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.[4]

In March 1916, Mayor George M. Foote announced that the Andrew Carnegie Corporation was going to place a Carnegie Library[5] in Gulfport.

On August 17, 1969 Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Camille. By central pressure, Camille was the second strongest U.S. land falling hurricane in recorded history. The area of total destruction in Harrison County, Mississippi was 68 square miles (180 km2).[11] The total estimated cost of damage was $1.42 billion (1969 USD, $9 billion 2012 USD).[12] This made Camille the second-most expensive hurricane in the United States, up to that point (behind Hurricane Betsy).[13] The storm directly killed 143 people along Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

In December 1993, the City annexed 33 square miles (85 km2) north of Gulfport making it the second largest city in Mississippi.

On August 29, 2005, Gulfport was hit by the strong east side of Hurricane Katrina, and much of Gulfport was flooded or destroyed (see details below). Much of Gulfport was also severely damaged by Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969.

Geography and Climate[edit]

Gulfport is located at 30°24'6" North, 89°4'34" W (30.401641, −89.076169).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 64.2 sq mi (166.4 km2), of which 56.9 sq mi (147.4 km2) is land and 7.3 sq mi (19.0 km2) (11.40%) is water.

Gulfport, Mississippi (map center) is east of Long Beach, west of Biloxi, along the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulfport has a humid subtropical climate, which is strongly moderated by the Gulf of Mexico. Winters are short and generally warm, cold spells do occur, but seldom last long. Snow flurries are rare in the city, with no notable accumulation occurring most years. Summers are generally long, hot and humid, though the city's proximity to the Gulf prevents extreme summer highs, as seen farther inland. Gulfport is subject to extreme weather, most notably tropical storm activity through the Gulf of Mexico.

Climate data for Gulfport, Mississippi (Gulfport-Biloxi Int'l), 1981–2010 normals
Average high °F (°C)60.9
Average low °F (°C)41.6
Precipitation inches (mm)2.68
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 In)
Source: NOAA[7]


Historical population
Est. 201270,1133.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2012 Estimate[9]

According to the census of 2010, there were 69,220 people residing in the city. The population density was 1,191.4 people per square mile (459.9/km²). The city had 50,825 or 74.97% of its population at the age of 18 and above. The racial makeup of the city was 56.86% White, 36.07% African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.69% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 2.13% from other races, and 2.73% from two or more races. Results show that 5.19% of the population was Hispanic/Latino of any race.

There were 31,602 housing units at an average density of 555.4 per square mile (214.4/km²). The city had 83.24% of housing units occupied. There were an average of 2.57 persons living in each occupied housing unit.

Comparing the 2000 and 2010 Census, the population of the city went down while the total number of housing units rose. This can be attributed to Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed housing and displaced people. New housing development has continued with a mixture of redevelopment from hurricane damage, though not all of the displaced population returned.

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,943 households out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.07.

In Gulfport, the population dispersal was 26.0% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $32,779, and the median income for a family was $39,213. Males had a median income of $29,220 versus $21,736 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,554. 17.7% of the population and 14.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 13.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Gulfport is the location of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. The airport suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Katrina. A major renovation project is for the most part completed and it has resumed commercial air service. New airlines are being regularly added.


Upstairs in Gulfport Public Library

The City of Gulfport is served by the Gulfport School District and the Harrison County School District. The Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is also located in Gulfport.[10]

Before Hurricane Katrina, William Carey University had a satellite campus in Gulfport, but in 2009, the University moved to their new Tradition Campus, constructed off Mississippi Highway 67 in north Harrison County.[11]

The Gulf Park Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi is located in Long Beach, just west of Gulfport. In 2012, repairs and renovations to campus buildings were still in progress following devastation by Hurricane Katrina.[12]


President Gerald Ford visited Gulfport during his 1976 reelection campaign.

Gulfport Police[edit]

The Gulfport Police Department has 201 sworn personnel and 92 civilian staff to serve the city.

U.S. Coast Guard[edit]

The U.S. Coast Guard operates 7 boats out of the port of Gulfport 2 of which are Patrol Boats. The Gulfport station has 110 members which include Active, Reserve and Coast Guard Auxiliary who respond to an average of 300 search and rescue cases annually.


Top employers[edit]

According to Gulfport's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the top employers in the city were:

#Employer# of Employees
1Naval Construction Battalion Center5,800
2Memorial Hospital2,894
3Harrison County School District1,649
4Mississippi Power1,253
5Island View Casino1,188
6Gulfport School District900
7Hancock Bank864
8Huntington Ingalls Industries730
9City of Gulfport605


Gulfport's local newspaper is The Sun Herald. It is also served by two television stations, the ABC affiliate WLOX and CBS on WLOX-DT2, the Fox affiliate WXXV, and WXXV Digital signal on Channel 25.2 as NBC 25 NBC affiliate. There are also seven radio stations in the Gulfport area.[14]

Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport/ ANG base[edit]


Gulfport/Biloxi and the Gulf Coast area is served by the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Scheduled passenger service[edit]


State and Federal Law Enforcement[edit]

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Damage to Marine Life Oceanarium and Casinos at port facility

On August 29, 2005, Gulfport was hit by the strong eastern side of Hurricane Katrina. Much of the city was flooded or destroyed in one day by the strong, hurricane-force winds which lasted over 16 hours and a storm surge exceeding 28 feet (9 m) in some sections.[15]

Hurricane Katrina damaged over 40 Mississippi libraries, gutting the Gulfport Public Library, first floor, and breaking windows on the second floor, beyond repair, requiring total reconstruction.[16]

The Sun Herald newspaper in Biloxi-Gulfport, under the executive editor Stanley R. Tiner, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in journalism for its Katrina coverage.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jefferson Davis Campus
  11. ^ William Carey University, Tradition Campus
  12. ^ USM, Gulf Park Campus
  13. ^ City of Gulfport CAFR
  14. ^ "Radio Stations in Gulfport MS". Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  15. ^ Gary Tuchman, Transcript of "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" (2006-08-29) 19:00 ET, CNN, web: CNN-ACooper082906: GARY TUCHMAN, CNN Correspondent: Responds to Anderson Cooper that it felt like it would never end, saying winds were at least 100 miles per hour in Gulfport for seven hours, between about 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For another five or six hours, on each side of that, they [Gulfport] had hurricane-force winds over 75 miles per hour; much of the city [Gulfport, Mississippi, in Harrison County] of 71,000 was then under water.
  16. ^ "Hurricane Katrina Related Damages to Public Libraries in Mississippi" (September 2005), Mississippi Library Commission, web:ALA-Katrina.
  17. ^ "The city of Gulfport honors Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf". WLOX13. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi Dixie Press, 1935, p. 135
  19. ^ Reagan appointee
  20. ^ William Joel Blass Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  21. ^ "Timmy Bowers". NBA Development League. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Rod Davis". Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Brett Favre". Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Hardy (William H. and Sallie J.) Papers". The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Josh Hayes". AMA Pro Racing. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  26. ^ University of Mississippi News: Attorney Boyce Holleman Remembered By Sons with $100,000 Gift to Law School Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  27. ^ Port of Gulfport (USA) / Mississippi State Port Authority (ID: 36200). Port of Gulfport (USA). p. 2. 
  28. ^ "Matt Lawton Stats". AMA Pro Racing. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  29. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Challenging the Status Quo: Rubel Lex Phillips and the Mississippi Republican Party (1963-1967)", The Journal of Mississippi History XLVII, November 1985, No. 4, p. 240-264
  30. ^ "Brittney Reese". USA Tack & Field. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  31. ^ "STUART ALLEN ROOSA (COLONEL, USAF, RET.)". NASA. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  32. ^ "#12 Tiffany Travis". University Athletic Assoc., Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Natasha Trethewey". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Tim Young". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]