## Encyclopedia > Meridian, Mississippi

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# Meridian, Mississippi

Meridian is a city located in Lauderdale County, Mississippi of which it is the county seat. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 39,968.

History Meridian was founded in 1854 at crossing point of the Mobile & Ohio railroad line by the Vicksburg & Montgomery railroad line; originally known as Sowashee Station, and officially incorporated as Meridian in 1860.

The town was burned in 1864 by General William Tecumseh Sherman.

By 1900 the population of Meridian was approximately 25,000 people.

Geography Meridian is located at 32°22'29" North, 88°42'15" West (32.374841, -88.704160)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 118.8 km² (45.9 mi²). 116.9 km² (45.1 mi²) of it is land and 1.9 km² (0.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.64% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 39,968 people, 15,966 households, and 10,026 families residing in the city. The population density is 342.0/km² (885.9/mi²). There are 17,890 housing units at an average density of 153.1/km² (396.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 43.99% White, 54.37% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 15,966 households out of which 31.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% are married couples living together, 23.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% are non-families. 33.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.06.

In the city the population is spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 77.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $25,085, and the median income for a family is$31,062. Males have a median income of $29,404 versus$19,702 for females. The per capita income for the city is \$15,255. 28.6% of the population and 24.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 40.8% are under the age of 18 and 22.0% are 65 or older.

Sites of Interest The city's Grand Opera House is remarkable for being preserved little changed from when it opened in 1890.

Meridian was the birthplace of early country music star Jimmie Rodgers. Highland Park houses a Jimmie Rodgers Museum, as well as a 19th century carousel.

External Links City of Meridian website (http://www.meridianms.org/)

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