Pascagoula is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi. The population of the area as of 2019 was estimated to be 21,699. It serves as the county seat for Jackson County. The current mayor is Steve Demetropoulos.
The name Pascagoula is taken from the Pascagoula, a group of Native Americans who lived in villages near the mouth of this river. The name "Pascagoula" is derived from the Native American word meaning “bread eater." The first Europeans to settle in Pascagoula were Jean Baptiste Baudreau Dit Graveline, Joseph Simon De La Pointe and his aunt, Madame Chaumont. The region around Pascagoula changed hands over the next century, being occupied by various English, French and Spanish forces until well after the American Revolutionary War. It did not come into permanent possession of the United States until it was added to Mississippi Territory in1812. Originally incorporated as a village in 1892, Pascagoula obtained city status in 1901. Today's downtown Pascagoula used to be the town of Scranton, Mississippi (incorporated in 1870) until the two towns merged 1912.
Located on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Pascagoula is a major industrial city. The population of the town before World War II was small, just about 5,000 people. The industry of building ships for war caused the population to skyrocket. The city is home to the largest private, single-site employer in Mississippi: Ingalls Shipbuilding. Besides that, it has the world's largest refinery for Chevron. The Royce Naval Marine specializing in U.S. Navy ship propulsion is also located here, and the First Chemical/Chemours is also a major industry.
The racial makeup of the city is 67.15% White, 28.97% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race are 3.89% of the population. The population is made of citizens with the following age dispersion: 26.9% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who aere 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females, there are 101.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 100.9 males. The median income for a household in the city is $32,042, and the median income for a family is $39,044. Males have a median income of $30,313 versus $22,594 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,891. About 18.1% of families and 20.7% of the population live below the poverty line, including 31.4% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.
There are three airports in Pascagoula: Mobile Regional Airport, 34 miles to the northeast of Alabama; Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, about 40 miles west; and Trent Lott International airport, 9 miles north. Every year, the "Crusin' The Coast" car show is hosted by many Mississippi gulf coast cities including Pascagoula. In 2020, it was named America's best car show by USA Today.
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