The state has a population of approximately 3 million. It is the 32nd most extensive and the 32nd most populous of the 50 United States. Located in the center of the state, Jackson is the state capital and largest city, with a population of approximately 175,000 people.
The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area, between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War , most development in the state was along riverfronts, where slaves worked on cotton plantations. After the war, the bottomlands to the interior were cleared, mostly by freedmen. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after a financial crisis.