Hattiesburg Sees Increase From 2020 Census

Hattiesburg Sees Increase From 2020 Census

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Although records indicate that the overall population of the state decreased during the 2020 Census, Hattiesburg is among several Mississippi cities that saw growth.

According to the first glimpse of local-level data made available by the U.S. Census Bureau, the City of Hattiesburg experienced a net increase of 5.96% in population – with more than 2,500 new residents. The updated count for 2020 is 48,730 people residing within the city limits. In 2010, that number was 45,863.

Going into 2020, the City faced the hardship of an accurate count specifically after two devastating tornadoes (2013 and 2017). The coronavirus pandemic only added to that.

While the pandemic provided for several challenges during the count, some of which included most of the city’s student population leaving before the count began, city officials remain hopeful for what the increase means for the area.

“Like most things in 2020, our census campaign efforts were hampered due to COVID-19; but, I’m proud of the increase for Hattiesburg and the additional growth to the Hattiesburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA),” said Mayor Toby Barker. “As we move into our second term, several of our efforts will continue to be two-fold. One is focusing on diversifying the recruitment of businesses to the area, and the other is continuing to enhance the quality of life offerings across job growth and entertainment so that we can recruit and retain our growing young professional population.”

The 2020 Census count began March 12, 2020, and was completed by the end of October 2020 – three months after the originally scheduled deadline.

While an in-depth analysis of data is not currently available at the city level, the U.S. Census Bureau did provide some additional data sets for the Hattiesburg MSA, Forrest County and Lamar County.

  • Hattiesburg MSA
    • 2020 Census Population: 172,231
    • Percent Change in Population: 6.0% (#2 in the state, behind Gulfport-Biloxi)
    • 2020 Housing Units: 74,640
    • Percent Change in Housing Units: 6.1%
  • Forrest County
    • #10 in the state for percent change/increase of population
    • 2020 Census Population: 78,158
    • Percent Change in Population: 4.3%
    • 2020 Housing Units: 33,490
    • Percent Change in Housing Units: 3.7%
  • Lamar County
    • #2 in the state for percent change/increase of population
    • 2020 Census Population: 64,222
    • Percent Change in Population: 15.4%
    • 2020 Housing Units: 27,434
    • Percent Change in Housing Units: 14.0%

Barker added, “This census was unbelievably hard due to everything our residents have faced over the last year, but I cannot speak enough about the efforts of our office staff, our steering committee of community volunteers, the business community and our civic and faith-based organizations. Together, they helped drive a grassroots approach to make sure Hattiesburg counts. I look forward to our continued momentum in building on our ability to be a premier city in the Gulf South.”

The U.S. Census Bureau will continue to work on releasing data for in-depth analysis as it is verified. The new data, which was delayed for more than four months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meets the required criteria as constitutionally mandated for political boundaries to be updated at several levels of government.