Demographics of Jackson, Mississippi


Jackson is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2020 census, the population of Jackson was 153,701, making it the 12th most populous city in the Southern United States.

Jackson is a key economic and cultural center in the state, with major industries including healthcare, education, and government services.

The racial makeup, age distribution, income levels, and other demographic characteristics of Jackson provide insights into the city’s history, economy, and community. This article will provide an in-depth look at the demographics of Jackson.

Racial Makeup

Jackson has a majority African American population. According to the 2020 census:

  • 82.4% Black or African American – This includes people who identify as Black or African American alone or in combination with another race. The Black community has deep roots in Jackson, with many residents’ families having lived in the city for generations.
  • 13.6% White – The White population in Jackson has declined over time as the metro area has suburbanized. However, Jackson still retains a sizable White population within the city limits.
  • 1.9% Asian – While still a small percentage, the Asian population in Jackson has grown in recent decades. This includes people of Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and other Asian backgrounds.
  • 1.4% Two or More Races – A growing segment of the population identifies as multiracial, with parents of different racial backgrounds.
  • 0.7% Other – This includes Native American, Pacific Islander, and other races.

Jackson’s diversity is a point of pride for many residents. The city has a unique culture shaped by the convergence of different racial and ethnic groups over time.

However, divisions and inequality between communities have also been an unfortunate legacy that the city continues working to overcome.

Age Distribution

Jackson has a relatively young population compared to the national average. Here is the breakdown of the population by age group, according to the 2020 census:

  • 27.5% under 18 years – Over a quarter of Jackson’s population consists of minors under 18 years old. As the state capital and a regional economic hub, Jackson attracts families.
  • 8.4% 18 to 24 years – This age group makes up Jackson’s college-aged population. Jackson is home to several colleges and universities, including Jackson State University, Millsaps College, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Students help make Jackson’s population more youthful.
  • 25.6% 25 to 44 years – Roughly a quarter of the population is between 25 to 44 years old. This group makes up a major segment of Jackson’s workforce.
  • 22.8% 45 to 64 years – Jackson has a sizeable middle-aged population, many of whom are established in careers and owning homes.
  • 15.7% 65 years and over – Seniors make up about 15% of the population. Quality healthcare options help attract retirees to Jackson. However, the overall population skews younger compared to the U.S.

The youth of Jackson’s population creates a vibrant, lively atmosphere in the city. However, it also poses challenges for schools, housing, and social services aimed at younger residents.

Household Income

Jackson’s median household income is $38,376, which is lower than both the national median ($65,712) and the state median ($45,081). Here is the household income distribution in Jackson:

  • 24.5% of households earn less than $15,000. This includes families living below the poverty line. Lower-wage jobs and high unemployment have contributed to Jackson’s economic challenges.
  • 20.2% earn $15,000 to $29,999. This working-class group includes many retail, food service, and manual labor jobs. Affordable housing is critical.
  • 17.8% earn $30,000 to $44,999. Jackson’s middle-income families in this bracket include teachers, office workers, and technical jobs.
  • 14.3% earn $45,000 to $64,999. Nurses, lower-level managers, and skilled trades make up Jackson’s upper-middle income tier.
  • 23.2% earn $65,000 or more. Professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers, and business executives lead Jackson’s high-income households.

Despite above-average poverty rates, Jackson also has an elite class. Income inequality divides communities and the city’s prosperity.

Education Levels

Jackson’s education rates trail national averages:

  • 85.5% of residents have a high school degree or higher. This is below the U.S. rate of 88.8%. Quality disparities in Jackson’s schools may contribute.
  • 26.3% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is less than half the national rate of 32.9%. Mississippi struggles with “brain drain”, losing many educated residents.

However, Jackson remains a center of learning:

  • Jackson State University enrolls over 7,000 students, most of whom are African American. It is one of the top historically Black colleges and a source of pride for residents.
  • The University of Mississippi Medical Center provides advanced healthcare training.
  • Jackson has 124 public K-12 schools and over 30 private schools. The largest public school district is Jackson Public Schools.

Boosting educational attainment across all age levels offers opportunities for Jackson’s continued growth and development.


Jackson has a high rate of religious affiliation and diversity of faiths:

  • Baptist – 65% – Baptist churches have significant influence, especially among the African American community. The Baptist denomination has deep roots in the South.
  • Catholic – 10%
  • Methodist – 8%
  • Pentecostal – 5%
  • Church of God in Christ – 3%
  • Other Christian denominations – 6% – Such as Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans.
  • Other faiths – 3% – Including Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism.

Religious faith is an integral part of life and identity for most residents of Jackson. Churches provide spiritual guidance, community support, youth programs, aid to the needy, and more.

Marital Status

  • 39.2% of Jackson residents over age 15 are married. This is below the U.S. rate of 48.2%.
  • 31.8% have never married. Higher than the U.S. rate of 28.2%.
  • 13.5% are divorced. Similar to the U.S. rate of 10.9%.
  • 6.9% are widowed. Higher than the U.S. rate of 6.1%.

The lower marriage rate in Jackson corresponds with lower median incomes and economic instability. However, churches and close community ties help support single-parent led families in Jackson.

Housing Statistics

  • Median house value in Jackson is $109,300, compared to $229,800 for the U.S. Home prices are affordable.
  • 65% of housing units are owner-occupied. 35% are renter-occupied.
  • The vacancy rate is 18.5%, higher than the U.S. rate of 12.5%. Abandoned properties are an issue in some neighborhoods.
  • The average household size is 2.54 persons.

Jackson’s housing stock includes historic homes along tree-lined boulevards, suburban-style neighborhoods built after WWII, public housing projects, and new eco-friendly developments. Housing costs and quality vary widely based on neighborhood.


In summary, Jackson is a diverse regional hub with a majority African-American population. Income inequality, low educational attainment, and unemployment present challenges.

But local pride, youthful energy, and rich history also make Jackson vibrant. The city’s demographics tell the story of both hardship and resilience. Tracking demographic trends provides insights into growing toward a more prosperous future.

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  • Start out heading southeast on I-55 S toward Jackson. Take exit 98B toward MS-18/Adams St/US-51. Keep left to stay on Exit 98B and merge onto US-51 S/Adams St. Turn right onto Northview Dr. The destination will be on your right. Your route is 6.6 miles total.
  • Begin on East County Line Road heading south. Turn right to merge onto I-20 West toward Jackson. Take exit 50A towards I-55 South/Brookhaven. Merge onto I-55 South and travel for around 4 miles. Take exit 98B for US-51 S/Adams St and keep left to continue on exit 98B. Merge onto US-51 S/Adams St and go for 1.5 miles. Make a right onto Northview Dr and your destination will be on the right just past Kilburn Ave. You will travel 11 miles total.
  • Start out on State St in downtown Jackson heading north. Turn right onto Pearl St and continue for half a mile. Take the ramp onto I-55 North. Drive for around 2 miles then take exit 100 for Briarwood Dr toward US 51/Northside Dr. Turn left onto Briarwood Dr then quickly turn right onto Northside Dr. After a third of a mile, turn left onto Northview Dr. 3829 Northview Dr will be on your right after passing Kilburn Ave. Your total travel distance is approximately 5 miles.