DeSoto County, MS
The third most populous county in the state, DeSoto county has a 2018 population of 182,001. The county was founded on February 9, 1836. It was named for Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer known for leading the first expedition deep into the modern-day United States, as well as the first European documented crossing the Mississippi River. Southern Business and Development Magazine named DeSoto County as the top small market for new economic development.
Harrison County, MS
Harrison County was founded in 1841. The county is the second-largest county in the state by total area, as well as by population. Biloxi, one of Harrison's two county seats, has been under six flags: France, Spain, Great Britain, the West Florida Republic, the Confederacy, and the United States. The county is also home to the 200 year old Biloxi Lighthouse, notable for having several female lightkeepers in its history.
Hinds County, MS
Founded in 1821, Hinds County has a 2018 population of 237,085. The county was named for General Thomas Hinds (War of 1812 hero) and is the state’s educational, cultural, and economic center. It's also the seat of the state government. The largest annual rodeo east of the Mississippi River, the Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Contest, has taken place within its boundaries since 1965.
Jackson County, MS
Jackson County was founded in 1812. It was named after the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. It is the fifth most populous county in the state, with a 2018 estimated population of 143,277. Prior to World War II, the area was known as a small fishing village. During and since the war, the area has become a major industrial city with a focus on shipbuilding.
Rankin County, MS
Rankin County is half-rural/half-urban, with seven incorporated cities within its boundaries. Founded in 1828, it is the fourth most populous county in the state with a 2018 estimated population of 153,902. The county is named in honor of former Mississippi Congressman Christopher Rankin.