Size isn’t always everything.
In Mississippi, there aren’t many big places to live or visit, so finding the smallest incorporated places is a pretty big deal.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mississippi is made up of 298 cities, towns and even smaller locations. The incorporated places consist of 110 cities, 169 towns, and 19 villages. Cities have a minimum population threshold of 2,000, while towns require a population between 300 and 1,999. Villages are less than 300.
There is some debate about specifics of the numbers and what makes a town or a village. But for this list, we are going with these Census numbers.
The biggest cities in the state are pretty easy to guess: Jackson (149,761), Gulfport (71,660), Southaven (55,429), Biloxi (49,241), Hattiesburg (47,068) and Olive Branch (40,276).
The five smallest range from the east to the central to the Delta and up to Northeast Mississippi. Numbers are based on annual estimates of the resident population for incorporated places in Mississippi with a release date of May 2022.
No. 5: Sylvarena, Population, 86
The fifth smallest place is in Smith County and sits at the crossroads of Mississippi 18 and County Road 99 about 60 miles east of Jackson.
There are a couple of churches in the village and it celebrates the Fourth of July with a fireworks show annually. Sylvarena is served by the Smith County School System.
No. 4: Gattman, Population 79
The fourth smallest place is in Monroe County and is on the border of the Mississippi and Alabama in Northeast Mississippi on Mississippi 278, 40 miles from Columbus.
Gattman has a town hall, the Gattman First Baptist Church and a post office.
Gattman is served by the Monroe County School System.
No. 3: Doddsville, Population 67
The third smallest place is in Sunflower County and is almost halfway between Cleveland and Greenwood on Mississippi 442 off of Mississippi 49W.
Originally a logging and farming community, Doddsville was established by Daniel Doddsman Sr. in 1889.
Sen. James Eastland once owned land in Doddsville and Aretha Franklin’s father grew up near Doddsville and went to school there when there was still in a school.
Blues singer Fruteland Jackson, a native Doddsville and resident of Chicago, is a five-time Blues Music Award nominee.
The community still has many beautiful homes that line Country Road 442 that have been there for nearly a century.
Doddsville is served by the Sunflower County School District.
No. 2: Learned, Population 54
The second smallest place is in Hinds County and has one of the best restaurants in Mississippi.
Learned sits off Learned Road about 25 miles from Jackson and 27 miles from Vicksburg.
It boasts the restaurant H.D. Gibbes & Sons. The combination general merchandise store and restaurant is now operated by fourth-generation family members.
Built in the late 1800s, the store was the central place for residents to shop for food and supplies.
It’s an easy drive from the Jackson area for grilled steaks, lamb chops and seafood at long tables inside the rustic store.
The village is named after an early settler to the area.
The town is served by the Hinds County School District, Utica Elementary-Middle School, Raymond Elementary School and Carver Middle School in Raymond. All of it is zoned to Raymond High School in Raymond.
No. 1: Satartia, Population 38
The smallest place is in Yazoo County, Satartia is located along the Yazoo River and is famous for its bridge, its history of logging and farming.
It is 43 miles from Jackson, just off Mississippi 3 and on Mississippi 433.
While the latest U.S. Census numbers show the population was 38, residents recently conducted a “recount” and landed on 68 population, which is enough for Satartia to maintain its legal status as a “Town.”
Being the smallest does not mean it has nothing going on. In fact, Satartia is hosting The Eli – Pride of the Yazoo River Festival on July 30. It will be an evening of music, food and fireworks.
The man some call “The spiritual head of Satartia”, Irma Newell Hart, has family roots in the town dating back more than 100 years.
“It’s not like the average little Delta town. There is still a lot that is functioning,” the 73-year-old Hart said. “The grass is cut and people are tending to their yards. It’s a neat little place. It’s not just some abandoned little town.”
The Satartia General Store is the one business in the town and as the name would suggest, it sells a wide variety of wares. It even doubles as a restaurant for lunch and serves a Blue Plate Special every day that ranges from spaghetti to ribs to Friday Fried Catfish Day.
However, it has seen its share or hard times as it has had several owners the last few years. Eddie and Kendra Hoover own it now and Hart says the future for it seems stable.
“It’s a neat little place,” he said. “It’s got tables in there. People sit around and talk and tell their stories and talk about folks and their kin folks.”
But their is no question Satartia relies on more than the population of incorporated limits to survive.
“There’s not enough people in the town itself to support the store and other things. We depend a lot on people coming through,” Hart said. “Farmers in the area, hunters and outdoorsmen, the workers on the road and the power company. That’s pretty well what we rely on for any income through that little store.”
Last year, residents came together and organized what Hart described as Satartia’s first-ever Christmas parade.
“We do a lot of little things that a lot of small towns don’t do,” Hart said. “We are having this festival. We had the Christmas parade. We had a real special trunk or treat Halloween festival.”
At the Halloween festival, a crop duster helicopter dropped candy with tiny parachutes in the streets for the kids.
“We are just trying to get folks out of their houses to do something and have some fun,” Hart said. “That’s what we are all about.”