Stone County Information

 

Stone County

Carved out of the northern part of Harrison County, Stone was organized in 1916. With a heritage based in the timber industry, timber has played a major role in the countyís growth and development. While timber continues to be a significant factor in the county, residential development and retail and service activities are playing an increasing role in the countyís economy. Stone County is home to MGCCC Central Administration and the Perkinston Campus, Pat Harrison Waterway Districtís Flint Creek Water Park and the DeSoto National Forest which provides year-round recreational activities.

Stone County had a 2007 estimated population of 15,731, up 15 percent from 2000 (Table 1). From 1990 to 2000, the county experienced a 27 percent growth in population, reported to be the sixth fastest growing county in the state. A University of Southern Mississippi population study of Stone County projected population to reach levels of 28,000 to 33,000 by 2020, or a doubling of population over the next 15 years. The median age of the population in 2006 was 34 years and had increased slightly from 33.6 years in 2000.

Table 1

Population, MGCCC District, by County

County

1990

2000

%Change

1990-2000

2007

%Change 2000-2007

Stone

10,750

13,622

27

15,731

15

George

16,673

19,144

15

21,937

15

Harrison

165,365

189,601

15

176,105

-07

Jackson

115,243

131,420

14

130,098

-01

Total

308,031

353,787

15

343,871

-03

Source: U.S. Bureau of Census

The per capita personal income of Stone County residents was $26,261 in 2006, an increase of 9.5 percent over 2005. The per capita income was 97 percent or three percent below the state average of $27,028 and 72 percent of the national average of $36,714. In per capita income, the county ranked 17th of the counties in the state, up from a 40th ranking in 1996. Total earnings, by place of work in Stone County increased 18 percent from 2005 to $176 million in 2006. This compares to a state change of 5.0 percent and a national change of 5.7 percent over the same time period.

The trend in sales tax collections and number of sales tax payers in Stone County reflects growth in commercial activity. As indicated in Table 2, sales tax collections in 2007 totaled $12 million, up 118 percent from 2001. The number of commercial establishments paying sales tax increased from 353 in 2001 to 405 in 2007, a 15 per increase.

Table 2

Sales Tax Collections, Stone County, MS

2001

2003

2005

2007

No. Sales Tax Payers

353

388

371

405

Sales Tax

$5.5 million

$6.8 million

$8.6 million

$12 million

Source: MS Tax Commission

In 2007, the Stone County civilian labor force totaled 7,800 with 450 or 5.8 percent unemployed. Resident-based employment* totaled 7,350. Establishment-based employment* totaled 4,710, with education, manufacturing and retail trade as the leading employment sectors.

In 2000, forty-three percent of Stone County residents commuted outside the county to work. (U.S. Census) The majority of residents commuted to the adjoining counties of Harrison, Jackson, Forrest, Pearl River and Hancock.

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* Resident-based employment relates to the county where the employee resides. Establishment-based employment relates to the county where the employer is located.