|Nickname(s): The Friendly City|
|Founded||April 4, 1974|
|• Mayor||Hal Marx|
|• Total||16.87 sq mi (25.1 km2)|
|• Land||16.87 sq mi (25.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||157 ft (48 m)|
|• Density||619.8/sq mi (239.3/km2)|
|2010 United States Census|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0675641|
Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population is approximately 10,454 per the US Census estimates performed in April, 2010.
The International Checker Hall of Fame was located in Petal until September 29, 2007 when 20,000 sq. ft. of the 35,000 sq. ft. building caught fire. On June 23, 2004, Sports Illustrated entitled Petal as "Sports Illustrated Sportstown for Mississippi".
Petal is located at (31.346740, -89.255485).
According to the United States Census Bureau of 2000, the city had a total area of 9.7 square miles (25 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25 km2) was land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.21%) was water. However, following an annexation effort approved in 2002, the total area of the city is now estimated at 16.87 square miles (43.7 km2), according to a recent study by the firm Slaughter and Associates and confirmed by the 2010 Census. Major sub-communities (of which host fire departments) as of the annex are Macedonia, Barrontown, Sunrise, and Leeville. The Harvey community (currently downtown Petal) hosts city departments.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,454 people, 3,918 households, and 2,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.8 people per square mile. There were 4,261 housing units at an average density of 331.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 86.1% White, 9.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.
There were 3,918 households out of which 23.5% had own children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals under 18 and 26.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.13.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,637, and the median income for a family was $35,343. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $20,741 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,996. About 11.9% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Petal is served by the Petal School District. The district has level 6 rated schools from K thru 12. Many parents are attracted to Petal for this reason.
The first postmaster of Petal was Irving A. Polk. The post office was established in 1903  and was named after the postmaster's daughter. It is the only city in the U.S. with this name. Petal separated from the city of Hattiesburg on April 4, 1974. Petal was a community filled with farmers. This is slowly changing with new business coming into the city.
- Tom Walters, (safety for the Washington Redskins)
- Ray Perkins, University of Alabama football legend, attended Petal High School where he was an All-American
- "Checker Hall of Fame: Game Over". Roadside America.
- "Cause Sought in Sept. 29 Fire". Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group.
- "Petal's power". Sports Illustrated.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Petal, Mississippi Quick Facts provided by the U.S. Census Bureau
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Gallagher, John S. and Patera, Alan H. (1996). Mississippi Post Offices, p. 247. Lake Grove, Oregon: The Depot, ISBN 0-943645-35-2.
- U.S. postal history website