Mississippi Gulf Coast
The U. S. Census Bureau divided the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2003, which previously had been the three coastal counties, into two MSA's that included two additional counties.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there was considerable out-migration from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans into more inland areas.
Thus, in the present day the Mississippi Gulf Coast region is generally considered to include the next tier of counties to the north of the original three also: Pearl River County, Stone County and George County.
Although the broad reference is to an entire region of Mississippi, in regards to towns, the "Mississippi Gulf Coast" term is most commonly used to refer to those settlements that are either directly on the coastline or the shores of its bays.
They include, from west to east:
- Bay St. Louis,
- Pass Christian,
- Long Beach,
- Ocean Springs,
- Moss Point.
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