Waveland, Mississippi

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Waveland, Mississippi
"America's Small Beach Town"[1]
Location of Waveland, Mississippi
Location of Waveland, Mississippi
Waveland, Mississippi is located in the United States
Waveland, Mississippi
Waveland, Mississippi
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°17′23″N 89°23′1″W / 30.28972°N 89.38361°W / 30.28972; -89.38361Coordinates: 30°17′23″N 89°23′1″W / 30.28972°N 89.38361°W / 30.28972; -89.38361
CountryUnited States
 • Total8.63 sq mi (22.36 km2)
 • Land8.49 sq mi (21.99 km2)
 • Water0.14 sq mi (0.37 km2)
16 ft (5 m)
 • Total6,435
 • Estimate 
 • Density742.29/sq mi (286.60/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)228
FIPS code28-78200
GNIS feature ID0679394
Waveland (left) is west of Bay St. Louis, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Waveland is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the GulfportBiloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city of Waveland was incorporated in 1972. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,435.[4] Waveland was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969, and by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.

The current mayor of Waveland is Mike Smith.[5]


Andrew Jackson once lived and owned land in Waveland on what is now known as Jackson Ridge.[6] Much of Jackson Ridge later became Buccaneer State Park.[7]

The Silver Slipper Casino opened on November 9, 2006.

Hurricane Camille[edit]

On August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall at the tip of Louisiana before continuing on shore at Waveland.[8] The storm heavily damaged the areas south of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Recovery efforts went on for nearly a decade. The town later erected a plaque commemorating the efforts of the volunteers who committed time and resources towards rebuilding.

Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Waveland during Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005

The city of Waveland was "ground zero" of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on August 29, 2005. The city received massive damage and is still in the process of recovering and rebuilding. South of the CSXT mainline, the area was almost completely destroyed. The rest of the city took heavy flooding. In a news report, state officials said Waveland took a harder hit from the wind and water than any other town along the Gulf Coast, and that the town was obliterated. Official reports stated that approximately 50 people died when Waveland was hit directly by the eyewall of Katrina and the 26-foot (7.9 m) storm surge. Hurricane Katrina came ashore during the high tide of 8:01 am, +2.2 feet more.[9]

Hurricane Katrina damaged over 40 Mississippi libraries, gutting the Waveland Public Library, as a total loss, requiring a complete rebuild.[10]


A group of social activists seeking to better the lives of local residents, called the "Rainbow Family", arrived in Waveland soon after Hurricane Katrina. From early September to early December 2005, they ran the "New Waveland Cafe & Clinic"[11][12] in the parking lot of Fred's Dept Store on Highway 90. The café provided free hot meals three times a day. The clinic was staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses from throughout the United States who saw over 5,000 patients during the duration, free of charge and dispensing free medications. Donations of medications and supplies came from a multitude of sources, with International Aid[13] arranging the most donations. This was the first experience of the counter-culture Rainbow Family in running a disaster relief center. The Bastrop Christian Outreach Center also volunteered with the Rainbow Family.

Waveland Elementary School, which has served public school students in Grades K-3 (Grades 4-5 attend Second Street Elementary in nearby Bay St. Louis), was heavily damaged by Katrina. The students attending the school were educated in portable classrooms for the beginning of the 2006–2007 school year, pending a permanent solution.[14]

The recovery of Waveland was due in part to the faith-based disaster recovery effort in and around the Waveland area. Shoreline Park Baptist Church in Waveland and Pastor Ed Murphy were vital to this effort, housing and feeding hundreds of missionaries from around the country for many years following Hurricane Katrina in what were referred to as "Pods for God". Shoreline Park Baptist Church directed the repair and, in some instances, the rebuilding of homes in the area for many years after the devastation.[15][16]


Waveland is in southeastern Hancock County along the shore of Mississippi Sound, an embayment of the Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered to the north and northeast by the city of Bay St. Louis. U.S. Route 90 passes through the northern side of the city, leading east across the Bay of Saint Louis 18 miles (29 km) to Gulfport and west 55 miles (89 km) to New Orleans. Beach Boulevard (Mississippi Highway 606) passes along the shoreline, connecting Waveland with Buccaneer State Park and the communities of Lakeshore and Clermont Harbor.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Waveland has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.4 km2), of which 8.5 square miles (22.0 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.66%, are water.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)6,302[3]−2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[17]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 6,674 people, 2,731 households, and 1,783 families residing in the city. The population density was 980.2 people per square mile (378.4/km2). There were 3,442 housing units at an average density of 505.5 per square mile (195.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.38% White, 11.21% African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,731 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,304, and the median income for a family was $38,438. Males had a median income of $29,762 versus $21,694 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,413. 13.7% of the population and 11.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Waveland is served by the Bay St. Louis-Waveland School District.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Mayor Mike Smith Welcomes You to the City of Waveland, Mississippi". City of Waveland. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Waveland city, Mississippi". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Waveland, MS Administration". Waveland-ms.gov. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  6. ^ "Waveland Mississippi Profile and Resource Guide, City or community of Waveland, Mississippi Facts, Information, Relocation, Real Estate, Advertising". Usacitiesonline.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  7. ^ "About Waveland, MS". Waveland-ms.gov. Archived from the original on 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  8. ^ "Hurricane Camille Report". Sciencepolicy.colorado.edu. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  9. ^ "2005 NOAA Tide Predictions: Waveland" (2005), tide on 29-August-2005, NOAA, web: NOAA-tide-tables
  10. ^ "Hurricane Katrina Related Damages to Public Libraries in Mississippi" (PDF). Mississippi Library Commission. September 2005.
  11. ^ [1] Archived August 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Hippie Kitchens Serve Final Meal to Hurricane Victims". NPR. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  13. ^ "International Aid". International Aid. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  14. ^ Burnett, Evelina (August 16, 2015). "A Decade After Katrina, Hopes of Recovery Remain Unfulfilled in Waveland, Miss". NPR News.
  15. ^ "Facility: Shoreline Park Baptist Church (CitizenActionTeam.org Database)". Citizencommandcenter.org. 2006-08-10. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  16. ^ "Until it's done — Rainier man turned south at Memphis for the mission of his life | Lifestyles". Tdn.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  19. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.); Lauretta Dimmick; Donna J. Hassler (1999). American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A catalogue of works by artists born between 1865 and 1885. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 570. ISBN 978-0-87099-923-9.
  20. ^ Bill Lee (11 July 2015). The Baseball Necrology: The Post-Baseball Lives and Deaths of More Than 7,600 Major League Players and Others. McFarland. p. 397. ISBN 978-1-4766-0930-0.

External links[edit]