Clarksdale, the Delta, and the Economy

  • John C. Henshall


Clarksdale is located in Coahoma County in the northern part of the Mississippi Delta, that huge expanse of rich alluvial soils extending generally from Memphis, Tennessee in the north, to Vicksburg, Mississippi in the south.

Clarksdale became the centre of the cotton industry in the Delta, and the town developed an industrial base that was typically associated with agriculture. Mechanisation was introduced to the cotton industry in 1944 at nearby Hopson Plantation, leading to the exodus of many displaced workers and their families from the Delta to larger cities, mainly in the north, in search of employment. As a result, Clarksdale’s role in business and commerce contracted, leading to a loss in economic activity and population.

Today, the town’s economy is essentially services based, including an increasing role for cultural tourism that builds on Delta culture and hospitality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Henshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Essential Economics Pty LtdCarltonAustralia

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