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 2011 Delta Best Award Recipients

 State of the Delta - Report

A time of Reckoning
New online presence!
Now you can find current information about the Mississippi Delta Strategic Compact online.

The mission of the Mississippi Delta Strategic Compact is to galvanize regional unity, teamwork and collaboration on issues that will revitalize the Delta and improve the quality of life for all citizens.

To be an organization that has a positive, recognizable, long-term impact of the Mississippi Delta by aspiring to achieve a new set of ideas and developing a new culture of accomplishment

The Mississippi Delta Strategic Compact (MDSC) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of a 36 member board with representation from each of the 18 counties.

The effort to launch systemic change comes with the knowledge that policy must be impacted at the state and local level to allow the Delta region to grow and prosper. The MDSC focuses on policy in the areas of education, healthcare, tourism and economic development.
More about us...
The Mississippi Delta has the reputation of being resistant to change. Over the past 40 years, government and private philanthropy have invested heavily in the region with little documented effect. In 2009 much of the Delta is still characterized by the same issues that existed in 1069 – a lack of good jobs, underperforming schools, racial division, and low levels of human development. And the effects carry over to the rest of Mississippi, resulting in the state often occupying the lowest rung of national rankings. Current data paints a picture of a region in distress with no end in sight:
  • Unemployment rates in the Delta region from 2001 to 2008 fluctuated between 8% and 10%, consistently exceeding those of Mississippi and of the nation. In December 2008 most Delta counties registered unemployment rates between 10% and 17%. The unemployment rate among blacks in the Delta is over three times higher than the unemployment rate for whites.
  • Most of the jobs that exist in the Delta cluster around the $10 - $13 per hour range, close to poverty levels. The largest growth rate is occurring in low-paying service occupations with average earnings less than $10 per hour.
  • Educational attainment in the Delta is low. Almost 18%of the adult population has less than 9th grade education. The Delta is also well below the national average for college attainment, resulting in 20,000 fewer individuals with an associate’s degree or above.
  • Great income disparities persist. In 2008, the median household income for whites in the Delta was $44,055, which is only slightly less than the state average for whites of $44,955. In contrast, the median household income for blacks in the Delta was $21,165, which is 23% less than the state median household income for blacks.
Divided communities and regions do not develop. Capital does not flow and transaction costs are too high. In order to break out of a cycle of low returns, the Delta needs an approach that addresses underlying human conditions while responding to real market opportunities.
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