Mississippi River, Length, History, Location (with Map & Photos)

The Mississippi River is a long river in North America that runs through the central part of the United States. It is also an emblematic river for North American culture, since it was in the Delta region, located east of the Mississippi, where the blues was born.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

Contrary to what you might think, the state where the Mississippi River is born is not the same one that gives it its name. In fact, its source occurs at the northern end of Lake Itasca, north of Minnesota. The Mississippi is a river with a great historical role. Not only because it has been a source of water resources for the millions of people who live in the settlements that have been made throughout its journey. Also because the Mississippi has had a great weight in the development of the culture of these peoples.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

The Mississippi has been of great importance to Native Americans, who traditionally settled along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Although many of the Amerindian peoples were dedicated to hunting and gathering, there were some who created agricultural societies that were very prolific. In fact, the Native Americans were the ones who gave the Mississippi the name Meschacebé, which means "father of the waters."

Mississippi River Features


After its source in Lake Itasca, the river soon reaches 210 meters after the Saint Anthony Falls, near Minneapolis. On its way it is joined by the Illinois and Missouri rivers in San Luis (Missouri) and the Ohio in Cairo (Illinois).

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

It is 3,770 km long, and only one of its tributaries, the Missouri, is the longest in North America. On the other hand, the flow of the Mississippi River is 16,790 m³ / s. Although the Mississippi-Missouri system gives rise to the fourth longest river in the world, its flow is much lower than that of rivers such as the Amazon or the Congo, which carry much more water due to a higher incidence of rainfall in the areas that goes through.

Its hydrographic basin is the largest in North America and the third in the world, after those of the Amazon and the Congo. Its total area is 3,238,000 km², that is, one third of the territory of the United States. The Mississippi Basin drains water from 31 states and is the source of 23% of the United States' public surface water supply.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

The Mississippi River and its floodplain are home to great biodiversity. In fact, the great diversity of fauna and flora that inhabit its waters make up the largest continuous system of marshes in the North American continent.

The Mississippi River is one of the most important in the United States, as it flows through a vast area of ​​its territory and forms part of its culture and society. It is one of the longest rivers in North America, covering almost the continental half of the country, and, together with the Missouri, makes up one of the largest and most important river systems in the world.

Native Americans long lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, like the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies.

Mississippi River Map