2017 tornado damage in Petal
|Nickname(s): The Friendly City|
Location of Petal, Mississippi
PETAL MISSISSIPPI Latitude and Longitude:
|• Mayor||Hal Marx|
|• State Representative||Larry Byrd |
|• State Senator||Billy Hudson |
|• Total||17.1 sq mi (44.4 km2)|
|• Land||16.9 sq mi (43.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)|
|Elevation||157 ft (48 m)|
|Population ( 2010) |
|• Estimate (2016) ||10,704|
|• Density||610/sq mi (240/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 ( Central (CST))|
|• Summer ( DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0675641|
The International Checker Hall of Fame was located in Petal until September 29, 2007, when 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) building caught fire.   On June 23, 2004, Sports Illustrated entitled Petal as "Sports Illustrated Sportstown for Mississippi". 
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.4 km2), of which 16.9 square miles (43.7 km2) was land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.62%, was water.  The city's area had increased by nearly 75% since 2000, following an annexation effort approved in 2002. Major sub-communities as of the annex are Macedonia, Barrontown, Sunrise, and Leeville. The Harvey community (currently downtown Petal) hosts city departments.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,454 people, 3,918 households, and 2,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.8 people per square mile. There were 4,261 housing units at an average density of 331.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 86.1% White, 9.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.
There were 3,918 households, out of which 23.5% had own children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals under 18 and 26.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.13.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,637, and the median income for a family was $35,343. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $20,741 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,996. About 11.9% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
The city is served by the Petal School District. The district has level 6 rated schools from K thru 12. Many parents are attracted to Petal for this reason.
The first postmaster of Petal was Irving A. Polk.  The post office was established in 1903  and was named after the daughter of a first settler.  It is the only city in the U.S. with this name. Petal separated from the city of Hattiesburg on April 4, 1974. Petal was a community filled with farmers. This is slowly changing with new businesses coming into the city.
- Cliff Pace, 43rd World Champion of Bass Fishing, 2013 Bassmaster Classic
- Ray Perkins, University of Alabama wide receiver, attended Petal High School where he was an All-American
- Tom Walters, safety for the Washington Redskins
- Mississippi State Legislature| http://www.legislature.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Petal city, Mississippi". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Checker Hall of Fame: Game Over". Roadside America.
- "Cause Sought in Sept. 29 Fire". Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group.
- "Petal's power". Sports Illustrated.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Gallagher, John S. and Patera, Alan H. (1996). Mississippi Post Offices, p. 247. Lake Grove, Oregon: The Depot, ISBN 0-943645-35-2.
- U.S. postal history website
- Moyer, Armond; Moyer, Winifred (1958). The origins of unusual place-names. Keystone Pub. Associates. p. 102.