Pillars of the Economy

Greater Hattiesburg is thriving. Many diverse businesses and industries call Greater Hattiesburg home, ranging from small businesses to international corporations. These businesses are sustained by a strong economic base made up of three pillars: Education, Healthcare, and Military. Each of these economic sectors bring diversity and vitality to Greater Hattiesburg, as many students and educators, healthcare providers and military families call Greater Hattiesburg home.


The region’s education sector employs approximately 7,000 direct employees in K-12 and higher education. Greater Hattiesburg is home to two major universities, two community colleges, and eight primary and secondary education districts.

Hattiesburg is continually seeking ways to aid its citizens in obtaining the skills and knowledge needed to compete in today’s global economy. Top-tier university research facilities, partnerships, and new and upcoming workforce development initiatives fuel the Hattiesburg economy towards long-term growth.

Greater Hattiesburg also boasts some of the top performing k-12 schools in the state, including Petal High School and Oak Grove High School which were named 2 of the top 5 best high schools in Mississippi (NICHE, 2016).

Institutions for Higher Learning:


Greater Hattiesburg is known as a medical hub, servicing a broad region of 19 counties. In total, Greater Hattiesburg has a robust healthcare sector with two major hospitals encompassing over 720 hospital beds. Hattiesburg is also home to the largest multi-specialty clinic in the state of Mississippi. Healthcare comprises 15% of the regional economy with more than 9,100 direct employees generating an annual payroll of approximately $500 million.


With 2,000+ personnel as well as the National Guard training brigades that come from all over the country, Camp Shelby is a major player in our local economy. Camp Shelby encompasses 136,000 acres just south of Hattiesburg in Forrest and Perry Counties. The Mississippi Gulf Coast, just 70 miles south of Hattiesburg, is home to Keesler Air Force Base, the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Stennis Space Center, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and more.

To support our local military leadership, The ADP facilitates a Military Task Force, which includes retired military officers and community leaders.