Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and a principal city in the Memphis metropolitan area. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi and the second most populous suburb of Memphis. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city's name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.
Southaven began as a village when Memphis homebuilder Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn) wished to develop a few residential subdivisions featuring small starter homes just across the Mississippi border from Whitehaven, Tennessee, an unincorporated suburb of Memphis. Whitehaven was eventually annexed by Memphis. Officially incorporated in 1980, Southaven is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeastern United States. In just 20 years, Southaven doubled its land area, while its population tripled.
The center of the city is approximately 14 miles (23 km) south of downtown Memphis and 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Memphis International Airport.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Southaven has a total area of 41.5 square miles (107.6 km²), of which 41.2 square miles (106.8 km²) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²), or 0.68%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 48,982 people and 13,125 families residing in the city. The population density was 1499.9 people per square mile (580/km²). There were 19,101 housing units at an average density of 339.3 per square mile (131.0/km²).
There were 19,904 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 21.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.16.
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