Pearl River County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi, formerly known as Hancock County. The population was 55,834 at the 2010 census. Its county seat is Poplarville. Pearl River County comprises the Picayune, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS Combined Statistical Area. Pearl River County is a dry county, and as such, the sale, transportation, and even private possession of beverage alcohol is prohibited by law, except within The City of Picayune (which has exempted itself). The City of Poplarville passed a similar exemption referendum on March 25, 2014. On September 2, 2005, the 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery (Ohio Army National Guard) arrived at the National Guard armory in Poplarville to assist the community and Pearl River County in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Initial efforts were the security of banks, pharmacies and gas stations as well as initial responses to rural emergencies. The unit stayed for three weeks ultimately checking on many families and structures in the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 819 square miles (2,120 km²), of which 811 square miles (2,100 km²) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km²) (1.0%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in Mississippi by land area.
As of the 2010 census Pearl River County had a population of 55,834.
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