The American Checkers Federation is based in Petal. Tom Walters (safety for the Washington Redskins) is from Petal. University of Alabama football legend, Ray Perkins, attended Petal High School where he was an All-American. Petal is also the home town of Jerry Edwards, Executive Vice President of The Home Depot,(retired), Syko Shane Coats, An American Professional Wrestler And Rap Artist, and "The Illustrious" Charles West who is also a Professional Wrestler.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25.1 km²), of which, 9.7 square miles (25.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.21%) is water.
There were 2,979 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
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.