See study by W. and E. Hartley (1973).
Osceola was the original county seat of Mississippi County and remains one of two county seats, after Blytheville was named a dual county seat in 1901. Osceola features a beautiful 1912 Neo-Classical courthouse with a copper roofed dome. The courthouse is bordered by the Hale Avenue Historic District and other structures on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. Visitors will also find the Mississippi County Historical Center located in a 1904 building that once housed a dry goods store.
Osceola is famous for its role in the development of blues music, and many famous blues musicians either came from Osceola or performed there. To celebrate this heritage, Main Street Osceola has been hosting the Osceola Heritage Festival since 1998.
There were 3,183 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 25.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,163, and the median income for a family was $26,588. Males had a median income of $27,526 versus $18,788 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,406. About 26.0% of families and 29.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.0% of those under age 18 and 25.7% of those age 65 or over.