Gautier is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, along the Gulf of Mexico west of Pascagoula. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 11,681 at the 2000 census. In 2002, Gautier annexed land nearly doubling its population to 18,413, according to the [Gautier Comprehensive Plan 2030]. Locally, the name is pronounced as "GO-shay." Descendants of the Gautier family, for whom it was named, still live in the area.
Gautier is a bedroom resort community with two championship golf courses, stately homes, and historic properties surrounded by bayous and wetlands on three sides. The natural environment of Gautier offers many opportunities for recreation and eco-tourism. Due to an abundance of vacant land for development and recent growth trends along the coastal areas, the city's population is expected to increase at a steady rate during the coming years to an estimated 22,788 people by 2025. The Gulf Coast region, of which Gautier is a part, has been considered a relatively high growth area of the State; however, the loss of houses and jobs after Hurricane Katrina caused an outward migration in 2006.
The governmental structure of the City of Gautier is relatively young but the area has deep connections to the history of the gulf coast region. The City Manager-Council organizational structure has governed since 1987. Although the 2005 natural disaster slowed growth momentarily, the population of Gautier is expected to grow at a steady rate during the coming decades. The socio-economic demographics of the city is similar to that of Jackson County in terms of income, age, gender and education, although Gautier has a higher rate of college-educated persons. The income and employment of residents benefits greatly from the proximity of strong employment centers in Jackson County.