Pearl is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 21,961 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area. Today, Pearl is a growing community across the Pearl River, for which the city was named, from Jackson. It is Mississippi's 13th largest city and the largest city in Rankin County. Pearl is a rarity in Mississippi cities in that it does not have a downtown square. Over the years the city has developed the old Pearl High School into a city administration building that houses city hall, Pearl Police Department, public works departments and city courts. A large auditorium-style community center was built next door. The city is in the process of turning this whole area into its downtown.