Gautier is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, along the Gulf of Mexico west of Pascagoula. It is part of the Pascagoula Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,572 at the 2010 census, up from 11,681 at the 2000 census. In 2002, Gautier had annexed land more than doubling its area.
Gautier is a bedroom resort community surrounded by bayous and wetlands on three sides. The natural environment of Gautier offers many opportunities for recreation and eco-tourism. 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 on August 29, 2005 led to outmigration in 2006.
The town takes its name from the Gautier family that originated in Lyon, France. Fernando Upton Gautier (1822–1891) was born on a cargo ship as his parents were emigrating to New Orleans. In 1867, Gautier established a spacious homestead at the mouth of the Pascagoula River, which still stands. He established a lucrative sawmill business in the area, and the town grew up from it.