10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Mississippi For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Mississippi have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Mississippi? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Magnolia State:

  1. Hernando (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Brandon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Long Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Horn Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Southaven (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Laurel (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Petal (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Natchez (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Olive Branch (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Picayune (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Mississippi, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Mississippi and the best places for families in the country:

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Mississippi anyways?

To give you the places in Mississippi which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Magnolia State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Mississippi, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Mississippi, that meant a total of 25 cities.

Read on to see why Hernando is where all the families are headed, while Biloxi is probably a place made for singles.

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Hernando, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,227
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 38.7%
More on Hernando: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hernando is a city in and the county seat of DeSoto County, which is on the northwest border of Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,090 at the 2010 census, up from 6,812 in 2000. DeSoto County is the second-most-populous county in the Memphis metropolitan area.

Brandon, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 23,186
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Baton Rouge
Households with kids: 40.9%
More on Brandon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brandon is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi. The population was 21,705 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Rankin County. Brandon is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area and located east of the state capital.

Long Beach, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,450
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: New Orleans
Households with kids: 36.4%
More on Long Beach: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Long Beach is a city located in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. It is part of the Gulfport-Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,792.

Horn Lake, MS

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 26,785
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 42.6%
More on Horn Lake: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Southaven, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 51,816
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 41.1%
More on Southaven: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and a principal city in the Memphis metropolitan area. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city’s name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.

Laurel, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,806
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: New Orleans
Households with kids: 35.5%
More on Laurel: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Laurel is a city in and the second county seat of Jones County, Mississippi, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 18,548. It is located northeast of Ellisville, the first county seat, which contains the first county courthouse. Laurel has the second county courthouse, as there are two judicial districts in Jones County.

Petal, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,736
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: New Orleans
Households with kids: 40.3%
More on Petal: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,454 in the 2010 census.

Natchez, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 15,345
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Baton Rouge
Households with kids: 31.6%
More on Natchez: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Olive Branch, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 35,508
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Memphis
Households with kids: 38.5%
More on Olive Branch: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Olive Branch is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 33,484 at the 2010 census, up from 21,054 in 2000. Olive Branch is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and is part of the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region that consists of three counties in southwest Tennessee, five counties in northwest Mississippi, and two counties in eastern Arkansas. From 1990 to 2010 Olive Branch was the fastest growing city in the United States, with a growth rate of 838%. Along with other rapidly growing suburbs in DeSoto County, Olive Branch attributes most of its growth and development to the exodus of large numbers of middle-class families from central Memphis.

Picayune, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,732
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: New Orleans
Households with kids: 33.0%
More on Picayune: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Picayune is the largest city in Pearl River County, Mississippi. The population was 10,878 at the 2010 census. Picayune was added to the New Orleans metropolitan area in 2014, however it remains its own town respectively. The city is located approximately 45 miles from New Orleans, Hattiesburg and Gulfport-Biloxi. The Stennis Space Center is 10 miles away.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Grow Up In Mississippi

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Mississippi ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Mississippi according to the data:

  1. Biloxi
  2. Ridgeland
  3. Gautier

For more Mississippi reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Mississippi

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Hernando 15,227 63
2 Brandon 23,186 71
3 Long Beach 15,450 44
4 Horn Lake 26,785 59
5 Southaven 51,816 49
6 Laurel 18,806 60
7 Petal 10,736 40
8 Natchez 15,345 46
9 Olive Branch 35,508 35
10 Picayune 10,732 43
11 West Point 11,042 67
12 Madison 25,473 40
13 Hattiesburg 46,846 44
14 Jackson 172,039 83
15 Gulfport 71,265 66
16 Greenville 32,612 56
17 D’iberville 10,829 34
18 Meridian 40,094 63
19 Oxford 21,634 50
20 Ocean Springs 17,547 33
21 Vicksburg 23,320 59
22 Mccomb 12,732 41
23 Gautier 18,541 54
24 Ridgeland 24,338 33
25 Biloxi 45,271 34

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