THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020


We looked at data to decide, once and for all, which cities in The Magnolia State are the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Mississippi.

Rebel Yell!

Mississippi is a truly glorious state. A place of historical relevance, high religious identity, deep cultural roots, and perhaps, the most passionate college football fans outside of Alabama.

Just kidding. Mississippi wins that, too. In all seriousness, if you're looking for a beautiful place with some of the most polite and friendly people in the country, the Magnolia State would be hard to beat.

So, where are the best places to live in Mississippi? Instead of asking opinion or putting out polls, we decided the one way to determine the best to live was to look at science and data. And that's what we did here. That means, no arguing about the results, because they are unbiased.

You can't argue with science, can you? Especially when we looked to the Census and FBI data to run our analysis -- the sixth time we've done so for Mississippi.

After analyzing the 61 most populous cities, we came up with this list, sorry Jackson.

Like we said earlier, naming the best places in Mississippi sounds silly, since many of the places here would rank really high in other states. But if you're analyzing places in Mississippi with the best economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

What city is the best place to live in mississippi for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Madison is the best place to live in mississippi if you care about low unemployment, low crime, and a high quality of life.

What's interesting is how low Waveland ranked in our worst place to live in Mississippi study, considering that most other Gulf Coast cities ranked so high.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Mississippi reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020

Madison, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 25,522
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $255,000 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (2nd best)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

According to scientific data, Madison is the best place in Mississippi, and it's not even close.

Residents here earn the most per household in the state and crime is basically non-existent.

No wonder the population here has jumped more than 30% in the last five years. Everyone who can afford it wants to live here. So if you're in the Jackson area and want to settle in an awesome suburb, look no further.

Ridgeland, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 24,265
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $179,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (12th best)
More on Ridgeland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There seems to be a pattern here. It seems that the best places to live are just outside of Jackson. Ridgeland is a very nice place to live, where residents are employed gainfully, and the public schools are well funded.

The hometown of country artist Faith Hill has seen a 10% spike in population growth since 2010.

Brandon, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 23,688
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $177,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (3rd best)
More on Brandon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Folks in this Jackson suburb have great jobs, and hardly any of them are without work. Plus, the crime is the 4th lowest in the state of Mississippi..

Brandon can make a case that it's the best place to live in the state, just based on those numbers alone. Hint hint wink wink.

Olive Branch, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 36,721
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $172,700 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (11th best)
More on Olive Branch: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Olive Branch, everyone loves to call Olive Branch home! The median home value is the 8th highest in Mississippi.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 11th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Magnolia State.

Clinton, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 25,456
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $162,200 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (5th best)
More on Clinton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

You might be surprised to see the Town of Clinton so high on the list. Unless you live in Clinton.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 2.8%, Clinton residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Mississippi. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Clinton is doing quite well.

Let's be honest -- Clinton is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Ocean Springs, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,613
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $165,100 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (23rd best)
More on Ocean Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ocean Springs is right across the bridge from Biloxi on the Gulf Coast. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Mississippi. It's considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too.

Which means you can't be bored here.

Oxford, MS

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,037
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $258,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (31st best)
More on Oxford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Oxford. Statistically the 17th safest place in the state, there were only 16 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It's really beautiful in Oxford, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $39,886 a year, and homes are valued at more than $258,600.

What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?

Petal, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,669
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $142,000 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (15th best)
More on Petal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Mississippi, as there were only 0 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 15th lowest in Mississippi (5.3%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 17th most expensive in Petal ($142,000), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $58,539 a year.

Flowood, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,870
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $192,500 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (8th best)
More on Flowood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Flowood, everyone loves to call Flowood home! The median home value is the 3rd highest in Mississippi.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Magnolia State.

Flowood should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Hernando, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,807
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $188,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (6th best)
More on Hernando: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hernando has a strong showing in our best places to live in Mississippi analysis, coming it at 10th best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you're thinking of moving to Mississippi, Hernando is a great option.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Mississippi

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Jackson with a population of 168,862 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 61 cities, 129 towns, and 141 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Mississippi have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Mississippi

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Mississippi across a number of criteria from one to 61, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Mississippi".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Mississippi? That would be Madison.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Mississippi.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Madison at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Mississippi

If you're looking at areas in Mississippi with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Madison made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Mississippi for 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Mississippi

  1. Saltillo (Pop. 4,988)
  2. Hide-A-Way Lake (Pop. 1,883)
  3. New Hope (Pop. 3,393)
  4. Beechwood (Pop. 4,365)
  5. Tunica (Pop. 1,249)
  6. Lynchburg (Pop. 2,197)
  7. Florence (Pop. 4,313)
  8. Bridgetown (Pop. 2,045)
  9. Tunica Resorts (Pop. 1,839)
  10. Guntown (Pop. 2,509)

Best Small Towns To Live In Mississippi

  1. Lyon (Pop. 322)
  2. Henderson Point (Pop. 144)
  3. Sumner (Pop. 313)
  4. New Hamilton (Pop. 523)
  5. Louin (Pop. 381)
  6. Kossuth (Pop. 237)
  7. Sylvarena (Pop. 100)
  8. Falkner (Pop. 627)
  9. Sebastopol (Pop. 317)
  10. Sandersville (Pop. 850)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Mississippi according to the data:

  1. Holly Springs (Pop. 7,578)
  2. Louisville (Pop. 6,298)
  3. Forest (Pop. 5,668)

For more Mississippi reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Mississippi?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Madison 25,522 1.8% $255,000
2 Ridgeland 24,265 5.0% $179,900
3 Brandon 23,688 2.6% $177,900
4 Olive Branch 36,721 4.8% $172,700
5 Clinton 25,456 2.8% $162,200
6 Ocean Springs 17,613 7.0% $165,100
7 Oxford 23,037 8.3% $258,600
8 Petal 10,669 5.3% $142,000
9 Flowood 8,870 4.3% $192,500
10 Hernando 15,807 3.6% $188,200

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

15 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020

  1. Amory has a great school system, large hospital and many specialists have offices here from Tupelo and Columbus. Lots of homes for sale!

  2. Sorry I’ll admit to bias but what happened to Starkville, and I’ll be fair and even say Oxford. You guys’ data is screwed up.

    1. Are you serious? Jackson,Ms?!!! Ot has one of the highest crime rates and black on black crime. Not too mention the gangs, drugs, prostitution and poverty!

  3. Seems like the towns and cities listed are all burbs not too much small towns or micro cities. Mississippi is rural not to many cities other than Jackson or Biloxi. My list of be places to live are Olive Branch, Tupelo, Southaven, Oxford, Madison, Hattiesburg, Biloxi/Gulfport, Meridian, Starkville, Corinth, Columbus, Clinton, New Albany. Grenada, Philadelphia, McComb, Pontotoc, Water Valley, Hernando.

    Worst places to live in Mississippi the delta region including Clarksdale, Greenville, Greenwood, Senatobia, Aberdeen, Laurel, Pearl, Horn Lake, Yazoo City, Jackson is Mississippi is the largest city and the worst place to live-its drying up and dying on the vine. People who grew up in Jackson that want to remain have moved to the burbs to the north.

    Good rule of thumb is do not live anywhere between Interstate 55 and the Mississippi or basically the entire western 3rd of Mississippi its where all the crime, horrible schools, and worst poverty is located. Its made up mostly of the delta region the most economically deprived region of the United States. Still there are good people from there and mostly they are from there because the moved away.

  4. For Long Beach and Petal, why on Earth did you use photos that show the destruction from Katrina and a tornado? That does not define our beautiful towns!

  5. Are you serious? Jackson,Ms?!!! Ot has one of the highest crime rates and black on black crime. Not too mention the gangs, drugs, prostitution and poverty!

  6. Rienzi MS is the best place in Ms only trouble you have is the people who comes from out of town and if you don’t talk to anybody won’t have to worry about noses friends don’t bring anybody home from anywhere else because they are trouble LOL

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