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 there? Instead of asking opinion or putting out polls, we decided the one way to decide it is 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?
After analyzing the 70 most populous cities, we came up with this list as the 10 best places in Mississippi:
- Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Brandon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ridgeland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ocean Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Olive Branch (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hernando (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Southaven (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Oxford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Long Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Petal (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Madison if you’re thinking of moving to Mississippi — it’s the best the Magnolia State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Mississippi.
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Mississippi
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Mississippi
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Mississippi
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 172,039 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 places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
According to scientific data, Madison is the best place in Mississippi, and it’s not even close.
Residents here earn the 1st 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.
Folks in this Jackson suburb have great jobs, and hardly any of them are without work. Plus, the crime is the 3rd 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.
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.
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.
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Mississippi, as there were only 67 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in Mississippi (5.9%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 8th most expensive in Olive Branch ($166,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $67,004 a year.
Well, I guess technically 4.2% of Hernando residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 6th closest of any city in Mississippi.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Hernando also ranked well for crime (5th) and median income ($66,486).
Southaven has a strong showing in our best places to live in Mississippi analysis, coming it at 7th 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, Southaven is a great option.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Oxford. The crime is the 11th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Oxford make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $227,400 and households make $33,800 which is good for 35th in Mississippi.
Just to the west of Gulfport is the small community of Long Beach. Here, residents enjoy a low unemployment rate as well as really high salaries.
The student-teacher ratio is 12:1 in Long Beach, which is the lowest in the state. That’s some really serious devotion to the future of that community. Plus, you get to live along the Gulf, so that’s awesome.
Petal is known for having a great education system and has the 48th shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Petal is the 18th lowest in Mississippi and the median income is the 12th highest in the state.
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 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Mississippi
- Saltillo (Pop. 4,988)
- Hide-A-Way Lake (Pop. 1,883)
- New Hope (Pop. 3,393)
- Beechwood (Pop. 4,365)
- Tunica (Pop. 1,249)
- Lynchburg (Pop. 2,197)
- Florence (Pop. 4,313)
- Bridgetown (Pop. 2,045)
- Tunica Resorts (Pop. 1,839)
- Guntown (Pop. 2,509)
Best Small Towns To Live In Mississippi
- Lyon (Pop. 322)
- Henderson Point (Pop. 144)
- Sumner (Pop. 313)
- New Hamilton (Pop. 523)
- Louin (Pop. 381)
- Kossuth (Pop. 237)
- Sylvarena (Pop. 100)
- Falkner (Pop. 627)
- Sebastopol (Pop. 317)
- Sandersville (Pop. 850)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Mississippi according to the data:
- Holly Springs (Pop. 7,591)
- Columbia (Pop. 6,292)
- Louisville (Pop. 6,373)
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Mississippi For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Mississippi
- 10 Safest Places In Mississippi
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Mississippi
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Mississippi
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