10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi For 2019

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 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Mississippi.

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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 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.

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’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 2019

Madison, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,473
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $243,500 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (3rd 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.

Brandon, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,186
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $169,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (6th 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 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.

Ridgeland, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,338
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $176,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (8th 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.

Ocean Springs, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,547
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $151,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (14th 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.

Review Of Ocean Springs by HomeSnacks User

I live in Ocean Springs. I guess we made it on the list because of the bars. I think the criteria may need to be a little different. There are a lot of bars, but very few are redneck bars. I can think of several cities that are more redneck, such as Helena, Vancleave, Saucier…I guess because they have no bars they didn’t make it. It’s a fun article anyway.

Olive Branch, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,508
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $166,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (12th best)
More on Olive Branch: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Olive Branch makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Mississippi mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 5.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Olive Branch residents are glad to live where they do.

Hernando, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,227
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $173,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (6th best)
More on Hernando: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in Mississippi, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Hernando area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $66,486 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Hernando as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Hernando.

Southaven, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 51,816
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $139,400 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (12th best)
More on Southaven: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Southaven comes in 7th in our best places to live in Mississippi analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (12th overall) and crime rate (8th overall), Southaven is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Southaven in our lists for years to come.

Oxford, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,634
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $227,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (16th best)
More on Oxford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Oxford so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Oxford great. They also have the 35th highest median income and the 1st shortest commute time.

Long Beach, MS

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,450
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $143,900 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (22nd best)
More on Long Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,736
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $136,100 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (18th best)
More on Petal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Petal might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Petal isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $136,100 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Mississippi.

If Petal can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.5% is the 18th highest in the state.

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’.

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.

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 2019.

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. 7,591)
  2. Columbia (Pop. 6,292)
  3. Louisville (Pop. 6,373)

For more Mississippi reading, check out:

Where Are The The Best Places To Live In Mississippi?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Madison 25,473 3.5% $243,500
2 Brandon 23,186 4.2% $169,800
3 Ridgeland 24,338 5.5% $176,700
4 Ocean Springs 17,547 6.1% $151,500
5 Olive Branch 35,508 5.9% $166,100
6 Hernando 15,227 4.2% $173,300
7 Southaven 51,816 5.9% $139,400
8 Oxford 21,634 6.9% $227,400
9 Long Beach 15,450 7.9% $143,900
10 Petal 10,736 7.5% $136,100

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 “10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi For 2019

  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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