These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Mississippi?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Magnolia State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Mississippi.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 61 places in Mississippi, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Madison (Photos)
  2. Brandon (Photos)
  3. Ridgeland
  4. Ocean Springs (Photos)
  5. Olive Branch (Photos)
  6. Hernando (Photos)
  7. Southaven (Photos)
  8. Oxford (Photos)
  9. Long Beach (Photos)
  10. Petal (Photos)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Mississippi.

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

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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 5,300
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,300
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 61 cities, 134 towns, and 160 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 5,300 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.

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How We Calculated The Best Place 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.

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.

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1. Madison

Madison, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

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

2. Brandon


Population: 23,186
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $169,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (5th best)
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.

3. Ridgeland


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

4. Ocean Springs

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

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

5. Olive Branch

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 35,508
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Values: $166,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (11th best)
We think the motto in Olive Branch should be “Everything is greater in Olive Branch,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Olive Branch has some of the highest home values in Mississippi, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Olive Branch only has 810.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Olive Branch a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

6. Hernando

Hernando, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,227
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Values: $173,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (5th best)
There’s two types of people who live in Hernando. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $173,300 home there.

Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Hernando is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

7. Southaven

Southaven, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 51,816
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Values: $139,400 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (11th best)
The crime is the 8th lowest in the state in Southaven, and there were only 59 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Mississippi, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Southaven earn $58,427 a year.

8. Oxford

Oxford, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,634
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Home Values: $227,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (16th best)
Oxford has a strong showing in our best places to live in Mississippi analysis, coming it at 8th 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, Oxford is a great option.

9. Long Beach

Long Beach, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,450
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Home Values: $143,900 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (22nd best)
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.

10. Petal

Petal, Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,736
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Values: $136,100 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (18th best)
Taking its place as the 10th best place in Mississippi is Petal. 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.

An unemployment rate of only 7.5% helps thing too.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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 2018.

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. Columbus AFB (Pop. 1,489)
  6. Tunica (Pop. 1,249)
  7. Lynchburg (Pop. 2,197)
  8. Florence (Pop. 4,313)
  9. Bridgetown (Pop. 2,045)
  10. Tunica Resorts (Pop. 1,839)

Best Small Towns To Live In Mississippi

  1. Lyon (Pop. 322)
  2. Meridian Station (Pop. 623)
  3. Henderson Point (Pop. 144)
  4. Sumner (Pop. 313)
  5. New Hamilton (Pop. 523)
  6. Louin (Pop. 381)
  7. Kossuth (Pop. 237)
  8. Sylvarena (Pop. 100)
  9. Falkner (Pop. 627)
  10. Sebastopol (Pop. 317)

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

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

For more Mississippi reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Mississippi

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Madison 1 1 25,473 3.5% $243,500
Brandon 2 3 23,186 4.2% $169,800
Ridgeland 3 2 24,338 5.5% $176,700
Ocean Springs 4 5 17,547 6.1% $151,500
Olive Branch 5 7 35,508 5.9% $166,100
Hernando 6 8 15,227 4.2% $173,300
Southaven 7 5 51,816 5.9% $139,400
Oxford 8 4 21,634 6.9% $227,400
Long Beach 9 9 15,450 7.9% $143,900
Petal 10 9 10,736 7.5% $136,100
Flowood 11 11 8,532 4.1% $174,500
Diamondhead 12 12 8,341 7.6% $157,000
Pearl 13 13 26,344 8.3% $115,000
D’Iberville 14 15 10,829 5.1% $117,700
Tupelo 15 22 38,856 7.4% $134,700
Horn Lake 16 16 26,785 9.8% $95,600
Clinton 17 17 25,411 3.2% $155,800
Batesville 18 26 7,402 5.5% $125,400
Pass Christian 19 19 5,302 11.5% $157,400
Gautier 20 20 18,541 7.5% $118,800
Starkville 21 14 25,011 8.6% $166,400
Byram 22 25 11,610 6.0% $129,800
Canton 23 21 13,504 6.6% $123,400
Pascagoula 24 36 22,163 10.2% $104,500
Richland 25 18 7,069 5.7% $116,800
Bay St. Louis 26 28 11,448 8.1% $150,800
Cleveland 27 23 12,346 10.5% $102,300
Pontotoc 28 24 5,906 3.3% $100,300
Amory 29 29 7,110 9.9% $109,300
New Albany 30 34 8,589 8.0% $120,800
Biloxi 31 30 45,271 10.1% $149,100
Moss Point 32 45 13,652 13.7% $85,600
Gulfport 33 31 71,265 11.3% $116,200
Greenwood 34 40 14,780 9.8% $85,400
Senatobia 35 33 7,969 8.8% $131,100
Philadelphia 36 48 7,399 8.9% $91,600
Corinth 37 37 14,832 10.5% $92,600
Natchez 38 38 15,345 11.5% $99,300
Columbus 39 43 24,833 15.6% $102,000
Aberdeen 40 49 5,427 13.6% $71,700
Grenada 41 35 12,863 9.3% $98,400
Waveland 42 53 6,454 11.6% $122,500
Hattiesburg 43 44 46,846 14.2% $109,500
West Point 44 39 11,042 15.5% $86,000
Jackson 45 41 172,039 12.8% $89,500
Picayune 46 55 10,732 11.9% $115,100
Meridian 47 46 40,094 10.3% $82,200
Brookhaven 48 51 12,418 9.5% $105,000
Laurel 49 50 18,806 11.7% $75,300
Ripley 50 32 5,336 12.2% $93,300
Vicksburg 51 42 23,320 8.7% $93,400
Booneville 52 47 8,764 12.6% $102,600
Clarksdale 53 52 16,994 19.8% $62,100
Kosciusko 54 57 7,208 13.0% $76,300
Mccomb 55 27 12,732 8.0% $87,600
Indianola 56 58 10,047 17.6% $72,900
Greenville 57 54 32,612 20.8% $75,100
Forest 58 56 5,700 7.8% $69,100
Holly Springs 59 60 7,591 10.8% $73,000
Columbia 60 59 6,292 10.4% $80,200
Louisville 61 61 6,373 17.2% $85,000

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Facebook Discussion

9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi For 2018

  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.

  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.

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