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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Mississippi
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live 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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Olive Branch has a really low crime rate (7th lowest) and only 5.9% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($67,004). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Olive Branch.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Hernando. The crime is the 5th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Hernando make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $173,300 and households make $66,486 which is good for 5th in Mississippi.
Southaven is known for having a great education system and has the 42nd shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Southaven is the 12th lowest in Mississippi and the median income is the 7th highest in the state.
Oxford 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 6.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Oxford residents are glad to live where they do.
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.
With the unemployment rate being the 18th lowest in Mississippi and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Petal.
Plus, the crime rate is the 1st lowest 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 2018.
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:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Mississippi
- 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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