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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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 as the 10 best places in Mississippi:

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

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:

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 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.

Madison, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

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 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.

Brandon, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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

8
/10

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

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

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.

Olive Branch, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

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 is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $166,100 and households earn a median salary of $67,004. One could get used to that.

Hernando, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Mississippi, Hernando came in 6th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Hernando has an impressive history for a place of just over 15,227 people. The median home costs a cool $173,300 and households make $66,486 which is good for 5th in Mississippi.

Southaven, MS

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

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

With the unemployment rate being the 12th lowest in Mississippi and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Southaven.

Plus, the crime rate is the 8th lowest in the state!

Oxford, MS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

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

Oxford is another gem in Magnolia State. The unemployment rate here is 16th lowest in the entire state at 6.9%. Other factors that make Oxford so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $227,400, and parents earn a combined $33,800 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Long Beach, MS

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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

8
/10

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

At an unemployment rate of 7.5%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Petal. And the residents command high salaries ($53,834 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($136,100 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Mississippi. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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

  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:

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

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11 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.

  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!

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