When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Mississippi.
But where exactly in Mississippi? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Mississippi that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Brandon don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Magnolia State to retire for 2018:
- Brandon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Natchez (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hernando (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- West Point (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Picayune (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Laurel (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Long Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Vicksburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Petal (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Magnolia State
To create our list of the best places in Mississippi to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Magnolia State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 25 places from across the state.
For these 25, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 25, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Brandon, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 23,186Median Rent: $956
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 991
More on Brandon: Homes For Sale | Data
Long occupied by indigenous cultures, this area was part of Choctaw people territory at the time of European colonization. They were forced to cede their land to the United States in the 1830s. The area near the river was developed for cotton plantations. European-American settlers did not occupy the area in great number until the mid-20th century.
Population: 15,227Median Rent: $933
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,436
More on Hernando: Homes For Sale | Data
At the time of encounters by French and Spanish colonists, the Chickasaw people had long inhabited this area. France had developed colonial settlements along the Gulf Coast, as well as to the north in what was called the Illinois Country. An 18th-century French colonial log house (see first photo in gallery below) in Hernando is a reminder of their settlements higher along the Mississippi area as well. The French and French Canadians had a wide trading network with various American Indian tribes along this river, for instance in Natchez.
4. West Point
Population: 10,732Median Rent: $764
Distance to Closest Airport: 50 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,208
More on Picayune: Homes For Sale | Data
Picayune was founded in 1904, named by Eliza Jane Poitevent Nicholson, the owner and publisher of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, a newspaper named for the Spanish coin. The post office contains a mural, Lumber Regions of Mississippi, painted by Donald H. Robertson in 1940. Federally commissioned murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department.
Population: 18,806Median Rent: $549
Distance to Closest Airport: 69 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,918
More on Laurel: Homes For Sale | Data
Laurel was founded in 1882 as a lumber town, as the industry harvested yellow pine forests in the region. The city was named for laurel thickets near the original town site.
7. Long Beach
Population: 15,450Median Rent: $955
Distance to Closest Airport: 70 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,407
More on Long Beach: Homes For Sale | Data
Long Beach began as an agricultural town, based around its radish industry. But on August 10, 1905, Long Beach incorporated and became another city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As the years went on, the city moved from its agricultural heritage and moved toward tourism with the beach and high-rise condominiums becoming increasingly popular.
Population: 25,473Median Rent: $1,492
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 832
More on Madison: Homes For Sale | Data
The city of Madison, named for James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, developed along a bustling railroad track in antebellum Mississippi. It began in 1856 when the Illinois Central Railroad opened Madison Station, the forerunner of the city of Madison.
Population: 23,320Median Rent: $623
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,710
More on Vicksburg: Homes For Sale | Data
The area which is now Vicksburg was long occupied by the Natchez Native Americans as part of their historical territory along the Mississippi. The Natchez spoke a language isolate not related to the Muskogean languages of the other major tribes in the area. Before the Natchez, other indigenous cultures had occupied this strategic area for thousands of years.
Population: 10,736Median Rent: $811
Distance to Closest Airport: 82 miles
Crime Per 100k: 782
More on Petal: Homes For Sale | Data
The first postmaster of Petal was Irving A. Polk. The post office was established in 1903 and was named after the daughter of a first settler. It is the only city in the U.S. with this name. Petal separated from the city of Hattiesburg on April 4, 1974. Petal was a community filled with farmers. This is slowly changing with new businesses coming into the city.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Mississippi goes to Brandon.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more Mississippi reading , check out:
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Mississippi
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Mississippi
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Mississippi
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Mississippi