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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list.
For a lot of people who live in the fine state of Mississippi, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Petal.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Magnolia State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 31 cities in Mississippi with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here's the list of the safest cities in Mississippi for 2018:
How we calculated the safest cities in Mississippi
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017) in Mississippi.
Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:
Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
For example, there were a total of 84 crimes committed in Petal which had a reported population of 10,747. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0078 which translates into a 1 in 127 chance of being the victim of a crime.
We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 31 of the biggest cities in Mississippi to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 31 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.
Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Mississippi".
Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.
Source: Public domain
Population: 10,747 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 18 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 763 (2nd safest) More on Petal:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,454 in the 2010 census.
Population: 26,119 Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 53 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 758 (1st safest) More on Madison:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Madison is a city in Madison County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 24,841 at the 2010 census. The population is currently over 25,000. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Population: 23,824 Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 62 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 902 (3rd safest) More on Brandon:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Brandon is a city in Rankin County, Mississippi. The population was 21,705 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Rankin County. Brandon is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area and located east of the state capital.
4. Long Beach
Source: Public domain
Population: 15,708 Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 70 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,298 (5th safest) More on Long Beach:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Long Beach is a city (incorporated August 10, 1905) located in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. It is part of the Gulfport?Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,792.
Population: 15,793 Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 151 (9th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,197 (4th safest) More on Hernando:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Hernando is a city in and the county seat of DeSoto County, which is on the northwest border of Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,090 at the 2010 census, up from 6,812 in 2000. DeSoto County is the second-most-populous county in the Memphis metropolitan area.
Population: 53,310 Rank Last Year: - Violent Crimes Per 100k: 110 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,776 (9th safest) More on Southaven:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and a principal city in the Memphis metropolitan area. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city's name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.
Population: 36,513 Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 183 (13th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,552 (6th safest) More on Olive Branch:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Olive Branch is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 33,484 at the 2010 census, up from 21,054 in 2000. Olive Branch is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and is part of the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region that consists of three counties in southwest Tennessee, five counties in northwest Mississippi, and two counties in eastern Arkansas. From 1990 to 2010 Olive Branch was the fastest growing city in the United States, with a growth rate of 838%. Along with other rapidly growing suburbs in DeSoto County, Olive Branch attributes most of its growth and development to the exodus of large numbers of middle-class families from central Memphis.
9. Pass Christian
Source: Public domain
Population: 5,690 Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 175 (12th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,636 (8th safest) More on Pass Christian:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Pass Christian (/pæs krstiæn/), nicknamed The Pass, is a city in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. It is part of the Gulfport?Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,613 at the 2010 census.
Population: 23,052 Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 169 (11th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,802 (10th safest) More on Oxford:Photos | Real Estate | Data
Oxford is a city in, and the county seat of, Lafayette County, Mississippi, United States. Founded in 1837, it was named after the British university city of Oxford in hopes of having the state university located there, which it did successfully attract.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Magnolia State
Looking at the data, you can tell that Petal is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most Mississippi residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.