Most Affordable Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020

We used data and science to determine which places in Mississippi go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Mississippi.

If you’ve never visited Elvis Preseley’s birthplace in Tupelo or had gator bites in Gulfport, then you’ve not witnessed what the good people of MIssissippi already know; they have some of the best, most affordable fun in America.

Not only does Mississippi have a boatload of affordable fun, The Magnolia State has some of the most affordable places to call home.

And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is handing you the ultimate life hack: we’ve created a list of the top ten most affordable places Mississippi for 2020. Take a look at our list below, there might be some places that’ll surprise you. But what’s not surprising is the affordable, gold star quality of life in Mississippi; and that folks, comes with a price. If you want to live in one of Mississippi’s most affordable places, you’re going to have to find a good job. This shouldn’t be too hard, Mississippi’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in years. Coincidentally, Mississippi is super safe. It’s one of the least dangerous states in the country. Probably because good ‘ol fashioned southern hospitality is live and well in the delta.

So, want to know where the cheapest places in Mississippi are to live? Grab a frozen daiquiri, find a quiet spot by Mississippi River, and read on.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020

1. AberdeenAberdeen, MS

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,347
Median Household Income: $34,911

The absolute least expensive place in Mississippi is Aberdeen, a city in the northeastern part of the state. You’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper home in Mississippi than in Aberdeen, where the median home price is $70,900. Aberdeen’s population has been steadily going down in recent years, which is great for newcomers who get to enjoy the best home price to income ratio in the state. Fishers will also be pleased to hear about all the bass, crappie, and catfish up for grabs in Aberdeen Lake. Aberdeen’s median income is $34,911, which is more than enough to pay the bills in the cheapest city in Mississippi.

2. ClarksdaleClarksdale, MS

Population: 16,174
Median Household Income: $31,540

A city in the Mississippi Delta region, Clarksdale is a city with historic ties to the development of blues music in America. Blues musicians such as Ike Turner and Duke Ellington were hosted at the Riverside Hotel, a popular stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail. You’ll certainly have no reason to sing the blues if you decide to buy a home in Clarksdale, where the median home price is the first in the state at $66,800. With residents earning a median income of $31,540, Clarksdale has the second best home price to income ratio in Mississippi.

3. RipleyRipley, MS

Population: 5,282
Median Household Income: $39,631

Ripley makes the cut as the third least expensive city in Mississippi thanks to being an excellent place for renters. The median rent in Ripley is a measly $582, and with residents earning a median income of $39,631, Ripley residents pay the seventh smallest portion of their income statewide on rent. If you’d rather settle down and buy rather than rent, a home will set you back about $100,200. With all that extra cash you’ll have leftover, you can buy some seriously unique pieces at Ripley’s First Monday Day Trades, one of the oldest flea markets in the country.

Ripley is located in hills region of northern Mississippi, a half hour south of the Tennessee border.

4. PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia, MS

Population: 7,284
Median Household Income: $34,496

Located about 40 miles northwest of Meridian, Philadelphia, Mississippi is a heck of a lot cheaper than it’s northern namesake. With a median rent of $740, Philadelphia is the least economical place to rent on this list. However, the city makes up for it by having the seventh cheapest homes in the state. Paying of a median mortgage of $79,900 on a median income of $34,496 is no sweat for Philadelphia residents. Since you’re already lucky enough to live in the fourth most affordable city in Mississippi, we vote you let your luck ride at Philadelphia’s Silver Star Casino. Even if you lose at the casino, you’ll be winning big on housing costs.

5. PontotocPontotoc, MS

Population: 5,997
Median Household Income: $43,988

If you’re lucky enough to have walked Mississippi’s Tanglefoot Trail, you may have already passed through Pontotoc, a quickly growing city just west of Tupelo. One reason that Pontotoc is growing is that it’s an absolute haven for renters. The median rent in Pontotoc is $627, and renters pay the fifth smallest portion of their income on rent statewide.

The median income in Pontotoc is $43,988 and the median home price is $114,600.

6. BoonevilleBooneville, MS

Population: 8,767
Median Household Income: $35,767

Like Pontotoc, Booneville’s position on this list is largely due to being a boon to renters. At $533, Booneville’s median rent is less than half the average rent in Mississippi, which is already substantially lower than the national average. However, Booneville is the least economical place to buy a home on this list, with a median home price of $102,700 and a median income of $35,767.

Booneville is located about a half hour north of Tupelo.

7. DiamondheadDiamondhead, MS

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,149
Median Household Income: $71,411

When you first look at the numbers, Diamondhead might not seem too inexpensive. With a median price tag of $172,100, homes in Diamondhead are pricier than anywhere else on this list. But when you realize that Diamondhead is also among the richest places in Mississippi, the city’s affordability becomes apparent. The median income in Diamondhead is $71,411, which is more than enough to afford a home here. And if you’re not ready to buy, you’re in luck, because Diamondhead has the best rent to income ratio in Mississippi.

Diamondhead is located in the southwestern part of the state, about an hour northeast of New Orleans.

8. LaurelLaurel, MS

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,607
Median Household Income: $33,940

Located 30 miles north of Hattiesburg, Laurel ranks as the eighth cheapest city in Mississippi. It’s pretty obvious that you’re living in the cheapest state in America when you move to Laurel, where you can get a home for a median price of $87,300. With residents earning a median income of $33,940, folks have plenty of money to pay for housing and then some. While rent in Laurel is low at $638, it’s still slightly more affordable for people buying homes.

9. Byram

Population: 11,657
Median Household Income: $65,671

Like Diamondhead, housing in Byram is a bit on the expensive side for this list. However, because Byram’s median income is also high at $65,671, residents don’t pay as big a chunk of their earnings towards housing as elsewhere in the state. While a median home price of $140,600 may seem high, folks in Byram enjoy the third lowest home price to income ratio in Mississippi. Might we suggest using the extra cash you’ll have on the freshest produce in town at the local farmer’s market.

Byram is a southern suburb of Jackson.

10. Horn LakeHorn Lake, MS

Population: 26,925
Median Household Income: $47,263

Horn Lake is no stranger to the Homesnacks spotlight; we’ve already ranked it among the best places for families, best places for singles, and safest places in Mississippi. The fact that you can have all that in one of the least expensive places in the state is a testament to how awesome Horn Lake is. The median income in Horn Lake is $47,263 and the median home price is $102,500, so it’s one of the easiest places in Mississippi to get your mortgage paid off.

Horn Lake is located in northwestern Mississippi, 20 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Magnolia State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Mississippi
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Mississippi to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 62 places in Mississippi that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Mississippi according to the data is Aberdeen. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Mississippi Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Mississippi, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Mississippi for 2020.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Mississippi according to the data:

  1. Oxford
  2. Starkville
  3. Bay St. Louis

For more Mississippi reading, check out:

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.