How many times as a child were you challenged to spell Mississippi? Can you do it now? Close your eyes and try! The US State of Mississippi is more than just a champion spelling bee word! With the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and being home to the Mississippi Delta, there is a lot of history, heritage and culture embedded in Mississippi; the Mississippi Delta region is considered to be the birthplace of blues music.
Whether you’re seriously looking to find a place to live in Mississippi or just shopping around to establish your options, without realising it there is certain criteria that you’re already looking for. Low crime rates, cost of living and quality of housing are all factors we take into consideration when scouting around for a new home.
Other factors we look at are access to public schooling, job opportunities and proximity to health facilities. We’ll admit that trying to find all this information in one bitesize article can be pretty taxing, so to make your life easier we created just that; here is our list of 15 best places to live in Mississippi, taking into consideration all these factors and a few more you may have forgotten about.
Madison is the lead city in Madison County in Mississippi and his home to 25,160 people. This is a reasonably affluent area and this is reflected in the above average house prices. Lying at $237,000, buying an average house in Madison is not an exclusive act. We can take it as a sign of resident satisfaction that 92% of people live in owned homes, suggesting that very few people are looking to move away in a hurry.
Not only is Madison the best place to live in Mississippi according to niche.com but also the best place to buy property and raise a family too. Affordable and accessible Madison should feature high on everyone’s list of maybes…
2. Arnold Line
Just like Madison, Arnold Lane gets a resounding A+ rating from niche.com. With just 2,600 people calling this small town in Lamar County home, this is a quaint, cosy and charming town to live in.
There is a better market here for those looking to rent a home. Although median rent is $100 a month higher than the national average, there are many rental properties out there. In fact, 39% of residents live in rented homes.
With average house prices at just $138,900, it will come as no surprise to read that Arnold Lane is a popular area with millennials. We can expect to see this quiet town giving Madison a run for its money in years to come.
Lying just south of Madison is the city of Ridgeland. Almost matching Madison in terms of population, Ridgeland is the home of 24,270 people but house prices are far more affordable. Averaging at a median value of $176,100, house prices in Ridgeland are much more agreeable than Madison…which are also pretty agreeable. If you liked everything about Madison bar the house prices Ridgeland is surely the place for you.
This is a thriving school district with 30 establishments for parents to choose from, these are some of the best schools in the state.
Local people say they have enjoyed watching this town develop over the years and that although growth has been fast, the small town feel still prevails.
The city of Clinton can be found in Hinds County and is home to 25,475 happy residents. Local people are keen to note that Clinton is perfect for families and with 25 schools on offer and a whole host of entertainment facilities we can see why.
One local resident commented ‘Family Belongs Here, Business Belongs Here and YOU Belong Here!’ And what more can we add?! The community of college students who live here for only parts of the year are an important part of the community and the local people love having them around.
Clinton and Ridgeland are very much aligned and it’s only whether you want to be north or west of state capital Jackson that you really have to question!
5. Ocean Springs
Ocean Springs is the suburb that surrounds the Gulf Islands National Seashore and this national park area is the pride and joy of the locals who live here. Our smallest town on our list to date, Ocean Springs is home to just 17,500 people; meaning the beach is never too overcrowded.
Considering its proximity to sea the median home value here is very, very good. Lying at an average of $146,800 you get good value for money here. For an investment of $124,900, you could be the proud owner of a humble 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family home that is a matter of minutes from the beach.
Ocean Springs is the second best schooling district in the state of Mississippi. Although on paper the crime levels do let Ocean Springs down a little, but locals assure that the area is safe and secure with a strong sense of Southern hospitality.
The first of our best places to live in Mississippi to be found in Lafayette Country is Oxford. Although median house prices are more on par with Madison at an average of $230,400, it is the median monthly rent that sparks our interest here. On average the monthly rent in Oxford is $807. This is the lowest median rent on our list so far, so tenants get searching for rental real estate here.
This suburb is very popular with millennials, largely due to the low rents meaning they can start to save to get on the property ladder.
Oxford is by no means as wealthy as other areas but despite the average household income being just $32,400 annually, the crime statistics in the area are perfectly low.
Tucked beneath Route 20 is the city of Brandon in Rankin County, Mississippi. Lying to the east of state capital Jackson, Brandon is an ideal commuter suburb for anyone whose work takes them into the city. The 22,800 people who live here are more than satisfied with what Brandon offers them.
Crime in the area is low and local people always mention how safe and secure they feel the area is. With 10 outstanding schools in the area, this is a very family orientated suburb.
Brandon has everything you could ask for and more form a small commuter town; grocery stores, cinemas, and parks too. Not to mention all the health provisions you would expect with a larger population like this.
This is a more economically stable area with median household income resting at $71,900 on average annually.
The endearingly named Petal lies along the Leaf River and is a northeastern suburb of Hattiesburg. This is a greatly affordable area with an extensive range of public schools making it an ideal place to raise a family. According to niche.com Petal is the second best suburb to raise a family in all of Mississippi.
Petal is home to 10,700 people who earn bang on the average household income of the United States of America. Bringing home $53,000 a year means that the families here are by no means affluent but not scraping by either.
Value for money in property is great here. For $199,000 you can buy a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family home with a swimming pool. We seldom see a swimming pool in the mix for less than $400,000 so get shopping!
Tupelo is proud to be the birthplace of Elvis Presley! For avid fans of the late rock god surely this is all you need to know about the area to warrant upping sticks and moving in!
There are some fantastic job opportunities in Tupelo, Toyota, Cooper Tyre and Ashely Furniture all have workshops here so although median annual income is just $41,400, unemployment is seldom a topic of conversation.
Property prices here in Tupelo are highly desirable. Many properties coming in at under $100,000 which is a real treat for Mississippi.
For those prepared to do their time working hard in the manufacturing industry and want a property that is a project, this is the place to be.
10. West Hattiesburg
As the name would suggest, West Hattiesburg is west of the Lamar County city of Hattiesburg. Only a 15-minute drive into the city itself, this suburb is a commuter’s dream.
Rent here is incredibly low at just $772 a month on average. Unsurprisingly 53% of residents live in rented accommodation. With statistics like this, you could predict that this would be a rather transient area but there is a solid community of people here who think that living in West Hattiesburg is just great.
There are few schools in the area but being so close to Hattiesburg means that there is a wider schooling district that local children are entitled to.
11. Gulf Park Estates
If you just have to wake up to the sea breeze every morning then Gulf Park Estates is certainly worthy of your consideration.
This small town is home to just 6,100 people creating a really homely community environment. There is a huge range of properties on the market here. There are larger family homes with double garages and private driveways for $174,900 or there are smaller 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family homes for $108,000; it seems there is a home to suit every budget in Gulf Park Estates.
This is a more affluent area than say, Tupelo, the average household brings home $70,100 a year but surprisingly this has not pushed the house price above a median of $133,800.
Flowood is the northernmost suburb of Jackson city. Home to just 8,385 people, Flowood really is a town of its own. With sufficient amenities and facilities in the area to mean locals seldom have to stray into the city, this keeps everyone fairly satisfied with their life here.
Flowood is the more pricey suburb of Jackson, median home value is $178,300 and to be fair you’d be looking to spend upwards of $235,000 before you start getting value for money.
Although house prices are high, median household income is still below the national average, perhaps explaining why such a high percentage of residents live in rented properties; 46% to be exact.
13. Olive Branch
The peaceful town of Olive Branch is an outlying, southeasterly suburb of Memphis. Golfers will be pleased to hear that Cherokee Valley Golf Club is less than a 20-minute drive from any given point in the suburb!
There are 35,000 people who call Olive Branch home and there is very little to find fault with here. There are 38 outstanding schools in the Olive Branch area making it the best public school suburb in all of Mississippi.
Local people say that there are plenty of job opportunities in Olive Branch and due to the thriving economy, job stability too. They say that there is a true sense of sincere Southern hospitality here and that families are always welcome.
Whether you move here or not, be sure to stop by Stromboli’s if you’re in town, a true local’s hidden gem and loved by all who try their Italian foodie delights. There is a friendly community of 24,700 people who call Starkville home.
This is a reasonably highly educated area, with 25% of people having earned a Master’s degree or higher there is a truly diverse group of people who live here. Although the average household income is just $31,300 there is high resident satisfaction.
Local people describe Starkville as a ‘small town with a big heart’!
15. Pass Christian
The small town of Pass Christian in Harrison County is home to just 5,130 people; this friendly community knows each other by face if not by name.
Rent is surprisingly low here, given its seaside proximity. The town is locally known as The Pass and those who live here are keen to tell you that there are plenty of small local restaurants and diners and are delighted that big chains are yet to capitalise on the area.
House prices are highly agreeable, especially given the seaside views many have to offer; $169,400 on average.