15 Best Places to Live in Mississippi

Written by Darren Griffiths
Updated on
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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.

Whether you’re seriously looking to find a place to live in Mississippi or just shopping around to establish your options, without realizing, 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.

1. Madison

Madison, MississippiSource: pmsyyz / Flickr

In Madison County, Madison is a picture-perfect town with around twenty-eight thousand residents. The town of Madison is filled with stunning greenery, glistening lakes, and plenty of outdoor activities for its residents to enjoy. While spending the day outdoors, you can go kayaking on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

While spending the day in the community, you’ll participate in local attractions such as shopping at the town’s center or their annual arts and crafts festivals. With the quick commute to Jackson or Ridelang, Madison is in the perfect location for job opportunities. Speaking of job opportunities, the economy in Madison continues to thrive.

The unemployment rate in Madison sits at 3.7%, well below the national average. In addition, the cost of living in Madison is 0.9% lower than the national average. With Madison being known for its low cost of living, arts, and culture, and excellent healthcare, it’s the perfect place for families to call home!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Madison are:

  • Mississippi Children’s Museum
  • Friendship Park
  • Malco Grandview Cinema
  • Strawberry Patch Park
  • Shaggy’s on the Rez Restaurant

2. Arnold Line

Arnold LineSource: Google Maps
Arnold Line

Arnold Line is a small town filled with warm and welcoming residents and is one of Mississippi’s best places to live. With a population of around fifteen hundred residents, its population has grown a stunning fifty-seven percent since 2020.

You can participate in many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and outdoor camping among its hills and valleys. Arnold Line allows you to live in a small town while still having access to big-city amenities in Jackson and Tupelo.

While living in Arnold Line, you’ll quickly notice how the temperature are mild, and that it never gets too hot or too cold, making this an ideal location for families to lives and spend their days outdoors. With it’s excellent community connection, laid-back atmosphere, and gorgeous scenery, Arnold Line is a great place to call home!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Arnold Line are:

  • Hattiesburg Zoo
  • Hub Bowling Lanes
  • The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Pep’s Point Water Park
  • Biloxi Beach
  • Longleaf Trace Biking Trail
  • Southern Prohibition Brewing
  • Hattiesburg Speedway

3. Ridgeland

RidgelandSource: pmsyyz / Flickr

Situated in Madison County and with a population of around twenty-four thousand residents is the city of Ridgeland, one of the best places to live in Mississippi. Ridgeland is one of the most popular areas people are moving to in hopes to find more job opportunities.

Ridgeland also have an excellent school system, making it a desirable area for families with small children. Ridgeland is known for its low cost of living, arts and cultural scene, and excellent healthcare for its residents.

In addition, Ridgeland’s unemployment rate is 4.8%, placing it below the national average, while its cost of living sits 12% lower than the national average. If you’re looking for a city for excellent schools and affordability, Ridgeland is the perfect place to call home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Ridgeland is:

  • Renaissance at Colony Park
  • Dogmud Tavern Restaurant
  • Freedom Ridge Park
  • North park Shopping Mall
  • Ridgeland Tennis Center
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park

4. Clinton

ClintonSource: Ken Lund / Flickr

With a population of nearly twenty-five thousand residents, Clinton has continued to see its population grow since 2020. Residents living here do pretty well in terms of salary, with the average median income hovering around $60,000.

While living in Clinton, you’ll get to discover and explore some of its most popular attractions such as the Clinton Community Nature Center and Vicksburg National Military Park.

In addition, Clinton is one of the most adorable areas in the south, with its cost of living sitting at almost 16% lower than the national average. If you’re deciding to move to Clinton, you won’t be disappointed with the costs and expect anywhere around $200,000 for your average home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Clinton are:

  • Clinton Community Nature Center
  • Indian Lanes Bowling Alley
  • Traceway Park
  • Wyatt Waters Gallery
  • Mississippi Art Museum
  • Old Capitol Museum
  • Funtime Skateland of Clinton

5. Ocean Springs

Ocean SpringsSource: Fotoluminate LLC / shutterstock
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 seventeen thousand residents; 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 $150,000 you get good value for money here. For an investment of under $200,000, 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Ocean Springs are:

  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art
  • Coastal Magpie
  • Hillyer House
  • Ocean Springs Museum
  • Ocean Springs Fresh Market
  • Golf Hills Golf Club
  • Lost Spring Brewing Company
  • The Art House Art Gallery

6. Oxford

Oxford, mississippiSource: Bryan Pollard / shutterstock

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 around the national average, it is the median monthly rent that sparks our interest here. 

On average the monthly rent in Oxford is around $1,000 per month. 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 around $35,000 annually, the crime statistics in the area are perfectly low.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Oxford are:

  • Rowan Oak
  • University of Mississippi Museum
  • Square Books Book Store
  • Lamar Park
  • Swayze Field
  • The Grove Park
  • Southside Gallery
  • Oxford Community Market

7. Brandon

BrandonSource: jimmywayne / Flickr

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 twenty-three thousand residents 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 above $70,000 on average annually.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Brandon are:

  • Brandon Amphitheater
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
  • Winners Circle Park
  • DEFY Jackson Amusement Center
  • The Gallows Bar
  • Bobby Cleveland Park at Lakeshore
  • Spinners of Florence Bowling Alley

8. Petal

Petal MapSource: sevenMaps7 / shutterstock

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 around eleven thousand residents 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 below the national average, 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!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Petal are:

  • Roll Around Fun Center
  • Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
  • Laser Mania
  • Kamper Park
  • Blu Jazz Cafe
  • Petal Relay Park

9. Tupelo

TupeloSource: Pilot MKN / Flickr

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 over $41,000, unemployment is seldom a topic of conversation.

Property prices here in Tupelo are highly desirable. Many properties coming in below the national average, 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Tupelo are:

  • Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo
  • The Mall at Barnes Crossing
  • Ballard Park
  • Queen’s Reward Meadery
  • Tupelo National Battlefield
  • Oren Dunn City Museum
  • The Natchez Trace
  • Trace State Park
  • Blue Canoe Bar

10. West Hattiesburg

West Hattiesburg, MississippiSource: Water Tower Nut / Flickr
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, below $1,000 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in West Hattiesburg are:

  • Turtle Creek Mall
  • Longleaf Trace
  • Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
  • The Lucky Rabbit Flea Market
  • Hattiesburg Saenger Theater
  • Crescent City Grill

11. Gulf Park Estates

Gulf Park Estates, MississippiSource: www.zillow.com
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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Gulf Park Estates are:

  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art
  • Biloxi Beach
  • DaBayou Bar & Grill
  • Betsy Ann Riverboat

12. Flowood

Flowood, Mississippi on MapSource: sevenMaps7 / shutterstock

Flowood is the northernmost suburb of Jackson city. Home to just eight thousand residents, 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 below the national averag and to be fair you’d be looking to spend upwards of over $200,000 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Flowood are:

  • Winner Circle Park
  • Pacesetter Gallery
  • Flowood Nature Center
  • The Refuge Golf Course
  • Party Safari Amusement Park
  • Amerigo Italian Restaurant
  • Crystal Lake

13. Olive Branch

Olive Branch, MississippiSource: simplerich / Flickr
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 thirty-five thousand residents 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Olive Branch are:

  • Malco Olive Branch Cinema Grill
  • Olive Branch City Park
  • Strike Zone Bowling
  • Graceland Museum
  • Cherokee Valley Golf Club
  • Olive Branch Family YMCA
  • Oak View Stables
  • Memphis Zoo

14. Starkville

StarkvilleSource: NatalieMaynor / Flickr

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 around twenty-five thousand residents 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 over $30,000 there is high resident satisfaction. 

Local people describe Starkville as a ‘small town with a big heart’!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Starkville are:

  • Mississippi State University
  • Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern
  • Rick’s Cafe
  • Davis Wade Stadium
  • Dudy Noble Field
  • Starkville Community Market
  • Historic Hotel Chester
  • Starkville Community Theatre

15. Pass Christian

Pass Christian, MississippiSource: travelview / shutterstock
Pass Christian

The small town of Pass Christian in Harrison County is home to just over five thousand residents; 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.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Pass Christian are:

  • War Memorial Park
  • Pass Christian Isles Golf Club
  • OutKast Charters
  • Pass Christian Books
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
  • Alice Moseley Folk Art Museum
  • Betsy Ann Riverboat 
  • Enchanted Nature Trail
  • Mississippi Aquarium

15 Best Places to Live in Mississippi:

  • Madison
  • Arnold Line
  • Ridgeland
  • Clinton
  • Ocean Springs
  • Oxford
  • Brandon
  • Petal
  • Tupelo
  • West Hattiesburg
  • Gulf Park Estates
  • Flowood
  • Olive Branch
  • Starkville
  • Pass Christian