The Best Places to Live in Mississippi

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Oxford, Clarksdale, and Jackson are some of the best places to live in Mississippi in terms of affordability, safety, and quality of life.
Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues and the site of lots of American history. With such an abundance of culture and history, it can be challenging to choose where to live in The Magnolia State, home to tiny towns and major cities alike.
 
This expert guide from Jerry, the car and home insurance super app, will break down what makes a place good to live in and highlight eight of Mississippi’s most promising cities and towns.
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What makes a good place to live?

Choosing a place to live is a huge decision—it’s presumably where you’ll spend at least a chunk of your life, so you’d better hope to like it. A lot goes into determining the quality of life a place offers: costs of living, employment, crime rates, and even the weather, among other factors. 
Unfortunately, Mississippi is ranked second-to-last in U.S. News’s overall ranking of states in terms of livability—this ranking weighs factors like access to and quality of health care, education, the economy, and crime. Mississippi ranks in the bottom 10 in many of those categories. 
Here, we’ll take a look at eight of Mississippi’s cities and towns to paint a picture of what living there might look like. We’ll break down the best places to live in Mississippi into three categories: the best places for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a house.

The best places for families to live in Mississippi

When considering where to live with a family, crime rates and the quality of a city’s education take priority. Cities that excel in these categories tend to be more affluent and thus less affordable, though not always—in the case of Mississippi, bigger cities with more resources to fund education stood out. These are the cities we’d recommend:

Madison

Location:Madison County
Population:25,592
Median household income:$114,521
Median home price:$261,900
Madison, a city north of the state’s capital of Jackson, houses a few of the best public schools in the state with fairly low student-teacher ratios. This, combined with proximity to Jackson and crime and unemployment rates slightly below the national average, make Madison a fine place to live with a family. 
Madison is home to many retirees from around the state, ensuring a quiet and safe place for families, too. On the city’s eastern edge lies the Simmons Arboretum, a 10-acre ecological park with walking trails taking visitors along the area’s rolling hills and wetlands.

Oxford

Location:Lafayette County 
Population:25,416
Median household income:$44,283
Median home price:$248,200
The city of Oxford is in the northern part of the state, near the Tennessee border and Memphis. Interestingly, Oxford is almost the exact mid-point between New Orleans to the south and St. Louis to the north.
Oxford’s school district has been ranked the second-best in the state, with an 87% high school graduation rate. Like Madison, crime rates in Oxford are below the state and national averages. Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, the state’s second-largest public university.

The most affordable places to live in Mississippi

As a whole, Mississippi is one of the most affordable states in the country thanks to low home and rental prices. Naturally, you can’t live somewhere you can’t afford, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider—places with extremely low costs of living tend to be smaller, and they might have significant poverty rates and a lack of public infrastructure.
Here are three of the most affordable cities in Mississippi:  

Aberdeen

Location:Monroe County
Population:5,236
Median household income:$40,214
Median home price:$75,200
Aberdeen, a small city in the northeast part of the state near the Alabama border, has the lowest housing costs in all of Mississippi. The city’s population has gradually declined in recent years, leaving more housing available and bringing prices down. The city’s small size means shorter commute times on average, which helps to limit fuel costs.
Aberdeen is the midpoint between Memphis and Birmingham, about two hours away from either of them. Like Madison, it is one of Mississippi’s “Certified Retirement Cities” thanks to its low cost of living, access to health care, and low crime rate. 

Clarksdale

Location:Coahoma County
Population:15,342
Median household income:$30,603
Median home price:$65,100
Clarksdale, Mississippi is the cultural center of the Mississippi River Delta and the birthplace of the blues, the first uniquely American style of music. It also boasts Mississippi’s lowest median home price, making it one of the most affordable cities in the state. 
Honoring the city’s contribution to American music are the Ground Zero Blues Club, owned in part by Morgan Freeman, and the Delta Blues Museum.
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Moss Point

Location:Jackson County
Population:13,396
Median household income:$45,763
Median home price:$96,400
Moss Point, a city just north of Pascagoula on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, has a cost-of-living index of 84 out of 100, making it significantly cheaper than most American cities. It’s also a dream destination for birdwatchers and other nature lovers in the South, as it’s home to the Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.
Moss Point began as a French colony in the late 1600s. The forests surrounding it supplied the French, British, Spanish, and eventually Confederate, militaries with lumber. By the early 1900s, Moss Point was the country’s top exporter of pine lumber. Its name, of course, comes from the Spanish moss that drapes over live oak trees.

Best places to buy a house in Mississippi

If you want to buy a house in Mississippi, either to settle down in or strictly as an investment, you want to consider the localhousing market as well as any risks of natural disasters. Unfortunately, Mississippi’s location on the Gulf Coast makes it a hot spot for hurricanes and flooding through summer and early fall. 
The FEMA National Risk Index puts many counties in Mississippi, particularly those farther south, at “relatively moderate” or “moderately high” risk. If you can afford to adequately protect against those risks, though, here are some great places to buy a house in Mississippi:

Jackson

Location: Hinds County
Population:163,778
Median household income:$40,064
Median home price:$145,000
Jackson is Mississippi’s capital and by far its largest city, with just over twice the population of the next-biggest city, Gulfport. As such, it has more to offer those who prefer city life than just about anywhere else in the state. 
The Jackson Zoo, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are all located in Jackson. It’s also home to Jackson State University, one of the largest historically Black universities in the country. Particularly interesting are the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and Mississippi Children’s Museum, both of which are located within LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.
That said, homes in Jackson are more expensive than the state’s average, and the county it’s in has a risk index of 26.8, more than double the state’s average thanks to the presence of hurricanes, tornados, river flooding, and extreme summer heat.  

Gulfport

Location:Harrison County
Population:71,660
Median household income:$39,171
Median home price:$132,700
Gulfport, Mississippi’s second-largest city, sits directly on the coast. As such, it has a risk index of 30.7, the highest in the state. Despite the risk, proximity to the water and the city’s significant tourism draw make real estate there particularly valuable. 
The coastal location creates unique attractions like waterfront casinos and dolphin tours. Gulfport is next to Biloxi, another famous gambling destination, and is home to the Mississippi Aquarium and the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Boat or ferry rides from Gulfport take visitors to the largely undeveloped barrier islands that hold some of the Gulf’s greatest beaches.
Gulfport also has the distinction of displaying a rocking chair that is 35 feet tall. It was once the world’s largest but has been usurped by a series of other gigantic chairs elsewhere in the country.

Saltillo

Location:Lee County
Population:5,026
Median household income:$59,884
Median home price:$167,000
Saltillo is a much smaller city in the northeast corner of the state, close to Alabama and Tennessee. Its real estate is sought after largely because it’s just north of Tupelo, a much larger city and the birthplace of Elvis Presley.The house in which he was born is now a museum. 
It has a “relatively low” Risk Index of 11.46 thanks to its distance from the coast. 

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Mississippi

Regardless of where you find yourself, you’ll need car and home insurance.Jerry, the insurance super app, is here to make finding that insurance as fast and easy as possible.
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