Is Mississippi a Good Place to Live

Is Mississippi a Desirable Place to Live? (The Pros & Cons)

While Mississippi may not have the best reputation among the states, it has recently become a more intriguing destination for those considering a move. Is Mississippi a good place to call home? The answer is a bit complicated. If you’re someone who loves spending time outside or basking in warm weather, then living in Mississippi could be an excellent choice for you. However, if you’re seeking an urban lifestyle, this may not be the ideal location.

Let’s take a closer look at Mississippi and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of living in this state. We’ll explore the reasons why Mississippi residents love their state, analyze factors such as the cost of living, natural scenery, and geographical features, and help you make an informed decision about whether or not Mississippi is the right place for you. Our team conducts thorough research to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of each state’s overall quality.

If you’re considering moving to Mississippi for work or retirement, or if you’re a college student looking to live independently, we highly recommend reading this article. It provides valuable insights into what it’s like to reside in Mississippi and can help you adjust to your new surroundings. With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be better equipped to live comfortably in this state.

Make sure to read this entire article carefully and examine each fact with a discerning eye. We have conducted extensive research on the pros and cons of living in Mississippi so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right place for you. By considering factors such as your budget, family, and personal needs, you will be able to determine whether moving to Mississippi is a wise choice.

Mississippi at a Glance

If you’re wondering whether Mississippi is a good place to live, we’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of what it’s like to live in Mississippi. We’ve conducted thorough research to ensure that you receive accurate and relevant information. While you may be able to find some of this information elsewhere, you won’t find it presented as cohesively and effectively as it is in this article.

Population and Diversity

According to the US Census Bureau, Mississippi has maintained a relatively stable population over the past decade, with only a slight decline of 0.2% between 2010 and 2020. The state’s total population is approximately 2,961,279 individuals, and there are roughly 1,319,944 housing units available, resulting in an average of two people per home. Despite a 12.3% home vacancy rate, the population density in Mississippi remains relatively low, with rarely more than 25-99 people per square mile.

In Mississippi, the majority of the population is Caucasian or white, making up about 58.8%. African Americans make up a significant portion of the population at 37.8%, while smaller percentages of Hispanic people (3.6%), Asians (1.2%), and Native American (0.6%) people also reside in the state. While diversity may not be as prevalent in some areas, urban regions tend to have a higher concentration of people from different backgrounds. Overall, diversity is both a pro and con of living in Mississippi.

In Mississippi, you can find a diverse range of age groups residing there. The statistics show that only a small percentage of individuals (23.1%) are below 18 years old, and 17.3% are over 65. This means that a significant portion of the population (58.9%) falls within the working age group, contributing to the state’s economy. Interestingly, the population in Mississippi is almost evenly split between males and females, with females accounting for 51.4% of the total population.

Landscape Facts

Living in Mississippi has its share of advantages and disadvantages, one of which is the diverse landscapes that the state offers. Mississippi boasts of multiple rivers such as Mississippi, Big Black, Pearl, and Yazoo, as well as Woodall Mountain. The state also has a low fertile delta, sandy coastal terraces, pine woods, and prairies that span across various areas, providing a captivating range of landscapes.

The state of Mississippi is typically divided into two regions: the East Gulf Plain that covers most of the state, and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The East Gulf Coastal Plain, which stretches from Florida to the Mississippi River floodplain, dominates most of the state. The Pine Belt, Central Prairie, and Northern Highland regions of Mississippi also have wooded areas, hills, and ridges.

Geography and Climate

Mississippi experiences prolonged periods of drought and flooding, which can be attributed to its fertile yet clay-rich soil and its proximity to the Mississippi River. Despite being in higher areas, the state is relatively flat, with much of it at or around sea level. This results in Mississippi having a warm climate, as it falls within a humid subtropical region. As a result, the state experiences long and hot summers, along with mild winters.

On average, temperatures in this region hover around 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can occasionally spike up to 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. While extreme heat is not common, high humidity levels can make the weather feel more uncomfortable. This area experiences very few cold spells or frost, and snow is a rare occurrence. Rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year, but there is a higher risk of droughts during the summer months.

Schools and Universities

Mississippi boasts a diverse education system, with 143 school districts, 239 schools, 10,316 full-time teachers, and 152,008 students. This translates to a teacher-to-student ratio of 1 to 15. If you’re looking for top-performing schools, consider Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Ocean Springs High School, Lewisburg High School, and Natchez Early College Academy – all excellent options for your children’s education.

Mississippi boasts exceptional higher education institutions that can equip you or your children with the necessary skills for a promising career. These include renowned universities such as Alcorn State, Delta State, Jackson State, Mississippi State, and Mississippi State. Additionally, other well-reputed institutions, such as The University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Mississippi, and the Mississippi University for Women, are also popular choices amongst students.

Interesting Facts about Mississippi

If Mississippi is your next destination, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with some fascinating facts about the state. One of the most striking things about Mississippi is that it sits at the mouth of the Mississippi River, from which it derives its name. Interestingly, the term “Mississippi” comes from the Ojibwe language, where “misi-zilbi” translates to “Great River.” Being situated near this magnificent river, Mississippi attracts a fair share of tourists.

Mississippi was originally inhabited by three Native American nations- the Natchez, the Chickasaw, and the Choctaw. Although it is not officially a part of Tornado Alley, the state still experiences an average of 27 tornadoes per year and is also affected by hurricanes. Therefore, it is essential to consider the weather conditions before making a decision to live in Mississippi, whether it is for a short period or long-term.

It’s fascinating to note that Memorial Day originated in Mississippi. Back in 1866, a group of women in Columbus took it upon themselves to decorate the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers in the Friendship Cemetery. This commemoration quickly caught on and eventually spread throughout the state and the rest of the country. Initially referred to as “Decoration Day,” it was primarily dedicated to honoring soldiers who had lost their lives in the Civil War, which had ended not too long before.

Pros of Moving to Mississippi

Mississippi is a state with a lot to offer, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to living there. Despite its reputation, Mississippi is an interesting place that could surprise you. It’s important to take a closer look at what the state has to offer to determine if it’s the right place for you to live.

Beautiful Landscapes

Mississippi is a perfect state for those who adore picturesque landscapes and an outdoor lifestyle. With sprawling hills, valleys, mountains, and waterways, it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the country. The state is predominantly rural, which means that there are ample opportunities to purchase large properties. However, it’s essential to do thorough research before relocating to Mississippi to find the best and most affordable properties.

Reasonable Cost of Living

If you’re searching for an affordable state to live in, Mississippi could be the perfect choice for you. With a cost of living index score of 78.7, it ranks among the lowest in the country, compared to the national average of 100. The major area where Mississippi stands out is housing, with a score of 48.6. This translates to a median home cost of just $155,300, as opposed to the national average of $338,100. Additionally, other expenses such as groceries, transportation, utilities, and miscellaneous costs are also comparatively lower in the state.

Cozy Weather Conditions

Mississippi boasts of being one of the most pleasant places to reside in the nation, courtesy of its temperature. During winter, the temperatures hardly drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is minimal to no snow. On the other hand, the summer season hardly hits beyond the upper 80s. Although there may be exceptions, such as very cold winter and hot summer days, they are rare. As for precipitation, anticipate a range of 3-5 inches every month, providing you with an adequate amount of rainfall.

Tax-Friendly Status

Mississippi is a tax-friendly state that boasts some of the lowest taxes in the country, as per Kiplinger. The state has even passed a law to gradually decrease individual income tax rates to just 4.0% between 2024 and 2026. Furthermore, other taxes are also quite low, including gasoline and property taxes. This makes Mississippi an ideal state for individuals who wish to avoid hefty tax bills or simply cannot afford them.

Cons of Moving to Mississippi

Mississippi does offer its fair share of benefits to residents, but determining whether it’s a good place to live is not a straightforward answer. The state has a range of drawbacks that could significantly influence your decision. It’s important to consider these issues before deciding if Mississippi is the ideal location for you. Take a closer look at these challenges to gain a better understanding of the state.

Economic Problems

Mississippi boasts of picturesque landscapes and certain high-paying jobs but unfortunately, it falls short in terms of overall employment strength, ranking 49th in the nation. The state’s highest ranking is only 44 for growth, which remains quite dismal. Moreover, Mississippi ranks 48th in business environment and 49th in employment. Consequently, it may not be an ideal destination for those looking to kickstart their careers, except for urban areas that offer opportunities in education and healthcare.

Heavy Humidity

Living in Mississippi can be a challenge, especially if you’re not a fan of high humidity. The state’s location near the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and other waterways means that its relative humidity rarely drops below 49%. During the summer, it can even reach as high as 94%, which can make the otherwise reasonable temperatures feel unbearable. Therefore, if you or your family are sensitive to high humidity levels, it might be best to avoid settling in Mississippi.

Transportation Infrastructure

Mississippi has been ranked 46th out of 50 states in the US for transportation infrastructure, as per a report by US News. The state has been ranked at 29 for commute time, 28 for bridge quality, 38 for road quality, and 46 for public transit usage. The low usage of public transportation can be attributed to the state’s low population density, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, if you are accustomed to utilizing taxis, buses, and subway trains, Mississippi may not be the ideal place for you to relocate.

Troubles With Hate Crimes

The U.S. Justice Department reports that Mississippi has had an alarming increase in hate crimes, with approximately 31 incidents each year since 2021. Shockingly, this rate has doubled compared to the previous year, and is five times higher than in 2019, although lower statistics may suggest underreporting. These hate crimes are committed against individuals based on their race, sexual orientation, and gender. It is noteworthy, however, that this issue may not be prevalent in every area of the state. Nonetheless, it is crucial to keep this issue in mind.

How to Decide If Mississippi is a Good Place to Live for You? 

If you’re wondering whether Mississippi is a good place for you to live, it’s important to consider not only the advantages and disadvantages of residing in the area, but also the factors that affect your decision to relocate. You shouldn’t take the decision lightly as there are many different aspects to consider. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can determine whether Mississippi is the right place for you to call home.


Mississippi boasts vast stretches of rural land, making it one of the most rustic areas in the United States. If you’re seeking the hustle and bustle of a big city, this state might not be the perfect fit for you as even the largest cities here rarely have more than 100-200 thousand inhabitants. With just over 2.5 million residents, Mississippi has a laid-back ambiance that appeals to those who relish a tranquil lifestyle. If you’re the kind of person who loves to unwind and take it easy, Mississippi might be the perfect place to call home.


Mississippi is an ideal place to live if you’re on a tight budget, as it is one of the most affordable places to live in the country. Even in its largest cities, the cost of living is significantly lower than the national average, which means you can comfortably move here and live a comfortable life, even with a low-paying job. It’s worth noting that rural areas are even more cost-effective, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle without having to worry about financial stability.

Career Goals

If you’re content with a career in retail or service industries, then Mississippi may be a suitable state for you. However, if you’re seeking a high-earning job in tech or other industries, we advise looking elsewhere. Mississippi tends to attract individuals with moderate or low ambition, rather than those striving for more in life. It’s important to take into account your children’s career aspirations, if applicable.

Family Considerations

If you’re contemplating a move to Mississippi and have a family, it’s crucial to weigh certain factors. The state may be more suitable for individuals or couples without children due to its challenging economic conditions and subpar education system. While family and children services are available, they may not provide the robust support needed for your children’s well-being. Considering these limitations, it might be prudent to explore alternative states if you have children.

Educational Landscape

Mississippi might not be the top choice for those valuing higher education. Although it boasts strong universities, a substantial portion of its graduates tends to relocate elsewhere. With only 23.2% of residents holding bachelor’s degrees, the state doesn’t stand out as an educational hub. Additionally, the high school graduation rate is relatively low at 85.6%, one of the nation’s lowest. If you can tolerate lower educational attainment rates, Mississippi could still be a suitable option for you.

Crime Statistics

Surprisingly, Mississippi demonstrates an overall safe living environment. The state witnessed a notable 42.3% decrease in violent crime rates and nearly a 43% reduction in property crime rates between 2022 and 2023. Society crimes also decreased by 34% during this period. Despite these positive trends, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research on each county and city under consideration to ensure the safety of your family before making any decisions.

Tips for Moving to Mississippi

    • When to Move: It’s best to move to Mississippi during the early fall season to avoid heavy humidity and high heat levels. Moving in the winter might seem smarter for that reason, but the many universities in the state are in session, which can make relocation tougher.
    • Where to Live (and Avoid): Some of the best places to live in Mississippi include Madison, Ridgeland, Flowood, and Tupelo due to higher earning potentials and strong amenities. High crime and poor economies mean you should avoid Forest, Louisville, and Holly Springs.
    • Job Types in Mississippi: Mississippi doesn’t have a high earning potential, with many careers in retail and other service-based jobs being the most common. That said, there are opportunities for careers in education, healthcare, and even mechanic work available in the state.
    • Renting vs. Buying: According to Go Banking Rates, average mortgages in Mississippi are $906, and average rental costs are $1,125. As a result, they strongly urge people to buy when moving here because the state has the ninth-lowest mortgage rate of all the states.
    • Moving Companies: Before living in Mississippi, it’s important to find moving companies that can help you relocate. There are many in the state, including highly ranked teams like John Fayard MOving, Marshall Moving Services, My Two Movers, and Mighty Men Movers.

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Is residing in Mississippi worthwhile?

Despite facing various challenges, living in Mississippi can be rewarding if you appreciate mild weather and a rural setting. It might be an ideal destination for retirement post-career, especially if you can afford a spacious and comfortable property.

Is Mississippi a conducive environment for raising a family?

According to Go Banking Rates, Mississippi ranks 42nd as a family-friendly location, owing to its lower cost of living. However, it is hindered by a low median income and subpar ACT scores, with an 83% high school graduation rate, which is among the lowest in the nation.

Are Mississippians generally friendly?

People from Mississippi are generally considered amicable, reflecting the state’s moniker as the Hospitality State and the traditions of southern hospitality. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that Mississippi also holds the unfortunate distinction of being ranked as the most racially discriminatory state in America.

What constitutes a good salary in Mississippi?

Given Mississippi’s affordable living costs, a livable wage can be attained with just $15.42 per hour for individuals without children. In households where both adults are employed and childless, a wage of $12.61 per hour is considered satisfactory. The financial requirements often double when raising a child.

Is the cost of rent high in Mississippi?

Compared to all 56 American states and territories, Mississippi ranks 53rd in terms of rent averages. Expect to pay around $705 per month for a two-bedroom house in most parts of the state, while studio or efficiency apartments can be as low as $576 per month, catering to the needs of younger students.

Are job opportunities scarce in Mississippi?

Regrettably, Mississippi consistently ranks as the least favorable state for employment, characterized by limited earning potential, sparse job options, and an overall weak workforce. It is not the ideal state for those seeking rapid financial gains.

Is living in Mississippi expensive?

Despite being the 48th best state to live in overall and ranking 36th in opportunity, Mississippi is considered the most economical place to live in the country. Its reasonable cost of living and housing affordability make it an attractive option for those looking to save money.

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