Mississippi brings to mind images of Jackson, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.
However, like all states, Mississippi has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Mississippi that could use a helping hand.
To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 62 places in Mississippi with more than 5,000 people.
We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Magnolia State for 2019:
- Yazoo City (Photos)
- Greenville (Photos)
- Clarksdale (Photos)
- Indianola (Photos)
- Louisville (Photos)
- Kosciusko (Photos)
- Natchez (Photos)
- West Point (Photos)
- Greenwood (Photos)
- Hattiesburg (Photos)
Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.
And according to the facts, Yazoo City is the poorest place in Mississippi for 2019.
For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Mississippi
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Mississippi
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Mississippi
How We Determined The Poorest Places In Mississippi for 2019
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
- Unemployment Rate
The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.
The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.
After we collected the data for all 62 places with more than 5,000 people in Mississippi, we ranked each place from 1 to 62 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Yazoo City, crowned the “Poorest Place In Mississippi For 2019”.
You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 62 places.
Yazoo City, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Mississippi thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.
The city of 11,189 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Mississippi and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.
The second poorest city in Mississippi is Greenville.
The city ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and 8th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 3rd highest in the Magnolia State.
Placing as the third poorest city, Clarksdale’s median income ranks as the 13th lowest.
And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 36.4% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.
But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Magnolia State.
Indianola ranks as the fourth poorest place in Mississippi.
The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 16th highest incidence of poverty in the state.
That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.
The fifth poorest city in Mississippi is Louisville.
The city ranks as having the 16th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 5th highest in Mississippi.
Still not the best news for Louisville.
Kosciusko ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Magnolia State.
It ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty and the 10th highest unemployment rate.
Natchez places as the seventh poorest city in Mississippi.
The city of over 15,191 ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
West Point ranks as the eighth poorest city in Mississippi.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 8th highest in the state.
Greenwood couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Mississippi; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 4th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Greenwood ranks as having the 4th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Mississippi.
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Mississippi is Hattiesburg.
The city of 46,495 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Magnolia State.
There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Mississippi For 2019
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Mississippi, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Mississippi.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Mississippi, according to data:
2nd Richest: Brandon
3rd Richest: Hernando
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Mississippi
- 10 Safest Places In Mississippi
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Mississippi
Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Mississippi
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