Mississippi is one of the nation’s most beautiful states. Home to some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the United States, the Magnolia State is certainly one of the nation’s gems.
However, is it all roses in Mississippi? Not at all. With every great place there, there’s another one that’s not so awesome. The purpose of this post is to find out, once and for all, which places in Mississippi are truly the worst. And we used scientific data to figure it all out.
Meaning, no arguing here. This is all based on science and it’s unbiased.
After analyzing all 61 of the state’s most populous cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Mississippi:
- Louisville (Photos)
- Holly Springs (Photos)
- Columbia (Photos)
- Indianola (Photos)
- Kosciusko (Photos)
- Forest (Photos)
- Picayune (Photos)
- Greenville (Photos)
- Waveland (Photos)
- Clarksdale (Photos)
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017.
How we determined the worst places to live in Mississippi for 2017
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,100 people were considered — leaving 61 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 61 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Mississippi — Louisville. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Mississippi.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Population: 6,407Home Values: $82,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.9% (2nd worst)
Louisville is just a tiny place in the middle of nowhere where people have a hard time making ends meet. Folks here earn barely more than $28,802 a year, which is barely over the poverty line. And for Mississippi, a 18.9% unemployment rate is really high.
Crime is also the 28th highest in Mississippi here. Meaning people need to stop breaking into homes and start looking for jobs.
2. Holly Springs
Population: 7,572Home Values: $74,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (27th worst)
Little Holly Springs, located near the Tennessee state line, is getting even smaller. The population here has shrunk 3% since the last census, and you can probably tell why when you look at the numbers.
Families earn almost less than any other cities in Mississippi at $28,937, and homes only cost $74,000. However, on the bright side, Holly Springs has the best weather of any other Mississippi city, measured in terms of humidity, sunny days and rain. So they have that going for them.
Population: 6,367Home Values: $84,300 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (20th worst)
Nearly 1 in 5 homes is vacant in Columbia, and those aren’t vacation homes. About an hour west of Hattiesburg, this little town’s residents earn a low salary ($24,125), and have longer than average commute times(1st longest). The cost of living is 20% lower than the national average, which is a sign that things aren’t booming here.
On a positive note, the crime here is way below the state average.
Population: 10,281Home Values: $72,200 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.2% (4th worst)
There are some bad places to live and some really, really bad places to live. According to the data, Indianola is one of the worst places you can live in Mississippi. And quite possibly, one of the worst places you can live in, period. Let’s see why.
We’re not economists, but when you have a 18.2% unemployment rate for a city of 10,281 people, that’s a sign that things aren’t just bad. They are downright depressing.
Population: 7,242Home Values: $75,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.5% (8th worst)
Kosciusko has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 28th-highest in the state of Mississippi. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 15.5%.
Additionally, 30.7% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Population: 5,713Home Values: $77,400 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (44th worst)
Welcome to Forest, which might be one of the poorest areas in Mississippi. Residents average $33,204 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 23.0% of Forest residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $77,400 and the unemployment rate hovers near 7.7%.
Population: 10,784Home Values: $109,700 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (15th worst)
Picayune needs some tough love as it ranks as the 7th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2015. There’s not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it’s not a place you might want to move to.
And the crime in Picayune is the 16th highest in the state, where 1 in 20.4 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Population: 33,119Home Values: $76,400 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.4% (1st worst)
Greenville needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2015. There’s not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it’s not a place you might want to move to.
And the crime in Greenville is the 28th highest in the state, where 1 in 23.1 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Population: 6,449Home Values: $127,500 (41st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (11th worst)
Waveland is the only city on our list that’s along the coast. Located just west of Bay St. Louis, residents here earn low salaries. At least those who live here year round.
And, the population is plummeting here. Yes, we’re aware that Katrina set this place back, but it’s still not a place you’d most likely want to move. Perhaps a quick visit is all.
Population: 17,314Home Values: $60,700 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.4% (3rd worst)
There’s probably not many people in Mississippi that would be surprised to see Clarksdale on this list. In fact, if Clarksdale wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Clarksdale has the 28th worst crime rate in Mississippi. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 71 violent crimes in Clarksdale in 2015. Residents here had a 1 in 241 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Clarksdale are the 1st cheapest in the state ($60,700), the unemployment rate is the 3rd highest (18.4%), and the annual household income is 12th lowest in Mississippi, at $28,988. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Mississippi
If you’re looking at areas in Mississippi with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Louisville ranks as the worst city to live in Mississippi for 2017.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Mississippi:
- Madison (Pop. 25,167)
- Ridgeland (Pop. 24,276)
- Brandon (Pop. 22,897)
For more Mississippi reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Affordable Places In Mississippi
- These Are The 10 Mississippi Cities With The Most Ashley Madison Accounts
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Mississippi
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Mississippi
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