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)
- Columbia (Photos)
- Holly Springs (Photos)
- Forest (Photos)
- Greenville (Photos)
- Indianola (Photos)
- Mccomb (Photos)
- Kosciusko (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 2018.
How we determined the worst places to live in Mississippi for 2018
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
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 5,300 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: 6,373Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $85,000 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.2% (4th worst)
If you live in Louisville, you’re either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because science says it’s the 1st worst place to live in the state.
You’ve got the 28th highest crime rate in Mississippi, which saw 25 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 24.4 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 252 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Louisville.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. Louisville sports the state’s 4th highest unemployment rate (17.2%), and families bring in a combined $26,368 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $85,000.
Population: 6,292Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $80,200 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (23rd 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 ($24,974), 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.
3. Holly Springs
Population: 7,591Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $73,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (20th 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 $29,347, and homes only cost $73,000. 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: 5,700Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Values: $69,100 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (41st worst)
When you’re looking at science and data, the city of Forest is the 4th worst place you can live in the state of Mississippi. Let’s see why.
You may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 28th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.
Residents in Forest had a 1 in 24.4 chance of being robbed in 2014. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Forest, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.
Forest’s other issues are a very high unemployment rate (7.8%) and income levels of its residents ($30,717).
Population: 32,612Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Values: $75,100 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.8% (1st worst)
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Mississippi, Greenville came in 5th. Let’s see why.
The city has very bad crime (4th worst) and an employment rate that’s nearly the highest for cities of its size 20.8%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.
Population: 10,047Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Values: $72,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.6% (3rd worst)
Indianola ranks as the 6th-worst place in Mississippi due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 53rd-worst commute of any place in the state.
Population: 12,732 Rank Last Year: 35 (Up 28)
Home Values: $87,600 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (38th worst)
Mccomb needs some tough love as it ranks as the 7th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2015.
Crime in Mccomb is the 6th highest in the state, where 1 in 18.8 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
. Additionally, the income is almost dead last in Mississippi.
If commute time is important, Mccomb residents have the 33rd longest commute of any residents on our list.
Population: 7,208Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Home Values: $76,300 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (10th worst)
Kosciusko doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 13.0%, and people average less than $28,284 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $76,300, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Mississippi.
And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.
Population: 16,994Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Values: $62,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.8% (2nd worst)
If you’re looking to live in Mississippi, Clarksdale might not be the best choice as it places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Magnolia State for 2015.
The average family earns $29,175 a year out here, and 3500.0% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 19.8% of the population is out of work.
And when you consider the crime, it’s just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you’re in Clarksdale, every year, you have a 1 in 24.4 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it’s an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it’s the 28th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
Population: 8,764 Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $102,600 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (12th worst)
You can sure expect that Booneville is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 10th in our analysis. It is. In fact, Booneville has the 28th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 34 violent crimes here in 2015, and residents have a 1 in 24.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Booneville, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 12.6% which is the 12th worst in Mississippi.
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 2018.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Mississippi:
- Madison (Pop. 25,473)
- Brandon (Pop. 23,186)
- Ridgeland (Pop. 24,338)
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Mississippi
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Mississippi
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Mississippi
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Mississippi
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