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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:
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. And the worst place to live in Mississippi? That would be Forest.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Mississippi
- Cheapest Places To Live In Mississippi
- Most Dangerous Cities In Mississippi
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Mississippi For 2020
If you live in Forest, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 26th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Mississippi. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 26.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That's a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 80 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you'd have a 1 in 279 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the lowest salaries in Mississippi At $24,641 a household, that's simply not enough to get by for most folks.
You might have passed through Louisville once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.
Here's what science says about why Louisville needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 12.3%, residents earn about $32,131 a year, and home prices are just over $86,900. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.
And there simply isn't anything to do in Louisville.
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 $27,630, and homes only cost $84,500. 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.
Tthe small town of Kosciusko has the 4th lowest income levels in the entire state. At $26,968, many of the people are having trouble making ends meet, and the unemployment rate is 13.1%. Additionally, 35.3% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The cost of a home here is bottom barrell at $86,500.
At least the crime is very minimal here.
When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Ripley is the 5th worst place in the state of Mississippi.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Ripley is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in Ripley are the 19th lowest in the entire state.
And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can't get much worse in Mississippi.
Picayune needs some tough love as it ranks as the 6th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2020. 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 26th highest in the state, where 1 in 26.5 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
Corinth, where there's absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 7th worst city in Mississippi.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Corinth has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 13.4%, and families earn around $36,461 a year. It's also the 26th highest in Mississippi for crime, where 1 in 26.5 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
Indianola is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Indianola is the 26th most dangerous place you can live in Mississippi.
Residents in Indianola have a 1 in 26.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you're considering home prices, you can't do much lower than in Indianola, where average homes are valued at only$73,100. That's the 3rd-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
If you're looking to live in Mississippi, Gulfport might not be the best choice as it places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Magnolia State for 2020.
The average family earns $37,811 a year out here, and 24.8% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 11.5% 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 Gulfport, every year, you have a 1 in 19.5 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 6th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.
If you live in Mississippi, you may or may not be surprised that Laurel ranked, at least on paper, as the 10th worst place to live in the state. It has the 17th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 9th most dangerous.
Incidentally, Laurel is the 43rd most densely populated city in Mississippi. Draw your own conclusions.
How we determined the worst places to live in Mississippi for 2020
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 5,000 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 -- Forest. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Mississippi. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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, Forest ranks as the worst city to live in Mississippi for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Mississippi:
- Oxford (Pop. 23,037)
- Madison (Pop. 25,522)
- Ridgeland (Pop. 24,265)
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Mississippi
- Richest Cities In Mississippi
- Safest Places In Mississippi
- Best Cities For Singles In Mississippi
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Mississippi?