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 2019.
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
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Mississippi For 2019
Forest doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 9.7%, and people average less than $26,569 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $70,500, 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.
Louisville ranks as the 2nd worst city in Mississippi. Located in Winston County, Louisville has the 15th lowest income levels in the state of Mississippi ($30,316), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 15.3%.
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 $28,886, and homes only cost $77,700. 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.
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 ($23,732), and have longer than average commute times(2nd 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.
While numbers in Mississippi are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare Mississippi cities against one another, you see big differences.
Home values in Indianola average $71,800, which is the 4th lowest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Indianola.
Plus, 30.6% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 28th highest in the state here. Every year, when you’re within Indianola city limits, you have a 1 in 25.0 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of broken into cars and homes.
Yes, every dog has a few fleas. But the crime in Brookhaven is actually quite atrocious. Some of the punks there who are causing trouble need a time out. It’s that simple.
Residents here have a 1 in 183 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, meaning raped, attacked or murdered. And they have a 1 in 35.9 chance of being robbed each year. That’s off the charts high.
And the unemployment rate is at 10.1%, which isn’t horrible, but the 18th-highest in the state. Plus, residents here earn about $30,432 a year in combined household income.
There’s probably not many people in Mississippi that would be surprised to see Booneville on this list. In fact, if Booneville wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.
Here are the statistics. Booneville has the 28th worst crime rate in Mississippi. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 80 violent crimes in Booneville in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 259 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.
The home values in Booneville are the 25th cheapest in the state ($104,300), the unemployment rate is the 26th highest (9.1%), and the annual household income is 9th lowest in Mississippi, at $28,594. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.
If you’re looking to live in Mississippi, Kosciusko might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Magnolia State for 2019.
The average family earns $27,724 a year out here, and 35.1% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 13.1% 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 Kosciusko, every year, you have a 1 in 25.0 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.
If, by some reason, you were driving through Ripley, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren’t so peachy keen here.
It’s tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($36,442) and they can’t get good jobs (9.1% unemployment rate).
Ripley ranks as the 9th wost place in Mississippi.
Laurel is the 10th worst city in Mississippi for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Laurel, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Laurel is the 13th most dangerous place in Mississippi, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 13.2%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($78,900), and residents earn just $30,010 a year.
How we determined the worst places to live in Mississippi for 2019
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.
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 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Mississippi:
- Oxford (Pop. 22,092)
- Ridgeland (Pop. 24,312)
- Madison (Pop. 25,350)
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