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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
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Forest is the worst place you can live in the state of Mississippi. Let's see why.
While some people have come to the defense of Forest as being 'not as bad' as it is portrayed in the media, the fact remains that this city deserves to be high on this list when you look at the data.
Crime is the 26th highest in Mississippi here. Residents have a 1 in 26.5 chance of being robbed every year within city limits. For Mississippi, that's really high.
The unemployment rate is 6.2%, which is the 44th highest in the state, and families earn just under $24,641 a year, which is the highest in Mississippi. 35.2% of the people here live below the poverty line.
Add it all up, and this is truly the worst place you could live in Mississippi.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Mississippi, Louisville came in 2nd. Let's see why.
When you're comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Mississippi residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Mississippi, you can see some really big differences. In Louisville, the number of people out of work is 12.3%
In Mississippi, that's the 12th highest in the state.
The residents in Louisville have the 12th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Louisville average $32,131 a year. Which isn't too shabby in comparison to the other 'lowest' income cities in most other states.
Additionally, the homes are valued at $86,900 on average. That's the 11th lowest in the state.
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.
Kosciusko is a really small, densely populated place in Mississippi.
The unemployment rate here is sky high at 13.1%, and income levels are the 4th lowest in Mississippi. Homes sell for an average of $86,500.
If you're trying to have some sort of professional career in Mississippi, this is one of the last places you would want to live.
Welcome to Ripley, which might be one of the poorest areas in Mississippi. Residents average $39,631 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 22.8% of Ripley residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $100,200 and the unemployment rate hovers near 9.1%.
Picayune 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 5th-worst commute of any place in the state.
Corinth's situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.
Corinth has the 26th worst crime index of any place in Mississippi, and has the 27th lowest income.
When you're looking at science and data, Indianola is the worst place you can live in Mississippi. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 16.4%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $73,100, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 26.5 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
Indianola is a far drive south from Louisville.
Say what you want about how beautiful Gulfport might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 14th highest in the state at 11.5%. Homes are the 34th lowest priced ($120,600), and the median income per household is just a tad over $37,811.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
The unemployment rate in Laurel is a sky high 10.2%, which is the 17th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Laurel is $33,940. That means 29.7% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 21.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
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?