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:
- Forest (Photos)
- Louisville (Photos)
- Columbia (Photos)
- Holly Springs (Photos)
- Indianola (Photos)
- Kosciusko (Photos)
- Laurel (Photos)
- West Point (Photos)
- Brookhaven (Photos)
- Vicksburg (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. 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
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.
Forest ranks as the 1st worst city in Mississippi. Located in Scott County, Forest has the 2nd lowest income levels in the state of Mississippi ($26,569), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 9.7%.
Louisville, where there’s absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 2nd worst city in Mississippi.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Louisville has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 15.3%, and families earn around $30,316 a year. It’s also the 28th highest in Mississippi for crime, where 1 in 25.0 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
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.
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.
Indianola needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Indianola. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Indianola. Of the 61 cities considered in this ranking, Indianola had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Indianola have Mississippi’s 4th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 3rd and 28th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Mississippi.”
If you know anyone in Indianola, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Kosciusko needs some tough love as it ranks as the 6th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2019.
Crime in Kosciusko is the 28th highest in the state, where 1 in 25.0 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, Kosciusko residents have the 11th longest commute of any residents on our list.
Laurel needs some tough love as it ranks as the 7th worst city to live in Mississippi for 2019. 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 Laurel is the 13th 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.
Home values are falling, the population is shrinking, people can’t get jobs and residents are way underpaid.
It can’t get much worse than in West Point, a small city just north of Starkville.
Brookhaven takes the 9th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Brookhaven its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 47th worst in the whole state.
When it comes to culture and history, Vicksburg is top notch. However, when it comes to economy and crime, it’s almost the worst.
Boasting one of the highest crime rates in the state and one of the highest unemployment rates in the south, Vicksburg certainly has some issues to overcome. And, when you factor in that the population is shrinking (along with the jobs), Vicksburg makes a case to be toward the top of this list.
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:
- Brandon (Pop. 23,421)
- Ridgeland (Pop. 24,312)
- Madison (Pop. 25,350)
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Mississippi
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Mississippi
- 10 Safest Places In Mississippi
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Mississippi
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Mississippi
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