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, MS needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 28th worst in the state, which is very high considering Forest is so far removed from the rest of Mississippi.
If you know anyone in Forest, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Louisville needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Louisville. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Louisville. Of the 61 cities considered in this ranking, Louisville had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Louisville have Mississippi’s 10th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 4th 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 Louisville, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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.
Out of all the places to live in Mississippi, Indianola ranks as the 5th worst — not something to brag about.
Indianola’s unemployment rate stands at 16.0%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $27,003 a year in salaries. That’s not enough to really get ahead in life.
Additionally, the homes are the 4th cheapest in the entire state at $71,800. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there’s not a lot of demand to live way out in Indianola. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?
Crime is the 28th worst in the state. You have a 1 in 25.0 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 259 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.
Brookhaven’s main issue is crime. It’s the 47th most dangerous place in the state of Mississippi. Is that a surprise?
If you live in Brookhaven, you have a 1 in 35.9 chance that you’ll be the victim of a property crime. That’s really high, especially for a city of its size. That’s a lot of stolen lawn mowers, cell phones and cameras. Perhaps it’s because the folks here live in far nicer homes than some of the other cities to top this list. They’re targets.
The unemployment rate is higher than the state average at 10.1%.
The unemployment rate in Booneville is a sky high 9.1%, which is the 26th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Booneville is $28,594. That means 28.1% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 25.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.
Kosciusko needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th 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.
Tthe small town of Ripley has the 27th lowest income levels in the entire state. At $36,442, many of the people are having trouble making ends meet, and the unemployment rate is 9.1%. Additionally, 23.3% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The cost of a home here is bottom barrell at $96,400.
At least the crime is very minimal here.
When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Mississippi, Laurel came in 10th. 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 Laurel, the number of people out of work is 13.2%
In Mississippi, that’s the 8th highest in the state.
The residents in Laurel have the 14th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Laurel average $30,010 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 $78,900 on average. That’s the 8th lowest in the state.
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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