Is Mississippi a Good Place to Live? (15 Pros and Cons)

Pinterest Hidden Image

Things To Know About Living In Mississippi Before You Move

Is Mississippi a good place to live? Let’s examine this question and, at the same time, explore the pros and cons of living in Mississippi.

Is Mississippi A Good Place To Live?

Yes. Mississippi is an excellent place to call home for anyone seeking an affordable cost of living, mild winter weather, southern hospitality, and a slower pace of life. However, life in the Magnolia State won’t be for everyone because of the hot summers, risks of severe weather, and the less-than-desirable economic conditions.

Here are Mississippi’s pros and cons.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Mississippi: Side By Side Comparison

Living in Mississippi ProsLiving in Mississippi Cons
1. Southern hospitality8. Hot, humid summers
2. Scenic beauty9. Risk of tornados
3. Low cost of living10. Chance for hurricanes
4. Decreasing income taxes11. Low-quality school system
5. Competitive college tuition12. Lackluster economy
6. Good regional foods13. Low household income
7. Mild snow-free winters14. Poor access to healthcare
15. Decreasing population
Table 1: Pros and Cons of Living or Retiring in Mississippi

Next, let’s go through these pros and cons in greater detail.

Mississippi state flagPin
Mississippi state flag

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Living In Mississippi: The Pros

1. Mississippi Offers A Pleasant Vibe And Unique Mix Of Southern Hospitality

Mississippi residents enjoy a pleasant living environment represented by:

  • Southern hospitality
  • A slower pace of life
  • Limited urbanization

Mississippian’s southern hospitality mixes politeness, kindness, good home cooking, and charm. Thus, the people are nice, and the pace is slow.

Furthermore, only the capital city of Jackson has a population greater than 100,000 residents. As a result, the negative impacts of urbanization are limited.

Related reading: Another State with Southern Charm

2. There Is An Abundance Of Scenic Beauty In Mississippi

Mississippi is a beautiful state with immense natural beauty.

National Forests: There are six national forests. Each has its unique surrounding community.

Tishomingo State Park: Visitors love hiking the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and exploring Bear Creek Canyon as it winds through the park’s bluffs.

Mississippi Petrified Forest: Scientific research shows that this forest was formed 36 million years ago near Flora, Mississippi.

Gulf Islands National Seashore: Stroll the miles of pristine beaches stretching along the southern shore.

Related reading: Another state on the Gulf Coast

3. Residents Benefit From The Low Average Cost Of Living In Mississippi

living in Mississippi pros and consPin
Mississippi State Flag

Mississippi is one of the cheapest states to live in.

The cost of living is 13% less than the U.S. average (source: MERIC cost of living data series). Groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care expenses contribute to the savings.

Mississippi is also recognized as one of the least costly states for childcare services (source: Newsweek).

We also use the cashback app Rakuten to save money on our online purchases. Signing up for Rakuten is fast and free, plus the app is easy to use. Don’t pay more for your online purchases than you have to!

4. Mississippi Politicians Are Lowering Income Taxes

Mississippi is getting more aggressive in attracting new residents to the state. Politicians are doing so by lowering taxes.

As a result, the state income tax rate will gradually be reduced from 5% to 4% by 2026.

Furthermore, the governor is pushing to eliminate the state’s income tax. Here is what the governor of Mississippi recently said:

“You don’t have to be a geography expert to look at a map and recognize that we have Texas to our west, Florida to our east, and Tennessee to the north. All three of these states have no income tax. Therefore, each has a competitive advantage when recruiting for both businesses and talent.”

5. Mississippi Offers A Lower Cost For Higher Education

Mississippi offers comparatively affordable college degrees.

Higher education costs are lower in Mississippi than in other states. With the lower cost of living, Mississippi has become one of the most budget-friendly options for college.

While it’s not dirt cheap, it’s more affordable than other states. For example, schools like Mississippi State University offer quality education at a reasonable price.

Even though college is pricey everywhere, Mississippi ranks among the lowest nationally, especially compared to schools in the Northeast, where tuition can be 3 to 4 times higher (source: Education Data Initiative). The cost difference means less debt for students, making education more accessible.

6. Mississippi Residents Love Their Comfort Food

Fried chicken from The Hospitality StatePin

Mississippi is known for good and hearty comfort food.

First, barbeque is a great choice. The region borrows from styles made famous in Tennessee and has some influences from Missouri, too.

Next, residents love fried chicken served with biscuits and collard greens. It is a soulful dish for a lazy, warm summer Sunday afternoon.

Mississippi is located on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Thus, seafood options like gulf shrimp and oysters are local specialties, perfect for a po’boy sandwich. Catfish is a local favorite, too.

7. Living In Mississippi Means Mild Winters And No Snow

Mississippi offers residents a mild and comfortable winter season.

January is the coldest month, but temperatures range from 30 to 50 degrees most of the month, even toward the state’s northern border.

Relocate closer to the Gulf near Florida’s panhandle. In this area, average winter temperatures are usually in the 60s, sometimes more.

Finally, the chance of seeing snowfall is low, especially in the state’s southern half.

So, if you want to escape the winter weather of northern climates, living in Mississippi may be right for you.

Okay. It’s time to balance out this conversation.

Let’s switch gears and discuss several reasons you may not want to move to Mississippi in the first place.

Living In Mississippi: The Cons

5 bad things about MississippiPin

8. Summer Living In Mississippi Is HOT And Humid

Mississippi endures extreme summer temperatures annually. Thus, it’s always hot during the state’s summer season.

June through August routinely bring on high temperatures of 90 degrees. Furthermore, peaks of 100+ degrees are not uncommon.

Finally, toss in high humidity. And you will be living in a state with sticky, uncomfortable summer heat.

Related reading: Pros and Cons of Living in the South

9. There Is A Risk Of Tornadoes After Moving To Mississippi

Mississippi averages more than 40 tornadoes per year, which ranks it in the top 10 for the most twisters annually.

Although Mississippi does not fall into what is known as Tornado Alley, it still resides in a high tornado-risk area of the United States called Dixie Alley.

However, Mississippi’s tornado activity is nothing like the top state of Texas, where tornado counts of 140 per year are common.

10. Hurricanes Are A Part Of Life In Mississippi

In Mississippi, hurricanes and tropical cyclones pose significant risks.

These life-threatening weather events bring challenges, including property damage and disruptions to residents’ lives. Thus, understanding and mitigating the impact of hurricanes is essential after moving to the southern half of Mississippi.

11. Low-Quality Education In Mississippi

poor quality of educationPin

Mississippi’s K-12 school system is routinely ranked at the bottom in the United States for its quality. The poor showing is partly due to sub-par state funding for the educational system.

As a result, the state has one of the lowest high school graduation rates. Also, one of the poorest average ACT scores in the country.

Thus, you may want to budget for private school tuition.

Or, consider very carefully where you move. Do your research and relocate to one of the highest-quality public school districts that Mississippi has to offer.

12. Mississippi Has A Lackluster Economy

Mississippi ranks poorly for business-friendly policies and pro-growth initiatives compared to neighboring Oklahoma, another state in the region. Furthermore, the state’s unemployment rate typically exceeds the national average.

Agriculture and forestry are two of the state’s top industries. However, the economy has not participated in high-growth areas like technology and health care.

13. Household Incomes Are Lower in Mississippi

Mississippi’s sub-par economy is partially responsible for resident’s lack of economic prosperity.

For example, the state ranks near the bottom for average household incomes. Furthermore, a high percentage of the population lives below the poverty line.

Thus, Mississippi may be a good state to retire in. However, it’s not the best location for finding a great job, working, and earning a high income.

14. Mississippi Is Poorly Rated For The Quality Of Health Care

Mississippi ranks poorly for the cost, accessibility, and results of health care treatments.

I consider this a con of retiring in Mississippi, mainly because retirees are older and consume more healthcare services.

15. Mississippi’s Decreasing Population Limits Diversity & Acceptance Of Change

Mississippi’s traditional lifestyle, economic stagnation, and slow pace may pose drawbacks.

For example, recent census data shows the state experiencing negative population growth, limiting people with new ideas and diversity moving to the area.

With fewer newcomers, Mississippi lacks innovation found in more prosperous and rapidly growing states.

Okay. That’s all I have about Mississippi’s pros and cons. Please allow me to offer some parting thoughts and additional resources for your consideration.

Living In Mississippi: Wrap-Up And Additional Resources

summary: pros and cons of living in MississippiPin

I hope this article has helped you think about these important questions:

1) Is Mississippi a good place to live?


2) Should I move to Mississippi?

If you think moving to Mississippi may be the right choice, here are some of the best places to live to start your search.

Biloxi is located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, tourism, gaming, and Keesler Air Force Base drive the economy here.

Hattiesburg is often listed as one of Mississippi’s best places to retire. The city is home to the University of Mississippi and is considered a good location for access to health care services.

Jackson. Mississippi’s state capital may be your best bet for business opportunities and jobs. It is located along the Pearl River in the state’s south-central region.

Laurel. Affordable cost of living, low crime, access to quality medical care, recreation, and cultural opportunities await new residents in this warm and welcoming community.

Madison is a reasonably affluent community and the hub of Mississippi’s Madison County. Although the city is close to Jackson, it maintains its identity and small-town vibe.

Oxford is home to the state’s flagship school, the University of Mississippi. This town has about 25,000 residents and a strong reputation for its culture, arts, dining, and shopping.

Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. In addition to its roots in Rock ‘n Roll, Tupelo has a strong manufacturing base that drives the economy and supports higher household incomes than other parts of the state.

Okay. There you have it. I hope I didn’t leave out anyone’s favorite Mississippi city or town.

More Reading About Living Life In Mississippi And Beyond…

Before you go, here are some related articles you might find helpful.

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Pinterest image: living in Mississippi pros and consPin

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Mississippi Are Fully Explained