Moving to Mississippi: State Relocation Guide

Mississippi is one of the southernmost states in America, known for its warm weather, soul food, and southern hospitality. While you can expect mild winters and tasty cuisines, Mississippi has much more to offer its residents.

Also known as the Magnolia State, Mississippi has affordable housing prices and low property tax rates, and it’s the birthplace of many famous musicians. 

Residents can travel to New Orleans for a weekend of fun or float down the Mississippi River for a relaxing day in the sun. In addition, the state has a rich history with plenty of educational museums dedicated to historical figures and artifacts from Mississippi.

So, if you’re looking to experience Mississippi’s southern charm, this relocation guide has everything you need to consider before moving to Mississippi.

Climate

If you’re contemplating calling Mississippi home, you need to consider if the climate is right for you. Mississippi is a southern state with a humid subtropical climate. This means residents will experience mild winters and hot summers.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

The average annual temperatures for Mississippi range from 40 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and individuals moving from the Northern United States may have difficulty adjusting to the year-round warm weather. 

Mississippi residents typically won’t see snowfall in the state. Frigid winters will have a light dusting, but there will not be enough snow for winter activities like sledding or building snowmen. Icy conditions are scarce because the state does not have the right weather patterns to maintain the ice. 

The lowest temperatures in Mississippi range from 39 – 47 degrees from November through February. January is the only month that reaches below freezing in a typical year. But freezing weather will only occur in upper Mississippi, as southern Mississippi will always maintain warmer temperatures. 

Spring and Fall are nearly nonexistent in Mississippi: The average high temperatures from March through October are 70 – 92 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions are perfect for individuals who love warm weather year-round, but they are not so great for people who enjoy the crisp temperatures of spring and autumn. 

During June, July, and August, the Magnolia State will have high temperatures between 86 – 91 degrees. For most of the summer season, residents will experience thick, muggy weather. Have your sunblock and swimsuit ready because you’ll want to cool off, especially if you’re not used to the southern climate. 

Mississippi residents are also no strangers to the likelihood of a natural disaster. The state has a high likelihood of flooding. Due to its proximity to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi can be dangerous during tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornados.

Taxes

Mississippi’s average property taxes are lower than the average U.S. property tax rate. The majority of counties within Mississippi do not have property tax rates that exceed 1.07%.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

There are a small handful of counties that slightly exceed the national property tax rate: Coahoma County (1.24%), Sunflower County (1.22%), and Leflore County (1.12%).

However, despite above-average property taxes, these counties have affordable housing costs. For example, the median home value for Coahoma County residents is $67,200, with a yearly tax payment of $830.

Madison County, Mississippi, has the highest median home value at $215,100. However, residents still pay fewer property taxes (0.73% or $1,565/year) compared to other states.

Cost of Living

One of the biggest perks about moving to Mississippi is the state’s affordable living expenses. Mississippi earned an overall cost of living score of 81.1 which is lower than the national average of 100.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

Housing costs are significantly lower in Mississippi compared to other states, and the median home cost is approximately $141,000. Combining the home values with the state’s low property taxes, finding affordable housing in Mississippi within your budget is feasible.

Mississippi has one cost of living category that places slightly above the national average: healthcare (101.4). If you have high healthcare needs, consider comparing Mississippi’s cost of living to your current state and determine how your budget may be affected.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

The low cost of living in Mississippi comes at a price: Residents in the Magnolia State earn below-average salaries. The national average for wages is about $66,665/year, and the Mississippi average falls about $4,000 short at $62,496/year and $30/hour.

Additionally, Mississippi workers within the 75th percentile earn $64,121/year and $31/hour. Not only is this below the national average, but compared to the Mississippi average it’s only a dollar more.

Top earners in the Magnolia State will receive $77,985/year or $37/hour which is a stark contrast from the 75th percentile workers. Before moving to Mississippi, it’s essential to research the state’s job market and determine if you would receive a fair wage.

Health Care

Across the categories, Mississippi ranks 49th nationally for healthcare access, public health, and healthcare quality.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

Given those statistics, you may be wondering why Mississippi ranks #50 when each healthcare category ranks #49th. Arkansas is rated #49th overall for U.S. healthcare because they have higher access to providers and public health. 

Mississippi has a high population of residents without health insurance (19.5%), presumably because the state officials have refused to expand Medicaid services. Currently, Mississippi Medicaid covers people with disabilities, individuals over 65, and children—but not adults—below the poverty line. 

With high health insurance costs, the uninsured population cannot afford to purchase health insurance through the marketplace. If Mississippi expanded Medicaid, approximately 217,000 people would qualify for services, and the population without health insurance would drastically decrease.

Education

Mississippi ranks #43 in the United States for its overall education system and Pre-K to Grade 12 services. Families considering moving to Mississippi should explore school districts within their area to choose an appropriate selection for their children.

Mississippi State Relocation Guide

Mississippi averages #37 for higher education programs, which is slightly better than their Pre-K to Grade 12 ranking. Prospective college students have a wide variety of education opportunities like technical schools, community colleges, and public universities. 

Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi, is the top-rated community college in the state with affordable tuition costs. Holmes is popular for its online Associate’s degree program and was rated #15 best online colleges in the United States. 

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ranks as the #4 best community college in the state of Mississippi. Here, students can receive a two-year degree in automotive mechanics, manufacturing engineering technician, and nursing. 

Mississippi also has a variety of four-year colleges for residents to consider. The University of Mississippi ranks #148 in the nation for its education and is a great choice for prospective students. Affectionately known to students as “Ole Miss,” this college has alumni like football player Eli Manning and writer William Faulkner. 

Mississippi State University is rated #196 for top universities in the United States. This university is well-known for its Division I football team named the Mississippi State Bulldogs. 

Despite its name, Mississippi University for Women is a coed college with a population of 80% women to 20% men. This campus is located in rural Columbus, Mississippi, and has various degree programs like Psychology, Nursing, and Biology. This university ranked #44 for colleges located in the southern United States. 

For college students looking for a liberal arts education, Millsaps College ranked #114 in the country for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Millsaps College is a private school, so Mississippi residents attending this institution will have high tuition costs averaging $42,960/year.

Notable Highlights

Mississippi was the birthplace of two incredibly influential artists who would forever change music history: B.B. King and Elvis Presley. 

Riley B. King, otherwise known as B.B. King, was born in 1925 on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi. As a boy, B.B. King lived in poverty and suffered the loss of two family matriarchs: his mother and grandmother. 

After their death, B.B. King would travel to Memphis, Tennessee. Here he would immerse himself in the blues music community and eventually become one of the most prolific blues guitarists. His music would influence artists like Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. 

The B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, is dedicated to the famous blues musician and his long-lasting legacy. Not only does the museum highlight the achievements of B.B. King, but it educates visitors on the racial disparities present in Mississippi when King was growing up. 

The B.B. King Museum gives back to King’s community, the Mississippi Delta. The museum offers educational programs such as a free computer lab with on-staff teaching assistants to help children from low-income families get a quality education. 

In 1935, Elvis Presley was born in a small, two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi. The Presleys struggled financially and eventually failed to pay their $180 loan for their tiny house. The family would move around Tupelo, Mississippi before finally moving to Memphis, Tennessee when Elvis was 13 years old. 

Mississippi would eventually purchase the home where Gladys Presley gave birth and memorialize “The King of Rock and Roll” in his hometown. 

The estate transported the church frequented by the Presleys onto the property. Visitors to the birthplace of Elvis Presley can tour the home, family church, and walking trails that Elvis grew up with while living in Tupelo. 

If you’re looking to find more musical stardom in the state of Mississippi, visit the Grammy Museum in Cleveland. The museum welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy their immersive experience through 50 years of award-winning artists. 

The Grammy Museum will highlight artists who have won awards for their musical prowess and introduce visitors to the technological process involved with recording music within designated time periods. 

The Natchez Trace Parkway holds a rich history of three Native American tribes (Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez) that lived along this 444-mile trail through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. 

The Natchez and Choctaw tribes primarily lived in the Mississippi region, where Chickasaw natives resided in the northern part of the parkway in Tennessee. Along the Natchez Trace are signposts that indicate where Native Americans would have crossed during the Trail of Tears in 1830. 

The Mississippi Petrified Forest is a unique attraction in the Magnolia State. This prolific forest has ancient trees that turned to stone after centuries of natural events eroding the soil. Visitors to the park can explore the petrified forest and learn more about the fossils and precious stones uncovered at this site.

Best Places To Live

Moving to a new state isn’t just about the quality of life and finances: It’s also making the conscious choice to move all your belongings to a new space. Here are a few valuable tricks to making an out-of-state move: 

  • Pack the essentials — Moving to a southern state like Mississippi means you won’t need long johns or heavy winter jackets. Consider donating these clothes to lighten your load. 
  • Secure your important documents — To obtain a Mississippi driver’s license, you’ll need documents like your passport, social security card, or birth certificate. Place these documents in an easily accessible spot during your move. 
  • Make a moving plan — Depending upon where you are moving from, you’ll need a secure plan to get your belongings (and yourself) to Mississippi safely. Consider shipping your car to ensure one of your most expensive assets arrives at your new location without harm. 

Now that we’ve covered moving tips, let’s discuss the top five best places to live in Mississippi:

Madison

Madison, Mississippi, is a largely rural suburb, in the city of Jackson, with a population of 25,592. This conservative community is recommended for families due to its highly-rated public school system.

While most of Mississippi has affordable housing costs, Madison’s average home price is around $261,900 which is above the U.S. average. Residents should carefully consider their projected finances before moving to this suburb.

Ridgeland

If you’re looking for southern hospitality, Ridgeland may be the perfect suburb for you. This dense suburban community is located in Jackson, Mississippi, and prides itself on its family values.

Residents enjoy local events for all ages, and the population of 24,269 holds moderate political views. School-aged children within this community typically attend schools within the Madison public school district.

Flowood

Flowood is another suburb located within the large city of Jackson, Mississippi. This community has a dense suburban feel with a small population of 9,030 residents. Flowood has a highly rated public school district, and the community has conservative political views. Around 50% of the Flowood population has a college degree.

Ocean Springs

Potential residents who aren’t looking to settle within the suburbs of Jackson should consider Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The median home value in this area is approximately $174,000, and renters can expect to pay around $954/month.

The population of 17,729 residents is spread out in a sparse suburban area. However, it’s important to note that Ocean Springs was an area that was affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

While the town has been mostly rebuilt from Katrina’s devastation, individuals in this community should be prepared for potential natural disasters.

Clinton

The fifth community on the top five places to live in Mississippi is the Jackson suburb of Clinton. This area offers a sparse suburban feel with a population of 25,131. 

This area is highly rated for young professionals and families due to its good public school district and job opportunities. The majority of Clinton residents tend to hold liberal views.

Conclusion 

There are a lot of factors to consider before establishing residency in Mississippi. The state has low property taxes, great median home values, and a year-round warm climate. However, Mississippi has less than favorable education services, health care services, and a less than average yearly salary. 

Potential residents will need to consider their personal needs and financial standing before choosing this state for their future homes. 

If you’re looking to make a cross-country move, such as transporting your car to Mississippi or shipping to another state, let our team of dedicated professionals at Guardian Auto Transport help. We’ll take your out-of-state vehicle to your new location so you can focus on getting yourself and your other belongings to Mississippi safely.

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