What you need to know before moving to Mississippi

What you need to know before moving to Mississippi

What you need to know before moving to Mississippi

Mississippi is known to be a fertile land, with magnolia flowers and warm breeze. Mississippi prides itself in its rich history and hard work that strives to preserve the essence of the South.  Mississippi has not yet urbanized like the other states and is still made up of small towns.

You might have had a problem spelling the name, M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, just know it’s double Ss’ and double Ps. Mississippi is named after the river, which means “large river” to the Chippewa Indians.  Here are the nicknames and the reasons why they came to be:

  1. The Magnolia State: One of the well-known names, this is used as a tribute to the many Magnolia Trees that grown in the state.
  2. The Bayou State: For the slow-moving streams that branch from the Mississippi River.
  3. The Eagle State: The Mississippi coat of arms is the bald eagle, grasping arrows and an olive branch.
  4. Border-eagle State: This is because of the coat of arms as well
  5. The Mud-cat State: Large catfish swim in the swamps and rivers
  6. The Mud-waddler State: as seen in John Goff’s 1892 Book of Nicknames I
  7. The Groundhog State: Mentioned in John Goff’s Book

Mississippi is found in the southern United States bordered by the Mississippi River to the west and the Mexican Gulf to the south.  Mississippi is the 32nd most populous and 32nd largest state of all 50.  Beyond the Mississippi Delta, the area is covered with dense forests.  When the lands near the Mississippi River were cleared, the river started to flood. As most of the land is used for agriculture, health, income, and level of education are not quite up to the standard.  The catfish aquaculture produces the majority of the catfish consumed in the US.

Mississippi is bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.  Mississippi contains numerous rivers like the Pearl River, Big Black River, Yazoo River, Pascagoula River and the Tombigbee River and is fully made up of lowlands.

Before moving to Mississippi

  • Familiarize yourself with proper evacuation procedures to prepare for the severe weather.
  • Keep your eyes and ears at alert for the latest weather news before moving
  • Avoid moving during potential thunderstorms and tornado moments
  • Just in case you’ve got have no other choice, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth move-in, like a fully charged cell, toolbox, first-aid kit, provisions, etc.
  • Check for parking restrictions
  • Find the closest storage – you might need it.
  • Read our advice if you are uncertain what to choose: Truck rental or professional mover?
  • If you decided to go with a moving company, read this advice: 5 things to avoid when hiring moving company.


Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with long summers and short, mild winters

The temperature usually ranges between 48 °F and 81 °F.  Usually, the weather is hot and humid with heavy rain falls and frequent thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tropical storms. It often rains in a downpour, which lasts for a short while and then it’s bright and sunny all over again.  Beginning of autumn is when the hurricanes usually hit. The best part is that winters are short and mild. It rarely frosts up and snows. However, the areas near the Mississippi Sound are warmer because the water retains the heat from the summer season.  The precipitation increases from north to south, with the areas near the cost being the most humid. Mississippi averages around 27 tornadoes per year with the northern part getting storms earlier in the year and the southern part later in the year. Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest to hit the state in 2005.

Largest cities

Sometimes you may wonder if moving to Mississippi will deprive you of social life and enjoyment. It is not so. The major cities of Mississippi can offer all of the commodities, sometimes even more, just like the other main cities in the US. Jackson is the state capital and Hattiesburg, Biloxi, and Gulfport are the other main cities in Mississippi.  These cities are located in the southern part of the state and are surrounded by dense forests, fertile agricultural lands and numerous rural areas and small towns.


The Magnolia state has over 50 colleges, universities, and technical colleges

Mississippi had a small number of schools and no educational institutions for the black Americans until the Civil War. The first school for blacks was established in 1862. Jackson city has almost half of the colleges in the state. Some of the top ranked colleges and Universities of the South can be found in Mississippi like:

  • Mississippi College
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Southern Mississippi

The Mississippi University for women made it to the list of US News and World Report’s list of the best southern schools and Forbes gave the University a place on the list of best public colleges. Some of the best elementary schools are:

  1. Davis Magnet School
  2. Watkins Elementary School
  3. George Elementary School
  4. Bayou View Elementary

The top-ranking High Schools in the state are

  1. Corinth High School
  2. Lewisburg High School
  3. West Lauderdale High School


Of all the awesome things in the Magnolia State, the food ranks at the top!

The simple homemade delicacies are so filling and are guaranteed to secure a place in your foodie’s heart. From fantastic seafood to tantalizing meat dishes, Mississippi cuisine is a must-try! If you like locally grown fresh food, check out these farmer markets in Mississippi. Here are 12 amazingly awesome food items of the state:

  1. Mississippi Mud Pie
  2. Corn Bread
  3. Collard Greens: cooked with seasoned pork and cornbread
  4. Pecan Pie
  5. Cajun Fried Pecans
  6. Crawfish: more commonly known as “mudbugs,” served with corn, potatoes, garlic, sausage, and mushrooms
  7. Shrimp
  8. Fried Catfish
  9. Boiled Peanuts
  10. Deer Meat
  11. Sweet Potato Pie
  12. Biscuits Covered in white gravy

Transport and roads

Mississippi state road map
Mississippi state road map

Mississippi has four major interstates running through it, and this makes it very easy to travel through the state, using the main highway. The Interstate runs through every city and most of the small towns.  JATRAN is the transit system for Jackson, and it functions every hour or half hour in during the weekdays and every hour on Saturdays.  Unfortunately, there is no service on Sundays or during the evenings.

Mississippi is not up to the standards of other states, and sometimes, you may feel this disadvantage if you hail from a city with updates and regular forms of public transport.  There are no light rails, trams or commuter trains in the state. Only city bus services are available because the state funds can’t afford more and the demand is less as well.

Mississippi has two international airports; Jackson- Evers International Airport and Gulfport- Biloxi International Airport.

Amtrak provides passenger service between Crescent and City of New Orleans.

Cost of living

Cost of living in Mississippi is very much lower than the national average by 15% and has remained constant

But the downside is, the average salary is quite low as well. Jackson city has the highest annual wages, and Meridian city has the lowest. Mississippi also has the lowest per capita income out of all states, but also the nation’s lowest living costs. In spite of the low-income rates, Mississippians rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions.

State property and personal income taxes

Mississippi has three rates for income tax which are 3%, 4%, and 5%. These rates are same for all filing statuses and businesses as well.  Three brackets are using which Mississippi collects personal income taxes:

For single taxpayers:

  • 3% on the first $5,000 of taxable income.
  • 4% on taxable income between $5,001 and $10,000.
  • 5% on taxable income of $10,001 and above.

Married couples who are filing a combined return (an instance where both are working) can choose to have each spouse calculate the liable tax amount separately and combine the results.

Residents should file tax returns on or before April 15 or the next business day if that date happens to be during the weekend or holiday.

The property taxes in Mississippi are quite low. The average yearly property tax is only $768, which is lower than all except four other states and is lesser than half the national average.  Property taxes are an important part of the revenue in the state. These taxes support schools and city and county governments.  These numbers are low because Mississippi reduces the tax burden on homeowners with the implementation of certain rules.

Ethnicity and population

Mississippi ’s 2.9 million contains (as of 2010 census)

  • 59% White Americans
  • 37% Black/ African Americans
  • 2.8% Hispanic/ Latino Americans
  • 1.4% Others
  • 0.9% Asian Americans
  • 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Natives

Residents of Scots-Irish, English and Scottish ancestry are commonly found in the area. The top Non-English languages spoken are

  • Spanish 1.9%
  • French 0.4%
  • German, Vietnamese and Choctaw 0.2%
  • Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, Italian 0.1%

The religious affiliations of Mississippians are

  • 83% Christian
  • 14% Unaffiliated
  • 2% Non-Christians

Sports teams

There are very few sports teams in Mississippi, so if you’re a die-hard sports fan, don’t think of moving. You’ve been warned.

College Teams:

  • Mississippi Rebels: Oxford
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs: Starkville
  • Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles: Hattiesburg


  • Jackson Bandits
  • Mississippi Seawolves
  • Tupelo T-Rex

Mississippi state: Pros & Cons

  • Low Cost of Living
  • Vast fertile lands for farming
  • Slow-paced, calm lifestyle
  • Strong traditions
  • Southern hospitality
  • Low population density
  • Warm weather
  • People don’t accept change well
  • Poverty
  • Hurricanes and tornadoes
  • Less jobs
  • crime
  • Not fast moving and lacks diversity

After moving

  • Apply for a Mississippi Driver’s license within 30 days of arrival.
  • Register to vote ASAP using the license or any identification certificate.
  • Check your trash and recycling methods and if you live away from the city, you might have to find a waste management company.
  • Remember to register to vote within a month of moving