Hattiesburg Ranked #2 in Best Cities to Live Survey


July 2, 2019

Madison and Hattiesburg have been named the No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, best cities in Mississippi by a place that should know — ChamberofCommerce.org.

Numbers 3-5 were, in order, Brandon, Clinton and Ocean Springs.

Jackson was ranked No. 11.

The website looked at more than 2,500 cities in the United States with populations more than 25,000 that had enough U.S. Census and Centers for Disease Control data for analysis.

Rankings were determined by designating different sets of data to five factors — employment, housing, quality of life, education and health — and assigning appropriate weights to each.

Madison came in at No. 1 because of its estimated median household income of more than $100,000 —  twice the state average. The website also said Madison’s residents were well educated.

ChamberofCommerce.org named Hattiesburg No. 2 best city in the state because its economy benefits from the presence of several large companies like Kohler Engines, Regions Financial Corporation and Coca-Cola Bottling Company United.

It also mentioned the city’s multiple theaters and downtown art galleries, which offer plenty to do.

“It’s no surprise that Hattiesburg is ranked as a top city in Mississippi to live,” said Valencia Williamson, Area Development Partnership executive vice president, in an email. “With its strong economy, rising population, top-rated K-12 schools, two universities, world-class healthcare, and a diverse blend of culture and commerce, Hattiesburg has become a premier destination in the Gulf South.”

Williamson said Hattiesburg continues to lead the state in job growth with more than 5,700 jobs created in the last five years, more than $3.3 billion annually in retail sales and a 26 percent increase in home sales between 2014 and 2018.

ChamberofCommerce.org didn’t go into detail on its reasons for ranking the cities below No. 5.