Cost Of Living In Mississippi (Taxes, Housing & More)
The American south provides unique views, career opportunities, lifestyles, and a low cost of living. One such state is Mississippi, where almost every cost of living factor is lower than the national average in America. There are 2,976,149 residents in Mississippi, and while the poverty rate is high, the cost of living is low.
Housing costs are quite low in Mississippi, and the median home value is as low as $114,500. Over 68% of all Mississippi state residents own their homes, and their monthly costs average $1,134 for most residents. Renting costs an average of $762 per month, and there’s an additional average of $122 per month for utility costs in Mississippi.
The Mississippi runs throughout the state, and you can find affordable cities along the historical body of water statewide. Tax friendly, laid back, unique, and affordable, Mississippi is a great place to live for many reasons. With everything that Mississippi has to offer, how much does it actually cost for the average resident to live?
Related Guide: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Mississippi?
There are few states in America that have lower housing costs than you can find in Mississippi. The fact that just over 68% of Mississippi residents own their homes is easily explained by low property values. Mississippi’s median home value is $114,500, and that’s almost a full $100,000 below the national average in America.
Owning a home comes along with utilities, repairs, maintenance, property taxes, and mortgage payments, and Mississippi is no exception. The typical Mississippi resident spends $1,134 each month in total ownership costs, and most of it goes to the mortgage. Roughly $357 of that goes to repairs and bills due to the low average cost of utilities in Mississippi.
|Location||Median Home Value||Homeownership Rate|
The average home in Mississippi measures 2,800 square feet and building a home of that size is affordable. Depending on material choices, you could spend between $90and $135 per square foot on construction costs as a builder-owner. Choosing expensive materials can drive up the costs, but material, labor, and permits are all affordable in Mississippi.
Property Tax Rate
Not only is owning a home in Mississippi affordable, but so too are the property tax rates. The average statewide property tax rate in Mississippi is 0.80%, and homeowners spend an average of $879 per year. Residents of Amite County are lucky to spend an average of $281 per year at a 0.39% property tax rate.
There are 82 counties in Mississippi, and each of them has a different property tax rate with different average payments. If you are over the age of 65 or you have a disability, you can qualify for property tax exemptions and save money each year. Veterans in Mississippi can also receive $1,500 in property tax exemptions if their service led to a disability.
|Mississippi Counties||Property Tax Rate||Average Property Tax Payment|
|Pearl River County||0.79%||$974|
|Jefferson Davis County||0.64%||$516|
Renting in Mississippi is often cheaper than owning a home, and it’s a great alternative. The median gross rent in Mississippi is $762 per month, and that’s $372 below the average housing costs. Roughly 32% of all Mississippi residents rent as opposed to own, and the low costs make it a great choice.
The cheapest place to live in Mississippi is Aberdeen, and the average cost of rent is $601 per month. Major cities, such as Jackson, MS, are pricier and average $824 per month, and even that’s below the national average. You can find the most expensive rent in Madison, Mississippi, and it averages $1,557 per month in the city.
|Mississippi Cities||Average Rent Cost|
|Biloxi||$851 Per Month|
|Meridian||$703 Per Month|
|Aberdeen||$601 Per Month|
|Jackson||$824 Per Month|
|Tupelo||$767 Per Month|
House and condo rentals are also available in Mississippi, and their median value is $990 per month. Rent fluctuation is rare in Mississippi, and the last few months have seen no increases in monthly costs. Compared to the $1,023 national average rent cost, almost any city in Mississippi is noticeably more affordable.
Average Utility Cost
Utility bills are a cost factor whether you rent an apartment or own a home in Mississippi. Luckily, utility bills only average $122 per month in Mississippi, and that’s only $15 above the national average. In a city like Hattiesburg, MS, utility bills cost more at $138 per month, and that’s high for the state.
Utilities are high for homeowners due to more plumbing fixtures and energy usage. You may spend up to $357 per month on bills as a homeowner, but that is not an ironclad rule. Perhaps the highest cost of utilities throughout the state is Jackson, where utilities average $197 or more per month.
Income Tax Rate
The highest Mississippi state income tax rate is 5%, but you can pay as little as 3% on your income. Most Mississippi residents will pay the maximum 5% rate because it applies to income over $10,000 per year. If you make less than $1,000 per year, however, you don’t have to pay any taxes on your income at all.
Residents that make between $5,000 and $10,000 per year pay a 4% tax on their income. If you are thinking of retiring in Mississippi, you will enjoy the benefits of zero taxes on retirement income. Social Security, IRA payments, and pension are all completely exempt from state income tax for Mississippi retirees.
Investment income is not subject to income tax in Mississippi either, and that’s great for residents, retired or otherwise. However, if you are collecting interest on investments from other states, it will apply to the state income tax. Besides that, income tax rates in Mississippi stick to the format laid out by the Internal Revenue Service.
Sales Tax Rate
Mississippi is a low tax state, and it applies to everything from income and property taxes, to gasoline tax. The sales tax rate is 7%, and that’s somewhat high, but low grocery and goods costs make it reasonable. Sales tax does not apply to every single product or service in Mississippi, such as tobacco, liquor, and gasoline.
Mississippi’s gasoline tax rate is only 18 cents per gallon, and with such low gas costs, driving is affordable. Alcohol sales carry a high state excise tax of $8.15 per gallon for liquor, and tobacco comes with $0.68 per pack. Luckily, Mississippi boasts some of the most affordable property tax rates in the United States.
|Mississippi Taxes||Average Rate & Cost|
|Property Tax Rate||0.80%|
|State Income Tax Rate||3%-5%|
|Sales Tax Rate||7%|
|Tobacco Tax||$0.68 Per Pack|
|Alcohol Tax||$8.15 Per Gallon Excise Tax|
|Gasoline Tax||$0.18 Per Gallon|
Mississippi is a large state, and there’s no shortage of schools available for parents to send their kids. Luckily, there are 1,107 public schools so you don’t need to spend a fortune on education in Mississippi. There are 165 school districts spread throughout the state, and many of them are private learning institutions.
The average cost of a private school in Mississippi is $5,528 per year, but it varies between elementary and high school. Elementary school is somewhat cheaper, and it costs an average of $4,469 per year for private tuition. Private high school tuition costs $6,191 per year, but that’s much cheaper than many other states in America.
|Mississippi Education Cost||Average Tuition Cost|
|Average Private Tuition||$5,528 Per Year|
|Private Elementary School||$4,469 Per Year|
|Private High School||$6,191 Per Year|
|University of Mississippi||$8,828 (Residents) $25,100 (Non-Residents)|
|Mississippi State University||$8,910 (Residents) $23,950 (Non-Residents)|
|University of Southern Mississippi||$8,896 (Residents) $10,896 (Non-Residents)|
Mississippi is home to many colleges, and they are much more affordable for state residents versus out of state students. The University of Mississippi costs only $8,828 for residents, but it costs $25,100 for out of state students. One of the most affordable colleges is the University of Southern Mississippi, which won’t cost more than $10,896 per year.
Being a car owner in Mississippi comes at a low cost, and that goes right down to gasoline prices. The current average cost of gasoline is $1.83 per gallon at the pump, and premium costs $2.47 on average. Compared to a state such as California, where a gallon averages $2.74, Mississippi gas prices are extremely low.
The average driver in America puts 656 gallons of gas in their tank through the year with frequent driving. At that rate, you can expect to spend between $1,220 and $1,620 per year on gasoline as a regular commuter. Commuting is a regular part of life in Mississippi, and residents generally spend 24 minutes each way in the car.
Most living costs in Mississippi are below the national average, but that doesn’t apply to car insurance premiums. Car insurance premiums are currently 26% above the national average in Mississippi, but many factors determine the total cost. The average cost of car insurance premiums in Mississippi is exactly $1,800, but traffic incidents and crashes can increase it.
Flying into Mississippi is convenient and easy due to the high volume of commercial airports available to residents. Right now, there are 83 airports spread across Mississippi, and many of them offer international flights to the public. You could fly from Chicago, IL to Jackson, MS for $273 roundtrip right now, or to Tupelo for $243.
The biggest and most traveled airport in Mississippi right now is the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson. You could fly from Jackson to Orlando, Florida for as little as $34 per person for a one-way ticket. Or a roundtrip ticket to Fort Worth, Texas from Jackson costs only $96, and that’s a great value.
If you plan to fly out of Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, it’s a good idea to get dropped off. That is due to the high cost of parking, which costs between $10 and $16 per day.
Much of the entertainment in Mississippi comes from the rich history that the state tells through its museums. One such museum is the Museum of Mississippi History, and it costs between $8 and $15 per person. The Mississippi Museum of Art is another great idea, and memberships cost as low as $50 per year.
You can have fun with the whole family in Jackson, Mississippi, where kids get in for $6, and adult tickets cost $9. Or you can take a trip to the swamp with the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch swamp tour for $15-$30. Another fun piece of Mississippi living is the Biloxi Shrimping Trip which costs between $12 and $30 per person.
|Mississippi Entertainment||Average Cost|
|The Museum of Mississippi History||$8 (Kids) $13 (Seniors & Military) $15 (Adults)|
|Mississippi Museum of Art||$50 Membership|
|Jackson Zoo||$6 (Kids) $8.20 (Seniors) $9 (Adults)|
|Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Airboat Swamp Tours||$15 (Kids) $30 (Adults)|
|Biloxi Shrimping Trip||$12 (Kids) $30 (Adults)|
Head out to Ocean Springs, MS and visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore for free fun and views. There are eight national parks to visit in Mississippi, and no shortage of outdoor wonders to explore at zero cost.
Cheapest Place To Live In Mississippi: Aberdeen
- Median Home Value: $70,900
- Median Gross Rent Cost: $601
- Average Monthly Ownership Costs: $928
- Median Household Income: $34,911
- Population: 5,205
Living in Aberdeen, Mississippi comes with many benefits, but perhaps the biggest one is the low cost of living. Not only is Aberdeen the cheapest place to live in Mississippi, but it’s significantly below national average housing costs. The median home value in Aberdeen, MS is $70,900 with $928 in average monthly ownership costs.
Aberdeen residents that want to save money can instead choose to rent, and they pay $601 per month, on average. Less than 40% of Aberdeen, MS residents are renters, but both renting and owning costs are low. The median household income is low at $34,911 in Aberdeen, but low housing costs more than makes up for it.
Aberdeen, MS is a part of Monroe County where the property tax rate is 0.77% which is middle-ground for Mississippi. The average homeowner in Aberdeen, MS spends $669 each year on property taxes, and that is quite low. All in all, Aberdeen, Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the state, and it’s worth living there.
Is Mississippi a good place to live?
Yes, Mississippi is a wonderful place to live due to low housing, taxes, education, and grocery costs. Currently, 57% of the state’s population is a part of the workforce, and the median household income is $43,567. There are over 59,000 places to work in Mississippi with many chances for upward mobility.
Does Mississippi have beaches?
Yes, Mississippi has beaches, and its location along the gulf coast makes it a great place to soak up the sun. West Ship Island is one of the most notable beaches, but Front Beach, and Biloxi Beach are also notable. Remember to check out the latest news to make sure the beaches are open, as algae sometimes shuts them down.
Is Mississippi safe?
Mississippi is a safe place to live, but property crime is prevalent in certain areas of the state. Cities like Madison, Horn Lake, and Oxford in particular are safe, and Jackson is the most dangerous city in Mississippi. You face a 1 in 427 chance for violent crime, and a 1 in 42 chance of property crime.
Does it snow in Mississippi?
No, it generally does not snow in Mississippi, and the winter season is mostly mild in the southern state. However, Mississippi makes up for it with rain throughout the year to the tune of 55 inches, on average. You can take advantage of the beautiful surroundings and great outdoors all year long due to warm weather year-round.
Summing It Up
Mississippi is a low-income state, but it also has an extremely low cost of living. The statewide median home value is only $114,500, and 68.2% of residents own their own homes. Monthly ownership costs total $1,134, on average, and most of that is spent on mortgage payments in Mississippi.
Renting is also affordable, and the median gross rent in Mississippi is only $762 per month. Cities like Aberdeen have an average rent cost of $601 per month, and there are countless low rent cities in the state. Utilities cost an average of $122 per month in Mississippi, but it varies based on plumbing fixtures and energy usage.
Driving in Mississippi is cheap, and you can easily spend $1,220 or less per year on gasoline as a regular driver. Mississippi is affordable, laid back, unique, and comfortable for its residents, and it’s full of character and history. You can get by on low wages in Mississippi, and the low cost of living keeps its residents happily living there.
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
More by Nick Durante