Mississippi’s 5 Safest Cities of 2021

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 5 safest cities in Mississippi for 2021

1. Madison
2. Brandon
3. Horn Lake
4. Ocean Springs
5. Olive Branch

See if your city made the full list.

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In our 2021 State of Safety survey, 45% of Mississippians expressed that they had high levels of concern daily, which is just below the 47% average among Americans on the whole. This result is seven points lower than last year (52%). Still, the state's safest cities generally have lower crime rates than the rest of The Magnolia State.

Although there was a notable decrease in daily levels of high concern, respondents reported a strong increase in personal experiences with gun violence year over year. The survey results also showed modest decreases in experiences with violent crime and property crime—but Mississippi stayed above the national average in each category.

2021 Mississippi crime rates

For the first time in years, Mississippi's violent crime rate experienced an uptick from 2.3 per 1,000 people to 2.8—this is the biggest increase of any state and higher than levels reported two years ago (2.6). In contrast, the state's property crime rate continued to decrease this year—from 24.0 per 1,000 to 23.8.

Within the East South Central region, Mississippi had the second-lowest violent crime rate behind Kentucky (2.2). The Magnolia State also trailed Kentucky (19.0) with the second-lowest property crime rate in the region.

Despite a decrease in property crimes year over year, Mississippi stayed above the national average while its increased violent crime rate remained below the US average. Among all 50 states, Mississippi had the fourteenth-lowest violent crime rate and the seventeenth-highest property crime rate.

Level of concern and experience with crime in Mississippi

Compared to last year, Mississippian survey respondents worried less frequently about their safety— dipping below the national average for the first time in two years. This correlates with a reported decrease in personal experiences with violent crime and property crime in the past 12 months.

75% of respondents said they think crime is increasing in the state versus 12% who don't, with both results coming in above the respective averages of 66% and 8% for the entire country.

Crime concerns in Mississippi

We asked Mississippi residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Mississippi residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Mississippi: Fear vs. reality

Mississippi's rise in violent crimes over the last year tracks with increased reports of gun violence from our survey respondents. Overall, a slim majority of respondents say they feel safe in their home state, which is among the bottom third of US states with the lowest violent crime rates. Residents also seem less trusting of law enforcement and worry more than average Americans about police violence.

  • 51% of Mississippi residents reported feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
  • 16% of survey respondents reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the past 12 months—this is 2% lower than last year.
  • Like most states, murder is the least common violent crime in The Magnolia State, making up just 4% of violent crimes—murder in the state's 5 safest cities averaged 4%. Unlike most states, murder is more common than the US average of 1%.
  • Rape makes up 9% of violent crimes in Mississippi, but the 5 safest cities had a relative high number of incidents at 18%.
  • 49% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection like stun guns or pepper spray—making Mississippi residents 1.4 times more likely to do this than the national average of 34%.
  • 49% of Mississippians say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.

Attitudes about police and gun violence in Mississippi

  • 59% of Mississippians cited gun violence as a top safety concern—higher than the US average of 53%.
  • 14% of residents surveyed reported an experience with gun violence in the last 12 months. This is nearly double the amount from the previous year.
  • There were 6 mass shootings in Mississippi in 2019 and 17 in 2020—a 183% increase.
  • 42% of Mississippi residents worry about police violence daily—slightly more than the US average of 40%.
  • Just 46% of Mississippians reported having confidence in law enforcement. This is well below the US average of 56%.
  • There were 37 officer-involved shootings in 2020, a 7% decrease from 40 in 2019.
Experience with gun violence in Mississippi jumped 75% year over year.

Property crime in Mississippi: Fear vs. reality

Mississippi is in the top half of US states that exceed the national average for property crime, but it still had a lower rate per 1,000 than the past couple of years. This matches observations from survey respondents citing fewer personal experiences with property crime compared with last year.

  • Mississippians reported one-quarter fewer personal experiences with property crime this year (24%) compared to last year (32%).
  • Burglary accounts for 26% of all property crimes in The Magnolia State (the 5 safest cities average 13%), which is much higher than the national rate of 16%.
  • 18% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the last 12 months, putting Mississippi below the US average of 20%.
  • 74% of Mississippians surveyed use some form of property protection. This is well above the 62% average for the US.
  • The top forms of property protection in Mississippi this year were firearms and guard dogs. Both options tied with 36% using them compared to 26% of Americans (also tied).
  • 29% of Mississippi residents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—this matches the US average.

A closer look at the safest cities in Mississippi

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • The top 2 safest cities, Madison and Brandon, held their rankings for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Olive Branch is new to the safest cities list this year while both Horn Lake and Ocean Springs improved in ranking compared to last year.
  • Madison had the lowest rates of violent (0.4) and property crime (10.4) this year.
  • All of the safest cities had lower violent crime rates than Mississippi at large.
  • There were 7 murders among the safest cities in the last year.
  • Just 3 cities had property crime rates below the state average.
  • Only 2 cities reported fewer than 25 violent crime incidents.
  • 3 cities reported fewer than 500 total property crimes.

The 10 Safest Cities in Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi
#1
Madison
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,862
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $106,849
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.7, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.4, 9.3, 9.5
Brandon, Mississippi
#2
Brandon
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,426
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $74,172
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.1, 1.2, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    11.0, 7.7, 9.3
Horn Lake, Mississippi
#3
Horn Lake
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    27,256
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $47,263
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.1, 1.0, 1.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    24.8, 23.9, 25.8
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
#4
Ocean Springs
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    17,864
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $56,599
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.3, 2.0, 1.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    27.5, 33.2, 37.9
Olive Branch, Mississippi
#5
Olive Branch
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    38,761
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $72,451
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.3, N/A, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    23.0, N/A, N/A
#6
Ridgeland
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,171
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $57,387
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.7, N/A, 2.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    20.1, N/A, 25.8
Southaven, Mississippi
#7
South Haven
(
-2
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    55,718
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $61,181
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.7, 1.2, 1.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    31.9, 29.8, 27.4
Gautier, Mississippi
#8
Gautier
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,563
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $47,492
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.9, 3.4, 3.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    26.3, 31.0, 39.1
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
#9
Hattiesburg
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    45,971
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $33,792
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.3, N/A, 2.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    44.9, N/A, 44.8
D'Iberville, Mississippi
#10
D'Iberville
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,125
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $45,057
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.7, 1.3, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    63.4, 69.3, 76.5

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't find your city in the top 5?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.

2021 Rank
City
Population
VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
11Gulfport72.38K3.348.2
12Pascagoula21.61K2.657.4
13Meridian36.88K4.940.0
14Biloxi46.19K4.157.7
15Laurel18.47K6.843.3

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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