Safest Cities in Mississippi – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

While Mississippi does have issues with poverty and education, the state compares favorably to others in the southeast region of the country in terms of crime. Though Mississippi’s property crime rate is slightly above the national average, its violent crime rate is just 63% of the national violent crime rate.

0
Crime rate per 1,000
0
Law enforcement per 1,000

Mississippi’s safest city is Madison, a city of over 25,000 in the Jackson Metropolitan Area. The city logged just 18 violent crimes in 2018, resulting in a 0.7 per 1,000 violent crime rate, and its property crime rate is less-than-half the national rate.

Brandon, another Jackson area city, is the state’s 2nd safest. The city earned the lowest property crime rate of any in the state, which is just a third of the national rate, while its violent crime rate is an impressive 1.24 per 1,000.

The 3rd city in the ranking, Clinton, earned the lowest violent crime rate in the state, a remarkable 0.60 per 1,000. However, its property crime rate–on par with national levels–keeps it out of the top spot.

Byram, 4th in the ranking of Mississippi’s safest cities, has a minor issue with property crime: its rate is slightly above the national average. However, the city makes up for it with a low violent crime rate that’s under half of the national average.

Closing out the top 5 is Oxford, which had the 2nd lowest violent crime rate in the state in 2018. Yet, the city’s above average property crime, perhaps stemming from being home to the University of Mississippi, pushes it down in the ranking.

Mississippi’s Safest Cities

MSCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Madison25832182417925910.030.709.333.06
2Brandon2428330186482168.901.247.661.98
3Clinton25137155387455322.000.6021.402.94
4Byram11692182833930125.741.5424.203.34
5Oxford24369166669168227.990.6627.333.73
6West Point10593332733330628.893.1225.773.12
7Brookhaven12125933464443936.217.6728.543.63
8Ocean Springs17726365895262535.262.0333.232.93
9Gautier18501625734763534.323.3530.972.54
10Meridian375001551477107163243.524.1339.392.85
11Laurel184861038707397352.635.5747.063.95
12Vicksburg22298115114085125556.285.1651.133.81
13Biloxi461481492577183272659.073.2355.843.97
14Gulfport724023873662214404955.925.3550.582.96
15Pascagoula2165473132579139864.563.3761.193.65
16D’Iberville11928158273984270.591.2669.333.27

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.