5 Mississippi Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

Mississippi, rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, grapples with a multitude of challenges such as poverty, unemployment, education, health, and crime. These difficulties have prompted a significant number of residents to seek better opportunities and quality of life elsewhere, contributing to a decline in the state’s population.

Recent U.S. Census data reveals a 0.7% decrease in Mississippi’s population from 2020 to 2022, making it one of the few states experiencing such a decline. Notably, major cities like Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Hattiesburg also witnessed population decreases of at least 0.5% during the same period.

However, not all towns in Mississippi are losing population at the same rate. Various factors, including economic decline, social problems, environmental issues, or lack of amenities, contribute to differing rates of population decline. In this blog post, we will explore five towns witnessing significant population losses and delve into the reasons behind this exodus.

1. Clarksdale

Located in Coahoma County in the Mississippi Delta region, Clarksdale, known as the birthplace of the blues, boasts a rich musical heritage. Despite cultural attractions such as the Delta Blues Museum and the Rock and Blues Museum, the town faces challenges such as high poverty (38.4%), unemployment (10.9%), and crime (77.8 per 1,000 residents). The population of Clarksdale has steadily declined, making it the fastest-shrinking town in Mississippi, with a 2.4% decrease from 2020 to 2022.

2. Laurel

Situated in Jones County in the south-central part of the state, Laurel, famous for the HGTV show “Home Town,” battles issues such as low income, a graduation rate of 76.9%, and a crime rate of 51.4 per 1,000 residents. The town’s population has shown an overall downward trend, decreasing by 1.1% from 2020 to 2022, making Laurel the second-fastest-shrinking town in Mississippi.

3. Natchez

Natchez, in Adams County in the southwest corner of the state, with its rich history and architectural landmarks, faces economic challenges such as low income (median household income of $32,758) and a poverty rate of 28.9%. The population of Natchez has been gradually declining, with a 0.9% decrease from 2020 to 2022, making it the third-fastest-shrinking town in Mississippi.

4. Greenville

Located in Washington County in the Mississippi Delta region, Greenville, with its cultural heritage, contends with high poverty (37.8%), unemployment, and crime (67.3 per 1,000 residents). The town’s population has steadily decreased, with an additional 0.8% decline from 2020 to 2022, making Greenville the fourth-fastest-shrinking town in Mississippi.

5. Meridian

In Lauderdale County in the east-central part of the state, Meridian, recognized as the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers, faces challenges such as low income, a graduation rate of 79.7%, and a crime rate of 49.9 per 1,000 residents. The population of Meridian has slowly declined, with a 0.7% decrease from 2020 to 2022, making it the fifth-fastest-shrinking town in Mississippi.


These five towns in Mississippi are experiencing significant population decline due to a range of challenges. While they possess charm and potential, addressing these issues through effective policies, investments, and initiatives can contribute to revitalizing these communities and reversing their population decline trends.

Leave a Comment