The Most Dangerous Cities in Mississippi: A List of High-Crime Areas

Mississippi is a state of southern charm, most commonly known for its bluegrass music, magnolias, and southern-style cuisine. Unfortunately, it’s also a state of poverty, unemployment, and crime. While the overall crime rate in the state is relatively low, ranking 27th in the United States, some cities are overrun with crime. The fact that it’s the poorest state in the country may have something to do with it. Below is a list of the five most dangerous cities in Mississippi, based on the latest FBI crime data.

1. Jackson

Lying along the Pearl River, Jackson is the capital and the largest city of Mississippi. It was once known for its numerous museums, musical history, and great food. As of 2021, Jackson is becoming a hotbed of murder and other crimes. In 2021 alone, Jackson saw over 150 murders, mostly shootings. Since 2019, murders have spiked by over 30%.

The murder rate is a staggering 15 times the national average, so it’s probably best to avoid the city altogether. As it stands today, Jackson has one of the highest murder rates in the entire country. People who live in Jackson consider the central neighborhoods the worst part of town, and you risk a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime there. By contrast, the eastern parts of town are relatively safe. If you must visit for some reason, consider staying in that area of town.

2. Biloxi

Biloxi is a coastal city in southern Mississippi, known for its beaches and casinos. It was once called the longest man-made beach in the world, and the barrier reefs off the Gulf of Mexico keep the water nice and tranquil. Other than the beach, Biloxi is well-known for its gambling. There are 11 casinos available for you to play slots or cards, but the crime rate in the area might make you reconsider.

Biloxi ranks on this list with the third-highest violent crime in Mississippi, plus there’s a 1 in 17 chance of being a victim of theft or robbery. If you hit up the casinos here, we’d recommend keeping one hand on your wallet at the tables. Strangely enough, Biloxi is also rated as one of the most expensive places to live in the country. It seems it only pays to visit and not live in this crime-ridden city.

3. Laurel

Laurel is a small city in southeastern Mississippi, with a population of about 18,500. It was once a big name in the timber industry, but data today indicates most people work in the healthcare industry. Other fun facts are that Laurel is the hometown of Lance Bass of NSYNC, plus the oldest art museum in Mississippi: the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. However, Laurel also has a dark side.

It has the second-highest violent crime rate in the state, with a 1 in 15 chance of being a victim. Most of the crimes are aggravated assaults, but there are also a few murders and rapes every year. The property crime rate is also high, with a 1 in 23 chance of being a victim. The poverty rate in Laurel is 31.3%, which is almost double the national average. This may explain why some people resort to crime in this city.

4. Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a small town in central Mississippi, with a population of about 7,000. It is the county seat of Neshoba County. One of its main attractions is the iconic William’s Brothers General Store that’s been in business since 1907. It’s also the site of the infamous 1964 murders of 3 civil rights activists. Their murders ignited the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A memorial in their honor sits at the site where their bodies were found. In Philadelphia, 28% of the population lives below the poverty line. Last year, there was a total of 76 crimes. Violent crimes made up 11 of those crimes, while 65 were property crimes. The chances of being a victim of a property crime in Philadelphia are 1 in 33. When visiting the town, people should be most concerned about robbery and motor vehicle theft.

5. Flowood

Flowood is a town in western Mississippi, with a population of about 10,200. It was part of a “dry” (alcohol-free) county, until 2009 when the city council passed an ordinance allowing alcohol to be served by the glass in restaurants and hotels. It is recommended that if you have business in Jackson, you stay in Flowood.

Being only 16 miles outside of the capital city, it has many hotels to choose from. The median income in Flowood is $24,000 and the poverty rate is 13%. The chances of being a victim of crime in the town are 1 in 49. Based on its size, it is safer than 12% of other cities. Last year there were 22 violent crimes and 189 property crimes.


Mississippi is a state with a rich history and culture, but also a state with many challenges and problems. Crime is one of them, and some cities are more affected than others. The five cities on this list are the most dangerous ones in the state, according to the FBI crime data. They have high rates of murder, assault, robbery, and theft, and low rates of income, education, and employment.

If you plan to visit or live in Mississippi, you should be aware of these facts and take precautions to protect yourself and your property. Alternatively, you can choose to visit or live in some of the safer cities in the state, such as Madison, Brandon, or Oxford.

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