Known as ‘The City With Soul,’ Jackson has lived through emancipation, reconstruction, segregation, the civil rights movement, and urban renewal. In the 1960s, Jackson’s Medgar Evers and many other brave activists played a significant role in the fight to end racial discrimination. You’ll find their struggle documented at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the Mississippi Freedom Trail, and other sites in Jackson.

Today, Mississippi’s capital city is home to hip, happening, affordable neighborhoods, an innovative food scene, and a culture that honors and conserves its vibrant history, art, and music. And just like the classic inclusionary pronoun – “y’all” – Jackson is welcoming and friendly. Exemplifying Jackson’s character and melodious soul, the independent record label, Malaco Records and Recording Studios, produced many famous gospel, blues, jazz, and soul artists and dominates southern blues and gospel charts.

Sustaining Jackson’s vivid cultural soul, the LeFleur Museum District is where you can explore a natural science museum, children’s museum, a sports hall of fame and museum, and an agricultural and forestry museum. Museum hopping builds an appetite, so with quintessential southern hospitality, food trucks park outside the Mississippi Museum of Art to cook you up a yummy repast.

Continue reading this guide to learn more about The City With Soul – housing, cost of living, economy, schools, best neighborhoods, and so much more.

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Living in Jackson, MS: What to Know Before Moving to Jackson

Most parts of the City of Jackson sit in Hinds County. About 172,039 residents live in the city. Overall, the metro area has about 583,000 residents, of whom about 81% are African American, 17% are White, 1% are Hispanic, and 1% are Asian or mixed race.

Important note: It’s easy to confuse Jackson, Mississippi’s soulful capital city, with Jackson County, located along the Gulf coast. If you continue your research, be sure you’re reading about the City With Soul – Jackson.

Pros and Cons of Living in Jackson

Pros:

  • Housing prices: Both rent and home purchases are about 40% lower than the US average.
  • Cost of living: The cost of living in Jackson is about 17% lower than the national average.
  • Economy: Diverse industrial sectors provide balance to the economy.
  • Culture and soul: Jackson residents take genuine pride in their museums, events, festivals, history, and music.
  • Natural beauty: With year-round rain, the environment is lush and beautiful.

Cons:

  • Hot and sticky: Summers are long, hot, and humid.
  • Car-dependent: Few neighborhoods are walkable, so you’ll need wheels to get around.
  • Crime: Both property and violent crime rates are over double the US averages.
  • Poverty: 18.5% of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • Sales tax: At 8%, the Jackson sales tax is higher than the US average of 7.3%.

Tax Rates

  • Property tax: In Hinds County, the average tax rate is 1.044%. The property tax on a home assessed at a value of $130,000 would be $1,357 annually.
  • Sales tax: The combined sales tax rate in Jackson is 8%. The US average sales tax is 7.3%.
  • State income tax: You’ll pay an average of 5.0% in Mississippi income tax. The US average is 4.6%.

Housing Market

In Jackson, 60% of residents own their homes. With housing prices about 40% lower than the US average, it’s easy to see why the majority buy a home. According to zillow.com, the median home value is $45,604, but prices are rapidly increasing – the current listing price is $115,500. Even though housing prices decreased by 2.2% in 2019, models predict they’ll increase by 1.9% by the end of 2020.

Rent costs are also affordable. The median rent price in the city is $950, and in the metro area, the median rent price increases to $1,150. You’ll be able to find some of the most affordable housing in the McLeod, Woodlea, North Midtown, and Brookhollow neighborhoods.

Cost of Living

Your cost of living in Jackson will be about 17% lower than the national average. Bestplaces.net calculates six expenses compared to the US average of 100. In Jackson, the overall cost of living index is 92.3, the grocery index is 95.8, health is 103.7, housing is 58.1, utilities is 92.3, transportation is 83.6, and miscellaneous is 95.3. The miscellaneous category includes expenses like insurance, repairs, and clothing.

The Jackson family median income is $43,033 compared to the US family median income of $70,850. The epi.org Family Budget Calculator estimates how much you would need to earn to live a moderately comfortable lifestyle in Jackson. A family of four living in the Jackson metro area would need to earn $6,101 or $73,209 annually.

Weather and Natural Disasters

Jackson sits in a humid subtropical climate zone, so the city enjoys year-round rainfall. The US average annual rainfall is 38 inches, but Jackson gets 54 inches, maintaining a lush green environment. December rainfall averages 5.15 inches, and March averages 5 inches.

July and August are the hottest months. Highs average 92 degrees and lows average 72. Be prepared for a lot of humidity throughout the summer. The coldest months are December and January. Average highs run about 57 degrees, and average lows get down to 36. Snow is rare, and if it does fall, it typically melts within a day.

The greatest natural disaster threats are severe thunderstorms that bring flooding, large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. It’s critical to prepare for natural disasters. The Hinds County Department of Emergency Management site provides valuable information that you should review.

Economy and Job Market

The unemployment rate is 4.7%, close to one percent higher than the US average of 3.9%. In 2019, the job market grew by 1.0%. The ten-year prediction for US job growth is 33.5%, while the ten-year forecast for Jackson is a sluggish 29.9%.

Jackson’s diverse industrial sectors include finance, education, government, manufacturing, health care, retail, accommodation and food services, and telecommunications. Publicly traded companies headquartered in Jackson are Cal-Maine Foods Inc, EastGroup Properties Inc, and Trustmark Corp. The major employers include the State of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the US Government, Jackson Public Schools, Nissan, Baptist Health Systems, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Out-of-state investors who see a positive future for the city have invested about $1.6 billion in Jackson’s revitalization.

If you are looking for work in Jackson, check the array of jobs on sites like indeed.com, careerbuilder.com, simplyhired.com, glassdoor.com, and other online job boards. Don’t forget to update your resume and make sure your social media is clean and appropriate for the type of job you hope to land.

Traffic and Transportation

JATRAN, the Jackson Transit System, runs bus routes six days a week on the hour or half-hour. In 2018, Jackson announced a $21 million plan to revamp the bus system. Walkscore rates Jackson transit with a 20, meaning public transportation options are significantly limited. The bike score is 38, meaning there are few bike lanes, and the walk score is 28, meaning you’ll need a car to get around, run errands, and commute. If you’re hoping to land in a walkable neighborhood, Belhaven is considered somewhat walkable with a 54 rating.

Major highways and interstates run through and around Jackson, easily connecting to other states. I-55 runs along the east side of the city, connecting north to Chicago and south to New Orleans. I-20 runs west to El Paso and east to Florence, SC. I-220 runs along the west side of Jackson, connecting to I-55 north of the city and I-20 on the southwest side. US 51, AKA State Street, parallels I-55; US 49 runs north-south from the Arkansas state line to Gulfport, bypassing I-20 and I-220; and US 80 roughly parallels I-20.

Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN), located about 25 minutes east of Downtown, provides non-stop service to eight US cities. Amtrak operates the City of New Orleans southbound to New Orleans and northbound to Memphis, Chicago, and points in between.

What to Do

Jackson is full of soulful and fun things to do throughout the year. From astronomy at the planetarium to zebras at the zoo, take a look:

  • Culture: Ballet Mississippi; Mississippi Arts Center; Mississippi Chorus, Opera, Symphony Orchestra, and Metropolitan Ballet; and the historic jazz and blues club, Subway Lounge on Pearl Street.
  • Museums: Eudora Welty House Museum, Manship House Museum, Medgar Evers Home Museum, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Museum of Natural Science, Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, Children’s Museum, Museum of Art, Celtic Heritage Society of Mississippi, Municipal Art Gallery, Museum of Mississippi History, International Museum of Muslim Cultures, and Smith-Robertson Museum and Cultural Center.
  • Festivals, parks, and the universe: Enjoy the Crossroads Film Society and Film Festival, Farish Street Heritage Festival, and Jackson State University Botanical Garden. Catch concerts and events at Miss Veterans Stadium, Miss Coliseum, and Smith Wills Stadium. Enjoy the zoo and beautiful greenspaces at Jackson Zoological Park; Le Fleur’s Bluff State Park; and Parham Bridges, Smith, Sykes, Presidential Hills, Battlefield, Sheppard Brothers, and Grove parks. Take a glimpse of the universe at Russell C Davis Planetarium.
  • Sports: Although Jackson doesn’t host any major professional sports teams, there’s plenty of action. Take in a Miss Braves baseball game, a Southern League AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, or become a fan of Miss Brilla soccer, the Jackson Rugby Football Club, or the Mississippi Maddogs of the Magnolia Football League.

Schools and Universities

Jackson Public School District (JPS) serves over 30,000 students in 38 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, seven high schools, and two special schools. Madison County School District serves a tiny portion of northeast Jackson.

The majority of Jackson students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Because of mediocre education in some of Jackson’s public schools, many middle- and upper-class families choose a private school for their children.

Greatschools.org rates schools on a scale of 1 to 10. According to the site, the top schools in Jackson include Davis Magnet School 10/10, Casey Elementary School 9/10, Power Apac School 9/10, Northwest Middle School 9/10, Bailey Middle APAC 9/10, and McWillie Elementary School 8/10.

Jackson is home to more colleges and universities than any other city in Mississippi. These post-secondary institutions include Belhaven University, University of Mississippi Medical Center Health Sciences campus, Jackson State University, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi College School of Law, Virginia College, Reformed Theological Seminary, Tougaloo College, and Wesley Biblical Seminary. Two-year colleges include the private Antonelli College and Hinds Community College,

Crime

Jackson has struggled with high crime rates for many years. Both violent and property crimes are more than double the US average index rates. The US average index for violent crime is 22.7, and in Jackson, it’s 45.8. The US average for property crime is 35.4, but in Jackson, it’s an astounding 71.8.

Rolling Wood Beautiful, Lake Trace, and Heatherwood are some of the neighborhoods with much lower crime rates than Jackson city-center.

Utility Providers

We provide utility service information for you because we understand how time-consuming this particular step of the moving process can be. Make sure to open your new utility accounts at least several weeks before your move-in date. Note: If you start additional searches, beware that ‘Jackson County’ is located on the Gulf coast, and is not what you’re looking for!

  • Gas and electric service: Entergy Mississippi, LLC provides gas and electricity service in Jackson. Start your service online or call 1-800-368-3749.
  • Water and sewer service: The City of Jackson provides water and sewer utility services. You must make an application for new service in-person at the Water Service Business Administration, 1000 Metrocenter Drive, Jackson, MS 39209. For more information, call 601-960-1179 M-F from 8 am to 5 pm or visit the city website.
  • Trash pick-up service: The City of Jackson provides trash collection service twice weekly. Your service will begin when you open your water and sewer services account. See the water and sewer service section above.
  • Recycling service: The City of Jackson suspended curbside recycling collection in August 2019. Residents can open an account with a certified recycling hauler. Call Allen Recycling at 668-746-1120 or Environmentality Recycling Solutions at 601-566-5739 or 601-720-8728.
  • Internet and cable service: Simply enter your new zip code at highspeedinternet.com to find a list of the internet and cable providers that serve your new neighborhood. The listing includes various plans, pricing, download speeds, and connection type.
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Best Neighborhoods in Jackson, MS

Although much of Jackson struggles with high crime rates, except for Bellevue Oaks and Imberlain Park, the following neighborhoods enjoy far lower than average US crime rates.

Rolling Wood Beautiful

Just the name alone is enough to make anyone want to know more about this neighborhood. The #1 neighborhood in Jackson, according to areavibes.com, Rolling Wood Beautiful, is fifteen minutes northeast of Downtown. The borders include Old Canton Rd on the northwest, Yucca Dr on the east, and Ridgewood Rd on the west.

The housing includes beautiful brick-faced two-story colonials and sprawling one-story ranches. Well-maintained homes sit on large wooded lots. With a crime rate 18% lower than the US average and a 100% high school graduation rate, this is an excellent neighborhood for families with young children. The median age of residents is 26 years old, so it appears this neighborhood also appeals to singles and young professionals.

Convenient amenities include Jacksonian Plaza for shopping and grocery stores and cafes like Thai Tasty and Crazy Cat Eat Up.

  • Population: 1,100
  • Median home value: $178,000
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 45%
  • Median rent price: $1,450
  • Schools: Spann Elementary School 4/10, McLeod Elementary School 3/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, and Murrah High School 5/10

Bellevue Oaks

This small cozy neighborhood sits about twelve minutes northeast of Downtown. The borders include Winchester St on the north, Ridgewood Rd on the east, E Northside Dr on the south, and Old Canton Rd on the west. Single-family homes range from three to four-bedrooms, and there’s almost a story-book quality to this intimate neighborhood. Well-maintained homes nestled among beautiful woods on large lots have a lot of character.

The cost of living is 11% lower than the US average; however, the crime rate in Bellevue Oaks is 22% higher, and the high school graduation rate is 16% higher than the US average. In Bellevue Oaks, 54% of households are families with children.

You’ll find convenient shopping and restaurants near Old Canton Road and the frontage of I-55. Try some yummy Asian cuisine at Sakura Bana or Thai Time Thai and Sushi.

  • Population: 164
  • Median home value: $136,700
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 72%
  • Median rent price: $799
  • Schools: Spann Elementary School 4/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, and Murrah High School 5/10

Lake Trace

Located about ten minutes northeast of Downtown, the borders of Lake Trace are Kristen Dr on the north, S Pear Orchard Rd on the east, Old Canton Rd on the southeast, and Colonial Circle and Purple Creek on the west.

The three and four-bedroom single-family homes have a substantial established feel. Many houses sit well back from the street on large lots with beautiful trees. The neighborhood has a lush forested feel and is mainly residential. If you prefer to rent, you won’t find apartments or condos, but you might be lucky to lease a single-family home.

In Lake Trace, the crime rate is 18% lower than the national average. At $80,223, the median household income is 45% higher than the national average. This community is a wonderful neighborhood for families. When it’s time to out for a meal, residents enjoy the popular EDO Japanese Restaurant, rated 4.5 of 5 stars on Yelp.

  • Population: 1,458
  • Median home value: $166,000
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 98%
  • Median rent price: Not available
  • Schools: McLeod Elementary School 3/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, Murrah High School 5/10

Heatherwood

One of Jackson’s more exclusive neighborhoods, Heatherwood, is about eighteen minutes northeast of Downtown. The borders include Briarwood Dr on the north, White Oak Creek on the east, Old Canton Rd on the southeast and south, and Ridgewood Rd on the west.

In Heatherwood, you’ll find three to five-bedroom single-family homes that are established and well-maintained. Some are elegant two-story residences, while others are rambling one-story ranches. Mature trees surround all homes, most of which sit on large lots, giving a great sense of privacy.

With crime rates 16% lower than the US average, and a higher than average high school graduation rate, at 17%, Heatherwood is an excellent choice for families with school-age children. The median household income, at $92,308, is 67% higher than the US average.

Without a commercial area, you’ll have to drive south across Old Canton Rd for grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities.

  • Population: 1,409
  • Median home value: $224,100
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 92%
  • Median rent price: $791
  • Schools: Spann Elementary School 4/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, and Murrah High School 5/10

Northpointe Estate

About a twenty-minute drive northeast of Downtown, Northpointe Estate is bound by E County Line Rd on the north, Old Canton Rd on the east, and Northpointe Parkway on the west.

Beautiful established and well-maintained homes sit on large wooded lots. The graceful curving streets and plentiful open greenspace add to the neighborhood’s attractive appeal.

With a crime rate 16% lower than the US average, Northpointe Estate appeals primarily to families – 56% of residents are families with kids. Residents have a median household income of $71,250 – 29% higher than the US average.

Amerigo Italian Restaurant and Sal’s and Phil’s, and the specialty grocery store, Mediterranean Grocery, are popular local spots to dine and shop.

  • Population: 603
  • Median home value: $198,000
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 50%
  • Median rent price: $1,008
  • Schools: McLeod Elementary School 3/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, Murrah High School 5/10

Imberlain Park

Imberlain Park is located about a twenty-minute drive northeast of Downtown and borders Adkins Blvd on the north, Colonial Circle on the north and east, Briarwood Dr on the south, and Ridgewood Rd on the west. Lovely three to five-bedroom homes sit back from the street on large wooded lots. This compact neighborhood has a sense of peacefulness and privacy.

In Imberlain Park, the crime rate is about 14% higher than the US average, but still, 45% of households are families with children. The median household income is just about on par with the US average at $54,545.

Amenities are few, so you’ll need to drive for shopping, running errands, and commuting in this exclusively residential neighborhood.

  • Population: 174
  • Median home value: $140,300
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 79%
  • Median rent price: $982
  • Schools: Spann Elementary School 4/10, Chastain Middle School 2/10, and Murrah High School 5/10

Presto Heights

Presto Heights, about ten minutes north of Downtown, is bordered by Beasley Rd on the north, N State St on the east, Presto Lane on the south, and Highland Dr on the west. Housing choices are more varied in Presto Heights than in the previously listed neighborhoods. You’ll find apartment complexes with amenities like pools and gyms, condos, and two to five-bedroom single-family homes.

The Presto Heights crime rate is equivalent to the US average; the neighborhood appeals to singles and young professionals.

Enjoy burgers at Fat Albert’s or dinner at Mr. Chen’s, and find specialty groceries while having a meal at Oriental Supermarket and Restaurant.

  • Population: 258
  • Median home value: areavibes.com indicates home values are 100% lower than the US average
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 38%
  • Median rent price: $816
  • Schools: North Jackson Elementary School 3/10, Kirksey Middle School 3/10, Callaway High School 3/10

Farish Street Historic District

The soul of Jackson, Farish Street Historic District borders E Fortification St on the north, I-55 on the east, Downtown/W Pearl Street on the south, and N Gallatin St on the west. Living here puts you right in the thriving and upbeat core of Jackson’s cultural hub.

You can find housing in charming historic homes and some apartments. The cost of living is 21% lower than the US average, and crime rates are equal to the US average; however, the median household income is 73% lower than the US average.

Farish Street Historic District is the National Historic Register’s sole African American historic site built by former slaves. Many descendants still live and work here and celebrate the district’s rich history and culture at the annual Farish Street Heritage Festival.

Landmarks include Mississippi State Capitol, Smith Robertson Museum, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Old Capital Museum, plus you’ll enjoy the hip and happening cafes and coffee spots. Start your morning with an espresso at The Urban Sip, lunch at The Iron Horse Grill, and top off the evening at Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues.

  • Population: 278
  • Median home value: $70,000
  • Percentage of residents who own their home: 9%
  • Median rent price: $419
  • Schools: Brown Elementary School 5/10, Davis Magnet School 10/10, Bailey Middle APAC 9/10, Lanier High School 3/10, Murrah High School 5/10

Additional Neighborhoods to Consider

While the above neighborhoods are considered Jackson’s best, maybe you’re looking for neighborhoods closer to Jackson’s hub, like Farish Street Historic District. Downtown offers half a million-dollar luxury view condos with features like 24-hour concierge, solid oak flooring, marble baths, pool, and spa – or affordable historic single-family homes ready for renovation.

Greater Belhaven is an excellent neighborhood for singles and young professionals who are looking for a hip lifestyle amid cool cafes, cozy coffee spots, and independently owned shops. Just on the border of Downtown, this historic neighborhood is home to Millsaps College and Belhaven University.

Fondren, just four minutes north of Downtown, is home to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, St Dominic Hospital, a Whole Foods Market, and all the cool and happening boutiques, pubs, and cafes you’d find somewhere like Brooklyn or Berkeley. Fondren has some of Jackson’s best public schools, plus access to the gorgeous 305-acre LeFleur Bluff State Park on the eastern border.


Quality Moving Services from Jackson, Mississippi Movers

Great Guys provides you with free moving quotes so you can easily compare pricing. Check out this array of well-priced, specialized Jackson services:

Interstate Moves

You have many decisions to make when you’re moving state-to-state or across the county. Avoid the stress and get expert help from a professional moving company that specializes in all the details of an interstate move.

Intrastate and Local Moves

An intrastate move is when you relocate within the borders of the state you’re currently living in – and that also means you may be making a local move. If you’re moving to Jackson from another city in Mississippi, get free quotes from local Jackson movers who can relocate you in a jiff.

Small Load Moves

Do you need help moving some appliances or a big bulky sectional? How about help with your studio, dorm, or one-bedroom apartment? Anything under 2,000 pounds qualifies as a small load, and you’ll be amazed at how cheap a small load move can cost. Get free quotes and find out!

Furniture Shipments

Why is it an advantage to hire professional furniture movers? Because pro furniture movers have the training and experience to keep every piece safe. They know how to manage big pieces through small spaces, disassemble and reassemble furniture, and best of all – hiring them means your back won’t risk damage.

Piano Transport

Do you want help moving your piano to Jackson but are a bit unsure that you can trust a moving company to relocate your piano damage-free? No worries. We connect you with fully vetted licensed and insured piano movers who are top-rated.

Art and Antiques Moves

Fine art movers have special skills to move your paintings, sculpture, monuments, and antiques risk-free. They’ll customize the relocation using dedicated materials and methods so that each piece arrives in Jackson safely. Get free quotes from fully vetted licensed and insured fine art moving specialists.

Storage-in-Transit

Temporary storage-in-transit is the ideal problem solver when you find that you can’t move everything into your new place. Maybe you’re renovating your kitchen, or adding an office. Your belongings –  whatever you specify – will be securely stored in a climate-controlled warehouse.

Car Shipping

There are times when relocating your car during a move becomes a hassle. Or maybe you just purchased a restored vintage coupe, and you don’t want to expose it to the road. Get free quotes for affordable vehicle transport and relocate your car to Jackson hassle and damage-free.

Packing Services

Talk about a hassle – packing is often one of the most irritating aspects of a move. What if someone else could do it for you? That dream can become a reality with a professional packing service. You can select the level of packing you want, from full service to just a room, and an expert team will do the rest.

Residential Moves

Organizing your household for a move seems like enough work. But transporting it all, then unpacking it, means you have a significant event on your hands. Reduce your stress and turn over the workload to a top-rated residential moving company.

Commercial Moves

Highly trained commercial moving teams have the skills to relocate your office efficiently and safely. They know how to keep down-time to an absolute minimum, plus they can assign a moving coordinator to work with your staff so that your business move is seamless.

Same Day, Emergency, and Short Notice Moves

When you’re in a bind and urgently need moving help, we’ll immediately put you in touch with a same-day mover. A licensed and insured emergency moving team will help you out of your pickle in a flash.

Moving Supplies

Do you dread having to go out after work to search for moving boxes and supplies? Order the supplies you need from a trusted moving and storage company. They’ll deliver your order right to your door.

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As you plan your move to Jackson, Mississippi, get free quotes from top-rated licensed and insured movers. You’ll see how affordable and hassle-free your relocation can be.

Get price estimates for your move right now.


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