These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In Mississippi

John McLean
by John McLean
Rankings - 3 years ago
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One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them. This factor can play a huge role in one’s experience at a particular company and can make or break an employee’s time there.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in; to help you identify those places in Mississippi that might have skipped a grade…or two.

You may be wondering how does one determine how intelligent a town really is?

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out what criteria about a place would identify it is a smart cookie.

We set upon the percentage of adults (over 25) with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school dropouts (aged 16-20) for the 61 largest cities in Mississippi with data. We then crunched the numbers and were left with this set of the brightest cities in the Magnolia State:

  1. Diamondhead
  2. Madison
  3. Oxford
  4. Ocean Springs
  5. Starkville
  6. Olive Branch
  7. Bay St. Louis
  8. Clinton
  9. D’Iberville
  10. Long Beach

Read on to see why these places got into a four-year college or skip to the end to see a full chart of all the places in our analysis.

For more MS reading, check out:

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How we determined the smartest places in the Magnolia State

Before we could dive into the potential IQs of various places in Mississippi, we needed to know which places to look at in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 5,000 people and data available for every criteria.

This left us with 61 places in Mississippi.

We then looked at the following criteria to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to smarts:

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought this criteria was representative of the current state of smarts with the potential for a place to improve the education levels of the next generation. And it’s not like we are setting the education bar incredibly high — 80% of students graduate from high school nowadays.

In order to determine the smartest, we ranked all the cities for each criteria from one to 61 with one being the “smartest” in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score being given the diploma for “Smartest City In Mississippi”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

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1. Diamondhead

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,275
Adults Without High School Diploma: 3.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.5%

Diamondhead graduated early and at the top of the class. It’s taken the diploma as the smartest city in the state of Mississippi with almost no high school dropouts and only 3% of the population lacking a high school diploma.

2. Madison

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,871
Adults Without High School Diploma: 2.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.8%

The silver finisher is Madison with just over 24,000 residents. With so few high school dropouts and just 2% of the adult population lacking a high school diploma they earned their spot here.

3. Oxford

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 20,200
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.9%

With numbers like these the kids here can go to Oxford College if they choose as only .9% are dropping out early and just 7.4% of the adult population missing their diploma.

4. Ocean Springs

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,446
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.6%

Springing forth into #4 is Ocean Springs. At over 17,000 residents this city is making us proud with only 1.6% of the high school population dropping out of school early.

5. Starkville

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,457
Adults Without High School Diploma: 11.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

The coveted #5 spot has fallen to the residents in Starkville. Numbering around 24,457 people this city is doing it big with almost no high school dropouts to be found.

Smart cookies.

6. Olive Branch

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 34,543
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.2%

The city of Olive Branch is coming in at #6 with some pretty great numbers. An ultra low high school dropout rate and 8% lacking a high school diploma earns them a high rank on our list.

7. Bay St. Louis

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,313
Adults Without High School Diploma: 12.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Taking the bittersweet #7 spot is the town of Bay St. Louis. With an ultra low high school dropout rate this tiny town is doing big things!

8. Clinton

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 25,486
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 3.0%

Coming in at #8 the city of Clinton is making a big show of intelligence as only 3% of high school kids are dropping out early and 7.3% of the population is missing it’s high school diploma.

9. D’Iberville

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,161
Adults Without High School Diploma: 15.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Finishing strong at #9 the town of D’Iberville is studying hard as only 15.5% of the population is missing a high school diploma and so few kids are leaving high school early on.

10. Long Beach

Smartest Mississippi

Source: Flickr

Population: 15,224
Adults Without High School Diploma: 11.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.5%

Rounding out our list and coming in at #10 is the city of Long Beach, Mississippi. With so few high school dropouts and 15.5% of the adult population lacking a high school diploma they have earned their spot on the list.

And that’s how you graduate in style

There you have it folks, the Ten Smartest cities in the state Mississippi. They have the numbers to back it up so go ahead and visit them to soak up some of the smarts around town. If you’d like more information on different cities and states around the U.S. be sure to visit www.zippia.com to have all of your questions answered.

Detailed List Of Smartest Cities In Mississippi

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Diamondhead 1 8,275 3.0% 0.5%
Madison 2 24,871 2.0% 1.8%
Oxford 3 20,200 7.4% 0.9%
Ocean Springs 4 17,446 7.7% 1.6%
Starkville 5 24,457 11.7% 0.0%
Olive Branch 6 34,543 8.0% 1.2%
Bay St. Louis 7 10,313 12.3% 0.0%
Clinton 8 25,486 7.3% 3.0%
D’Iberville 9 10,161 15.5% 0.0%
Long Beach 10 15,224 11.0% 2.5%
Southaven 11 50,389 11.2% 2.4%
Gautier 12 18,581 10.3% 3.8%
Brandon 13 22,616 7.1% 5.4%
Flowood 14 8,218 7.2% 5.6%
New Albany 15 8,291 19.8% 0.0%
Petal 16 10,675 11.4% 4.3%
Natchez 17 15,563 17.9% 1.0%
Senatobia 18 8,063 19.9% 0.9%
Hernando 19 14,723 11.4% 5.3%
Picayune 20 10,838 17.0% 2.4%
Ridgeland 21 24,209 5.2% 9.1%
Cleveland 22 12,318 14.8% 4.2%
Byram 23 11,609 7.3% 8.3%
Ripley 24 5,349 22.5% 0.0%
Waveland 25 6,463 17.3% 3.2%
Pontotoc 26 5,754 21.6% 1.6%
Pascagoula 27 22,239 16.0% 4.6%
Biloxi 28 44,527 14.1% 5.6%
Horn Lake 29 26,486 15.3% 5.4%
Philadelphia 30 7,446 21.1% 2.4%
Hattiesburg 31 46,629 16.6% 4.5%
Brookhaven 32 12,499 14.8% 6.1%
Louisville 33 6,498 25.9% 0.0%
Booneville 34 8,775 25.1% 0.7%
Richland 35 7,012 12.1% 10.1%
Moss Point 36 13,690 15.3% 7.4%
Holly Springs 37 7,585 26.6% 0.6%
Corinth 38 14,797 20.8% 3.9%
Pearl 39 26,105 11.2% 12.6%
Meridian 40 40,809 16.1% 6.1%
Gulfport 41 69,913 15.9% 7.3%
Clarksdale 42 17,497 20.7% 4.2%
Amory 43 7,197 22.7% 2.7%
Grenada 44 12,951 25.0% 2.2%
Indianola 45 10,426 23.6% 2.8%
Canton 46 13,321 29.9% 0.2%
Jackson 47 173,631 16.5% 7.5%
Tupelo 48 35,345 13.1% 12.4%
Vicksburg 49 23,559 16.4% 10.5%
Batesville 50 7,436 12.8% 20.6%
West Point 51 11,200 22.9% 5.3%
Yazoo City 52 11,462 24.5% 6.1%
Columbus 53 23,483 20.4% 11.9%
Greenville 54 33,518 22.0% 9.4%
Kosciusko 55 7,302 23.9% 8.1%
McComb 56 12,771 26.0% 7.0%
Greenwood 57 15,873 24.8% 9.0%
Columbia 58 6,446 29.0% 12.4%
Laurel 59 18,720 28.4% 20.3%
Aberdeen 60 5,492 30.3% 13.7%
Forest 61 5,719 31.3% 14.4%