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Jackson MS
  • $300   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $530   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1089   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

31% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
failing civic infrastructure, summer heat, some struggling neighborhoods
museums, cheapest rent, nature preserves, live music 6
black people and trucks are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Jackson roommate rundown:

Jackson is experiencing a lot of problems.

Serious problems.

Many apologists blame the pandemic and recent floods for seriously stressing their civic infrastructure. However, even more say almost all their current problems were a long time coming, insisting Jackson was headed for disaster due to long time neglect.

And they're no longer just headed, disaster's here. At least, a lot of the time. Sometimes Jackson sees civic services. Sometimes they don't.

It's true that Jackson also struggles with poverty (an alarming 25%), and cities that struggle with poverty tend to struggle to fund their infrastructure. But many have pointed out that despite Jacksonian lower median income, the neighborhoods that matter (the University, the Capital, all wealthier suburbs) seem to get the civic attention they need as soon as they need it . . .

. . .while other areas of Mississippi's capital city languish, going weeks or even months at a time without basic services? Like potable water? And trash pickup?

And with so much urban stress that's some percentage natural disaster, some percentage externally imposed, it's hard to say which other problems Jackson is experiencing are reacting or contributing?

Or reciprocating?

Jackson's recent troubles include: overflow flooding, severe unrepaired potholes all over public roads, abandoned buildings collecting problems but never torn down, sewage overflows into the river (swimming unsafe), tap water unsafe (must be boiled before drinking or bathing), filth coming out of faucets, nothing at all coming out of faucets/no water pressure, multiple and massive school closures due to lack of water pressure, a high poverty rate, a high unemployment rate . . .

. . . and the highest homicide rate in the country for the last few years.

And maybe file under "sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better," Jackson has now been judged so severely mismanaged it's actually illegal, in a federal sense. Basically, the federal government has decided the Mississippi state government let things get so bad in Jackson they should lose some of their "running Jackson privileges." So, they're going to take running Jackson out of the the state government's hands for a while.

Somehow. For some period of time, until some amount of improvement? Think they're still working it out.

So in the meantime? Why wouldn't you just write off Jackson entirely?

While no one wants their problems, you'd also be writing off the rest of Mississippi's state capital, this "city of soul," this "crossroads of the South," with a very low cost of living and very low rent.

Jackson is also home to most of the higher education in Mississippi, home to more Mississippians than anywhere else, and an historical hub of civil rights activity with their own museums explaining absolutely everything Jackson.

Last but not least, Jackson is a growing hub for both chefs and artists. Both groups tend to be interested in Jackson's low cost of living, abundant cheap fresh produce, and Southern hospitality.

Helpful locals say possible new roommates should know that while Jackson does have a high violent crime rate and that is a serious source of concern, most can avoid being near the crime that drives it. There's a lot of crime on the city's South side, because there are a lot of abandoned buildings and not a lot of civic services. That poor urban situation in turn has attracted gangs looking for unmonitored spots to commit crime.

Most of Jackson's crime doesn't take place in neighborhoods with destinations folks come from out of state to visit. If you're headed for the capital or a university or a well-known restaurant, gallery, or museum, that's not likely a high crime area.

Locals say be aware where you are in Jackson at all times.

Don't go exploring anywhere abandoned and/or anywhere on the South side by yourself.

Especially at night, stay near well-populated nicer areas seemingly far away from gangs dealing drugs. If you see an abandoned building and/or boarded up/broken/missing windows, go back from whence you came, STAT.

And hoard some bottled water.

The rest of the Jackson roommate lowdown:

  • Jackson is Mississippi's capital, largest city, and most populous - a little over 150,000 in the city and 600,000 in the greater metro area
  • city of Jackson is majority African American (about 84%), greater metro area majority white
  • Jackson is the only city in Mississippi with > 100,000 residents
  • named after President Andrew Jackson
  • humid, swelteringly hot summers, mild winters, rain throughout the year, snow is rare but Jackson is prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, occasionally with large hail
  • minimal public transport, not a lot of bike lanes - there are a few pedestrian-friendly areas in the arts district, but most people use personal vehicles
  • burned down twice in the Civil War, sparing only the original capital and governor's mansion, so they don't have architecture from before the Civil War
  • tourism highlights local history and culture, number of museums, documenting history of the Deep South, particularly own role (which is good, because almost everything else burned down in the Civil War)
  • Jackson is on the "Civil Rights Trail," site of mass demonstrations in the 1960s, with many dramatic non-violent protests
  • still processing the area's livestock, soybeans, cotton
  • very low rent, one of the lowest costs of living of any US urban area
  • about 25% residents below poverty line - Mississippi has the highest poverty of any US state
  • one of the highest crime rates in America
  • home to most higher education in the state, including: Antonelli College, Belhaven University, Hinds Community College, Jackson State University, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Tougaloo College, University of Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • one of Jackson's nicknames: "City with Soul" . . . birthplace of a lot of blues, gospel, folk, and jazz
  • another of Jackson's nicknames: "Crossroads of the South." Jackson is in the Deep South, halfway between Memphis and New Orleans on Interstate 55 and halfway between Dallas and Atlanta on Interstate 20
  • relatively high percentage college students and a lot of retirees



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Jackson's:

  • Old Capitol Museum: Was not burned by Sherman, original Mississippi statehouse, from 1839-1903
  • Mississippi Governor's Mansion: The other large building in Jackson from before the Civil War, you and your roommates can go on a tour.
  • Mississippi Civil Rights Museum: Jackson was an important site of Civil Rights action.
  • Mississippi Museum of Art: Since 1911, nationally significant and local artists
  • Outlets of Mississippi: largest outlet shopping in the state
  • LeFleur's Bluff State Park: Lush green spot with nature trails and camping in the middle of urban Jackson
  • Big Apple Inn: Home to civil rights history, incredible tamales, and pig ear sandwiches
  • Mississippi Petrified Forest: preserved stretch of ancient forest or fossilized tree or petrified wood. Over a hundred feet tall when they were alive, turned to stone millions of years ago. Maintained as a national landmark, also a gem and mineral museum.


Here's the city of Jackson's official .gov for residents, including public transportation, municipal services, and community events





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.