The state of Mississippi was one of the few to see population levels decline, according to the 2020 Census. Mississippi had a net loss of about 6,000 residents between 2010 and 2010, which is only the third time since 1910 that the state has lost residents between Census periods.

Still, with a low cost of living and affordable housing, many people across the country may be considering a move to the Magnolia State. Others who already reside there may be interested in a change of pace.

That’s why it’s useful to explore details about property crime rates. While violent crimes understandably get most of the headlines, the truth is that property crime is much more common, and the average person is far more likely to fall victim to a property crime than a violent one.

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At A Glance:

    • With #1 being the best, Mississippi is ranked #34 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
    • You have a 2.38% chance of being a property crime victim in Mississippi in the next 12 months.
    • Mississippi’s property crime rate is 13% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
    • D’Iberville has the highest property crime rate in Mississippi (63.4 incidents per 1,000 people).
  • D’Iberville, named after Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, was among the Gulf Coast towns hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, the community of about 14,000 residents has been on the receiving end of state and federal investment to rebuild, and those dollars have brought with them more commerce and tourism. Both of those factors tend to correspond with higher rates of property crimes.

Mississippi’s average property crime rate is more than two points higher than the overall national rate, though it’s lower than the average property crime rate among Southern states (about 25 incidents per 1,000 people).

Mississippi’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)

  • Rate of Property Crime
    • Mississippi average:: 23.8 crimes per 1,000 people
    • National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people

Though Mississippi’s combined property crime rate is higher than the U.S. rate overall, the state’s rate is lower than all of its neighboring states. Among those, Louisiana’s rate is the highest (31.6 property crimes per 1,000 people), and Louisiana has the highest rate among all the states.

Mississippi’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)

    • Average Rate of Property Crime:
      • Mississippi 10-year average: 27.62 crimes per 1,000 people
      • National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
    • -20% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
      • There was a 20% decrease in property crime in Mississippi from 2010 as compared to 2019.
    • 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Mississippi?:
      • The highest rate of property crime in Mississippi was 2011 (30.2 crimes per 1,000 people)
    • 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Mississippi?:
      • The lowest rate of property crime in Mississippi was 2019 (23.8 crimes per 1,000 people)

What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.

Mississippi’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)

      • Which type of property crime occurred the most in Mississippi over the past decade?
        • Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 17.7 crimes per 1,000 people.
        • Average property crime rate by category
          • Average burglary rate: 8.3 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average larceny rate: 17.7 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average vehicle crime rate: 1.6 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average arson rate: 0.24 crimes per 1,000 people
        • Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Mississippi.
      • +7% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
        • Vehicle theft rose 7%, making it the only type of property crime to become more common in Mississippi over the past decade.
      • -39% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
        • Burglary declined 39%, while arson fell 25% and larceny declined 12%.

What factors play into making property crime common or rare in a given area? While that’s not an easy question to answer, researchers have connected three areas — poverty, unemployment, and urbanization — to high rates of property crime.

Looking specifically at those three factors, they may appear to balance each other out. For example, while poverty is high in Mississippi — nearly 20 percent of residents live below the poverty line, the highest rate in the country — only 49 percent of people live in urban areas, well below the U.S. rate of 81 percent. And when it comes to unemployment, Mississippi is about average (six percent unemployment in 2021).

Both violent crime and property crime are on the decline in Mississippi, with many advocates pointing to criminal justice reform as one reason why. That includes a 2019 bill aimed at eliminating re-entry barriers for formerly incarcerated individuals, while potential measures include overturning Mississippi’s broad three-strikes law.

Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Florence, Mississippi (Rankin County)
  • Petal, Mississippi (Forrest County)
  • Madison, Mississippi (Madison County)
  • Brandon, Mississippi (Rankin County)
  • Edwards, Mississippi (Hinds County)

Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • D'Iberville, Mississippi (Harrison County)
  • Biloxi, Mississippi (Harrison County)
  • Pascagoula, Mississippi (Jackson County)
  • Vicksburg, Mississippi (Warren County)
  • Gulfport, Mississippi (Harrison County)