Real estate site names Oxford No. 3 among Mississippi towns

town_oxford_greenBy Errol Castens

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Movoto.com’s whimsical real estate blog has rated Oxford No. 3 for quality of life among the 42 Mississippi towns that have populations of more than 10,000.

Polling right behind the Gulf Coast haven of Long Beach and the affluent Jackson suburb of Madison, Oxford earned its ranking by its brains – both present and past.

“This Lafayette County city may well be the smartest in the state, not just because it is home to the University of Mississippi, but also in the way it earned the honor,” the blog deadpans. “Before Oxford was Oxford it was a simple, nameless piece of land purchased from a Chickasaw landowner. Then in 1837, it was named Oxford after the English university, in hopes of becoming the educational center for Mississippi. The name worked, and in 1848 the University of Mississippi was built.

“Today, Oxford is still a leader in education, with a low student to teacher ratio of just 13 to 1 (the lowest in the state), and perhaps because of the university, Oxford had one of the highest number of total amenities [businesses rated on yelp.com] in our study” (No. 2).

Other criteria included quality of life, crimes, tax rates, unemployment, commute time and weather.

Oxford ranked in the top 10 in five of the seven categories. Other than in weather, it rated lower only in “quality of life,” which is based largely on cost of living and median household income. Its strongest rankings were crime (No. 5), commute (No. 1) and taxes (No. 1 – a rating that was shared by every town except Tupelo).

The next highest-rated Northeast Mississippi town was Starkville at No. 18.

Movoto’s Top 10 Mississippi cities:

1. Long Beach

2. Madison

3. Oxford

4. Ridgeland

5. Pearl

6. Brandon

7. Clinton

8. Biloxi

9. Petal

10. Byram

errol.castens@journalinc.com