- Mississippi is growing
There will soon be three million Mississippians – the highest number of people living in the state ever.
As California, New York and Illinois and other badly run states lose population, Mississippi’s long term population decline has stopped. Official US census data shows that between 2010 and 2020 the population of our state grew.
- Mississippi is getting richer
Back in 2002, the average per person income in our state was a little over $20,000 in today’s dollars. Today, it is over $47,000. People in our state are more than twice as rich as they were back then.
Sure, our state has some pockets of poverty. Find me a state that doesn’t. Overall, however, in the past decade Mississippi incomes have increased at 3.6 percent a year – faster than most other states.
Over the next 12 months, Mississippi’s average income is expected to overtake that of my own country, the United Kingdom for the first time ever.
- State-wide success
Too many media folk in Mississippi live and work in Jackson. That means they tend to see everything through the prism of a dysfunctional city.
If they looked a little further, they might see the extraordinary growth happening in Hattiesburg and Laurel. Or the development happening all along the Gulf Coast. Or the businesses popping up around the university towns of Oxford and Starkville.
There’s a lot of great things happening in our state if you look for it.
- Mississippi has an amazing quality of life
When I lived in London England, getting to the office from home never took under an hour. In Mississippi, a traffic jam means two red lights in a row.
It’s a cliché to say folk in Mississippi are friendly, but it happens to be true. You literally get stopped buying groceries or gas by people just wanting to chat.
Everyone has heard about the idea of six degrees of separation. That’s the theory that we can connect with any other individual on the planet through a chain of half a dozen acquaintances. Here in Mississippi, it only take two or three.
- The new South
Recent decades have seen the emergence of a new South. From Texas to Georgia, Tennessee through to Florida, there has been tremendous growth and development. Our state is part of that southern success story.
Southern states are doing well because those that run them tend to keep taxes low and regulations light. That allows businesses – big and small – to prosper.
Mississippi is starting to join that southern success story. This year we significantly cut our state income tax. Mississippi’s leaders have implemented a far reaching red tape reduction strategy, giving people with professional qualifications issued in other US states a near automatic right to practice in Mississippi.
But why, I often wonder, does Mississippi’s progressive media seem to delight in talking down our state?
During the recent Jackson water crisis, a story of epic incompetence on the part of city officials was twisted into a narrative about historic racism and inequality.
That was absurd. It is ridiculous to ignore all the positive things about our state by trying to see everything that happens in Mississippi through the prism of the distant past.
The median age of people in Mississippi is 37. That means most people in our state were born after 1985.
Today’s Mississippi story is a story of success – and it needs to be told. That is the real news about our state.
Have a wonderful weekend!