JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – You may have told someone you’ll be relocating to Mississippi, and you were met with, “Why are moving there out of all places?!” Or “There’s nothing to do there!”

Well, coming from a Mississippian, you’re not crazy for deciding to breathe in the southern hospitality or to immerse yourself into a vastly different cultural experience, or to start a new chapter in your career, education, family or retiring.

Here’s eight things to consider before packing your U-Haul to make Mississippi your new home:

1. Cost of Living

CHA-CHING– Mississippi has the lowest cost out of living of all 50 states! According to Business Insider, the median necessary living wage across the entire US is $67,690. The state with the lowest annual living wage is Mississippi, with $58,321. So as you’re considering your move, know where you fall on the spectrum of affordability and how that aligns with your way of living.

2. Home of the Catfish

Catfish is the leading aquaculture industry in the United States and guess what state is the top producer? MISSISSIPPI. According to the Mississippi State University Extension Services, the Delta region accounts for the majority of the total land area devoted to catfish in Mississippi. FUN FACT: There are a total of 205 catfish farms in the state.

Get your stomach and tastebuds ready to eat (and keep your running shoes near….).

Check out the top 10 Best Catfish Restaurants in Jackson. Curated by YELP

3. The Hospitality State

When you step foot in Mississippi, you’ll be greeted with a stare, a smile and a “Hey, how are you?” Now, any many areas of the country greeting strangers or having a conversation with a stranger is considered weird, but in Mississippi, it’s an act of courtesy. No matter who you are, you’re going to receive a comforting smile and hello– hence why the state’s nickname is “The Hospitality State.”

So, if you’re spoken to, try not to cringe and return the kind gesture

4. Melting Pot of History

From Black History to Native History to Mississippi History to Present Day History, Mississippi has a wide range of interesting history for all to learn. Though you may have heard more negative stories involving racism, slavery, crime rates and poverty, Mississippi comes with positive attributes, too. Just like anything, you have to try for yourself.

There are several historic places across the state that will allow you to learn about the past and present of Mississippi. Cities such as Jackson, Vicksburg, Meridian, Biloxi, and more.

To view an interactive map of the must-visit historical sites in Mississippi, click here.

5. The State Flag

After years of controversy surrounding Mississippi’s old state flag with the Confederate battle emblem, Governor Tate Reeves signed a new state flag in January 2021. Following several design revisions and votes from Mississippians and state lawmakers to replace the former flag, the new one features a magnolia and the phrase, “In God We Trust.”

Critics had long said the flag adopted in 1894 was a racist symbol that failed to represent a state with the largest percentage of Black residents in the nation.

Now, at every state building, public institutions, businesses (by choice), a Mississippi state flag can be seen waving in the southern breeze.

6. College Football Lovers

*Mississippians love all sports, but their favorite is football.

Three words. MISSISSIPPI. LOVES. FOOTBALL. Since there’s no NFL team to claim in the state, Mississippians love on college football even more. Stadiums are filled with hardcore fans dipped in paint or dressed with their college paraphernalia. Tailgates on gameday are a must to experience. The parking lot is flooded with fans. Seasoning and spices, smoked ribs, pork, grilled chicken, and seafood are all smells that linger in the air. Don’t ask a Mississippian who has the best tailgate, you’ll get a biased answer, just see for yourself.

Mississippi is home to 23 college football teams.

7. Birthplace of America’s Music

Mississippi is home to some of the nation’s most notable figures in the music industry. From pop to rap to jazz to Blues and all genres in between. Artists hailing from birthplace of America’s music include the “King of Rock and Roll” a.k.a Elvis Presley; the “Father of Country Music” a.k.a Jimmie Rodgers; the “King of the Blues” aka B.B. King; the “Princess of Pop” a.k.a Britney Spears. Keep in mind, these names are only a small portion of artists from Mississippi.

Other famous natives consists of Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Tammy Wynette, Snoop Dogg, Brandy Norwood, David Banner, Muddy Waters, Faith Hill, Rick Ross, Soulja Boy, Rae Sremmurd, and more.

8. Attractions

Let’s play Truth or Myth?

“There’s nothing to do in Mississippi.” MYTH!

While there may not be A LOT to do in Mississippi compared to other states, you can still make memories and have fun! Mississippians are living proof of the quote, “It’s the simple things,” because it doesn’t take much to have a good time. If you’re a nature lover, gamer, history bug, or enjoy entertainment, the top attractions are listed by genre below:

Now, breathe, smile and enjoy the journey to the Magnolia State! *Clings glass of sweet tea*