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Hattiesburg, the state’s second largest city, is definitely Old South, with well-preserved historic homes and a typical Southern town core with shaded streets. The economy is tied to the forest-products industry, and although it has diversified somewhat from that base with a variety of manufacturing activities, employment is still a concern. The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey College lend some college-town flavor. The city is also positioning itself as a good retirement destination.
The cost of living is low and crime is fairly low for the region. Many big-city amenities and services are absent, but Hattiesburg is centrally located between New Orleans, Mobile, AL and Jackson MS (each about 90 miles away). Those who don’t mind this shortcoming and who can tolerate the steamy summers may find Hattiesburg a better place than the ranking indicates.
The area mainly contains gently rolling and heavily wooded hills. Summers are consistently warm and humid, with 90 degrees days prevailing and frequent cooling afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are short and mild but some days can warm into the 80’s. Cold spells bring temperatures briefly below freezing, but snow and hard freezes are uncommon. Sub-zero temperatures rarely occur. Fall is warm and relatively dry; spring is variable with more severe storms.
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