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Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Charming Ocean Springs Sits on Mississippi's Eastern Gulf Coast and Began as the First Permanent Settlement in French Louisiana
Overview: The tranquil hamlet of Ocean Springs sits on Biloxi Bay on Mississippi's east Gulf Coast and has a history of endurance. It began as the first permanent settlement in French Louisiana in 1699. In the mid-1800s, it became a resort town and became known for its healing waters. In 2005, it was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina but has rebuilt.
Fishing is a way of life in Ocean Springs. Each morning fishing boats venture out to sea, returning in the afternoon with nets full of fresh crab, shrimp and oysters. Much of this bounty finds its way into dozens of local markets and very good restaurants. In recent years, Ocean Springs has also become known for its eclectic arts scene. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art celebrates the work of its namesake, and the beautiful Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center has art classes, exhibits and performances. Downtown is cute and leafy with galleries, pubs, sidewalk cafes and shops. Residents enjoy an organic grocery, three golf courses and lots of festivals.
Front Beach is a nice stretch of sugary white sand with a lovely boardwalk and gorgeous views of Biloxi, the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bay Bridge and the Mississippi Sound. Opportunities for fishing, swimming and boating abound.
Home styles include ranch rambler, plantation and Colonial.
Population: 18,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 37%
Cost of Living: 15% below the national average
Median Home Price: $198,000
Climate: A coastal city, Ocean Springs is hot and sticky in the summer and mild and a little less sticky in the winter. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are the 50s and 60s. On average, this area receives 62 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Biloxi Regional Medical Center is three miles away and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Biloxi Regional Medical Center about three miles away is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by CTA. It makes stop at Walmart, the hospital, the post office and a nearby casino.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very conservative
College Educated: 38%
Is Mississippi Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: The tornado risk is 85% greater than the national average. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, homeowner insurance is expensive and harder to get the closer to the water a house is.
Notes: Traffic throughout the city and along the main highway is frequently congested. Some people say that the city is a little cliquish. Ocean Springs has grown by 2% during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Magnolia State entered the Union on December 10, 1817. Prosperous cotton plantations dominated the landscape during the first half of the 19th century. After the American Civil War, the state struggled to find a new economy. Mississippi became a battleground for the Civil Rights Movement.
The state's topography is primarily hilly. The flat, alluvial Mississippi Delta stretches between two rivers and contains 2.7 million acres of wetlands. Blues music has its origins there. Residents of the state experience long, hot summers and short, mild winters.
Mississippi continues to produce cotton, but over cultivation has led to diversification. Rice, soybeans, and aquaculture have helped boost the state's fragile economy. Petroleum and natural gas mining are recent developments and have helped the state move toward the manufacture of chemicals and plastics.
Musicians born in Mississippi include Jimmy Buffet, Elvis Presley, and Leontyne Price. Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed the world's first human lung transplant in 1963 and the first heart transplant in 1964.
Population - 2,988,726
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 82%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 21%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 3%
White persons, not Hispanic - 56%
Median household income - $39,665
Median home value - $103,100
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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