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#WeGetToLiveHere in Oxford, MS

Discover a hashtag-worthy community that features affordable living, great jobs, excellent education, an amazing arts scene and more.

By Rebecca Treon on December 15, 2021

Downtown Oxford, MS
Art Meripol

You don’t have to travel far into Oxford before a realization forms – this north central Mississippi community of 54,000 residents has everything – great jobs, fun activities, affordable housing, excellent schools and the main campus of The University of Mississippi – and that’s just the beginning.

People who live in Oxford love the area so much that they consider it a privilege. (The hashtag #WeGetToLiveHere appears often on residents’ social media posts.) And while the aforementioned assets are a large part of what makes this place so great, Oxford has a secret sauce – the residents who live here.

Neighbors help neighbors, and everyone hands out a warm welcome. “A lot of our activities aren’t just geared toward college students or to families that live here, but to retirees and all of that goes together to support a great mix and diversity of citizens,” says Kinney Ferris, executive director at Visit Oxford.

Karen Pulfer Focht

Good Arts & Good Eats

Oxford is home to many unique arts and entertainment destinations, including The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, which brings in performers of all genres from around the world, as well as a mass of creative talent, from exquisite painters and novelists to award-winning chefs.

Local artists are supported by galleries like Gallery 130, the Oxford Artists’ Guild Gallery, Powerhouse Community Arts Center and Southside Gallery.

The city also boasts several diverse and notable restaurants, some of which are run by James Beard Award-winning chefs. And the home of well-known author William Faulkner is a popular destination here among residents and visitors alike.

Square Books, a favorite bookstore among locals, is also here and carries an amazing selection of page-turners. “We’re fortunate because there’s a cosmopolitan aspect to Oxford,” says Wil Cook, director of the Southside Gallery. “We have great support, and the art department at The University of Mississippi has brought in great professors, which we’ve benefitted from.”

Downtown Oxford, MS

On the Move

In addition to the arts, Oxford offers residents the transportation infrastructure they are looking for, with access to north-south State Routes 7, 9, 315 and 331 and east-west State Routes 6, 30, 314, 328 and 334. These make getting around the area to run errands or traveling to and from work simple. Commute times are below 16 minutes in Oxford, more than a third less than the U.S. average.

Home Sweet Home

Finding your dream home is attainable here, as the median home value in Oxford is approximately $248,000.

“We’re a growing market with a lot of young families,” says Wil Matthews of Matthews Real Estate. “And Oxford will continue to be more affordable than whatever competitor, but it has an amazing quality of life.”

Lafayette County School District in Mississippi
Lafayette County School District

Off to Work or Class

When inspecting Oxford’s business scene and economy, you’ll notice it is both a supplier of workforce talent and a driver of innovation. These are thanks, in part, to the presence of The University of Mississippi, a public research university that offers a slew of high-quality degree programs.

As for K-12 options, families have the choice between Oxford School District and Lafayette County School District as well as private schools.

“Our public education in Oxford and in Lafayette County school districts is of the highest quality that anybody could ask for,” Matthews says. “They’re the highest rated in the state, well-funded, have exceptional teachers, and the academic programs they provide excel.”

In addition to education, the area boasts a robust economy that includes health care and manufacturing. Plus, it has great broadband infrastructure, making it the perfect choice for remote workers and trailing spouses who have job portability.

Involved & Welcomed

There are numerous programs in place to help newcomers connect with the community, like Oxford Newcomers Club and Friends, as well as ample volunteer opportunities. One organization, Leadership Lafayette, offers training sessions and activities for emerging community leaders.

“Every year, we have a project that involves our leaders identifying a need and addressing it, coming up with a solution that will enhance our community,” says Quentin Brewer, chairman of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and a member of Leadership Lafayette. “It’s one of the many things that we’re doing to enhance the value of the community.”

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