If you’re a wealthy Mississippian and want to live around other wealthy folks, make a move to Madison.
According to the latest Census figures, the metro Jackson suburban city ranks tops in the state for median household income, with the average resident pulling down almost $74,000 a year.
Delving deeper into the figures, it’s easy to see why Madison residents have such strong earning power: 37% of Census respondents have a bachelor’s degree; almost 17% hold a graduate or professional degree.
The dominant profession of respondents is the management/professional category, with 55% listing that as their employment title. The next highest category is sales/office, getting 30% of the vote.
Madison is one of three metro Jackson communities that are in Mississippi’s top five for median household income. The 39047 ZIP Code for Brandon boasts average income at $61,140. The 39211 ZIP Code for Northeast Jackson comes in at $56,621.
The 38672 Southaven area, with a median household income of $67,560, is the only non-metro Jackson location to place in the top five.
Northeast Jackson’s aggregate education level is on par with Madison’s. Nearly 96% of people there have education beyond high school, 37% hold bachelor’s degrees and 23% hold post-graduate or professional degrees. Brandon’s population comes in with similar numbers, with 93% having an education level of high school or higher and 30% holding a bachelor’s degree.
With all that buying power, it comes as no surprise that businesses often choose to locate in those areas. Madison the City and Madison County have enjoyed an economic boom in the last 20 years. Southaven, in DeSoto County, is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, thanks to businesses and residents coming south from Memphis.
“(Average household income) is one of the first questions they ask,” Gale Martin, executive director of the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce, said of businesses possibly locating in the Reservoir area. “They look at your employment figures. All that is a huge plus in determining disposable income.”
Businesses pull customers from a 10-mile radius, Martin says, and any one spot in that radius that has concentrated wealth could be the difference in whether a prospect settles on a site.
But one of the biggest retail developments in the state had its first wave of openings two weeks ago. Renaissance at Colony Park is an open-air mall and what developers call “lifestyle center” that will feature boutiques, restaurants, a niche grocery store and office space to go along with retail shops. Annual sales are expected to exceed $160 million.
Renaissance is the latest development to spring up along Highland Colony Parkway, which runs from Madison to Ridgeland. Colony Crossing opened first, with restaurants and retail shops at the intersection of Highway 463 and Interstate 55.
Contact MBJ staff writer Clay Chandler at clay.chandler@ msbusiness.com .