is recognized as having the highest per capita
income in the State of
estimated average per capita income in 2000 for a resident of Ocean Springs is
$19,805. That income level does
not necessarily reflect the wages paid within the City of
the exception of some major manufacturers and the
government, most jobs on the
are retail or service oriented.
Generally, jobs in the retail and services sectors tend to be lower
paying than jobs in the manufacturing or technology
industries that often demand higher skills from their workforce.
Per capita incomes on the
are expected to rise slightly faster than the
household income for residents of the City is estimated to be $42,575,
compared to a metro area average of $40,500.
Based on the CACI ACORN Profile, 41.8% of households in Ocean Springs
are considered “affluent.” The
same study shows that 36.9% are considered “upscale households.”
Characteristics of the “affluent” and “upscale” households are:
upper-income “empty nesters,” prosperous baby boomers, urban professional
couples, baby boomers with children, and older settled married couples.
has more retail and service businesses than any
other type of establishment, with this sector playing
a dominant role in the City’s local economy.
Nearly 50% of land used for commercial purposes is for retail trade.
A growing portion of the retail trade is developing in response to the
promotion of the City as cultural tourist destination.
The City is home to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, the developing
Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education, and Shearwater
Pottery as well as other small galleries, such as Local Color Gallery, OSAA
Co-op Gallery, and Peggy Pelham Gallery.
studies have shown that arts-related institutions draw more visitors than
professional sports events. Nationally,
the centers of American cities are showing impressive results ensuing from a
recent consideration of cities as the centers of American culture; the same is
true for Ocean Springs. It is now
recognized nationally that there are significant revenues generated from
museums and galleries contributing to local employment, business prosperity
and tax revenues. A city’s
overall image is directly related to its arts and cultural institutions, which
can play a major role attracting and retaining skilled professionals in the
area. Moreover, there is renewed
awareness that collaborations among arts institutions and business interests
can be mutually beneficial. In
theory a cultural district should offer diverse attractions and be
incorporated into the sensibly developed patterns of the city.
engender its own individuality, an “arts district” should have at least
four to five “attractors” within a three- to -four- block radius of one
another, and the walkways between them should be inviting.
Success also depends on the intermixed private enterprises, including
cafes, restaurants, and bars; frame and print stores, hotels, nightclubs, and
various specialty retail shops that are open at night.
To compliment the institutions and their supporting businesses, public
art and murals, artist-in-residence programs, and festivals should be
encouraged. Ocean Springs has many
of the preceding in place or in development.
Health Care industry also contributes significantly to the City’s economy.
Roughly 19% of the City’s land in commercial use is for health
related professions. Other
services make up 28.9% of the commercial land.
Only 5% of the City’s non-residential land is dedicated to
manufacturing and related type uses. The
City needs to maintain and encourage investment in the commercial sector of
its economy, while at the same time diversifying into other sectors such as
manufacturing, technology, and research and development.