A Snapshot of Wiggins, MS aka Our Jerusalem

Our cooperation with other churches in the Gulf Coast Baptist Association carries many benefits. Among these are access to minds of some of the greatest mission strategists in the Mississippi Baptist Convention, Dionne Williams, Dr. Steve Mooneyham and their assistants Grayson Orman and Robin Knapp. These individuals are employed through the cooperation of local churches and work to ensure that FBC and our sister churches are supported in their efforts to reach the world for Christ. 
One of the assets available to us through this partnership is a powerful demographic study tool known as Nsite. Nsite is a web-based program that uses GIS data, along with data from the US Census Bureau, as well as data from the credit monitoring entity Experian to generate reports on the demographics and economics of a defined area.
Two weeks ago, your ministerial staff asked Grason Orman of the Gulf Coast Baptist Association to generate a full Nsite report for the city of Wiggins.    He used an official city map to define the area of the study. The ministerial staff of FBC Wiggins spent a couple of weeks analyzing the wealth of raw data generated in the Nsite report. I want to share with you a summarized and boiled down version of what we took away. I hope this will give you some direction as you pray over our 2019 Reaching to Disciple focus.    I’ve summarized the data in three categories. First, I’ll give you a snapshot of what the population looks like currently along with projections for the future. Then I’ll do the same with households. And finally, I will give you a look at the mosaics (or you could say “people groups”) who occupy our Jerusalem. Download Full Nsite Report
Current Population: The current population of Wiggins is 4,486 people. We are classified as a moderately diverse, somewhat blue collar, and somewhat above poverty line community. About 45% of the population is 35 yrs-old and below. The majority of the population is either White non-Hispanic (67%) or African American non-Hispanic (30%) with Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and Asians making up the remainder of the diversity along with a handful each of Cubans and Filipinos. 
Trends: The population of Wiggins has not grown much since 2010, but the Nsite data predicts that growth over the next 10 years will will be at twice the state average. The greatest growth is projected to occur in the African American demographic as well as among 25-34 year-olds. The second highest rate of growth is projected to occur in 55-64 year-olds. The data seem to suggest that we will have more of our current middle and high schoolers sticking around along with their currently middle-aged parents. We also expect more young and middle-aged people moving into our community to work in Wiggins, Hattiesburg, and the Gulf Coast. (It’s worth noting that the generation that includes our middle and high school students [GENZ or iGEN] is the largest generation in the nation.) Finally, the number of children in the city limits will stay about the same for the next five years with the youngest and the oldest school age children slightly increasing and the middle grades slightly decreasing. 


Current Households: There are 1,498 households in the city limits of Wiggins. Nsite defines a household as, “all people who occupy a housing unit. It includes two sub-categories: family households and non-family households.” Your family households are what they sound like, and the non-family households are either single people or single people who share living quarters. Of the 1,498 households in Wiggins, 1,087 of them are family households. About half of the households make around $50k per year and above the other half make less. The majority of households are made up of 3 or less people. Here’s one statistic that was a surprise for the staff, 52% of the homes where children are present are managed by a single parent. (Allow that one to sink in before reading on)
Trends: The number of households in the city limits of Wiggins is projected to grow to 1,654 by 2028. That works out to a rate more than twice the state average. The median household income is projected to grow by just over $4k over the next ten years. And sadly, the number of single parent homes is projected to grow to 55%.


Nsite has a really neat feature that utilizes Experian’s “Mosaic Segments” in its reports. Mosaic segments are a way of grouping the population into categories to develop a profile of the types of people who live in the community. There is WAY more information than I can even digest, much less include in its entirety in this post. I will take a shot at giving you a more detailed summary of the mosaic segments in the city limits in a later post, but for this one… let me just give you a snapshot. Keep in mind that the mosaics are generated through Experian so most of it is based on spending habits of the population. 


The majority of Wigginites are classified in the category of Pastoral Pride. This mosaic is defined as an “eclectic mix of lower middle-class consumers who have settled in country and small town areas.” They are described as proud, and frugal minded with a working class sensibility. Their heads of households range from age 19 to 50. They are technological wizards, and the recommended marketing campaigns to reach them are through internet and social media. 

The next category of Wiggins resident is dubbed Golden Year Guardians. Who are they? Experian says, they are “Retirees living in old homes, settled residences and communities.” That tells you a great deal. Our Golden Year Guardians are reached most effectively though direct mail and door to door visits. 

The final mosaic I’ll share with you for the purpose of this summary is the next most prominent, the one labeled Economic Challenges. If the name doesn’t tell you all you need to know, then Experian’s definition will: “Economically challenged mix of singles, divorced and widowed adults in smaller cities looking to make ends meet.” Those in this group, it says, are most effectively reached through direct mail and door to door campaigns, as well as through internet and social media. 

  Other mosaic groups that are present in our city include- Families in Motion, Autumn Years, Blue Sky Boomers, Thriving Boomers, and Singles and Starters to name a few.   I’m still learning to read about these mosaic groups so I want to hold off before providing you with too many more details.    As we continue to pray and study, I’ll share more with you.  Download Full Nsite Report