The City of Oxford is located in Lafayette County in the north central portion of Mississippi, approximately equidistant between St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana. The area's topography is characterized by rolling hills. The City, which was incorporated in 1837, presently (2008) covers an area of 16.5 square miles and has a population of roughly 19,000. The City is the home of the University of Mississippi, which was established in 1848. The University has produced 24 Rhodes scholars, and is ranked among the top 30 institutions with largest endowments per student.
Oxford has been named by USA Today as one of the top six college towns in the nation. It is included in The Best 100 Small Towns in America. Lafayette County consistently leads the state rankings in the lowest unemployment rate per quarter. Both Oxford city and Lafayette County school systems are consistently ranked as "5-star" systems; the highest rating available.
The most recent (2010) US census indicates Oxford's population is 18,916 with a total land area of 16.5 square miles. Lafayette County has a population of approximately 43,975. Over one half (55%) of the population lies in the 20-44 years of age group, contributed in large by the University.
In 1989 the assessed value of real property in the City of Oxford was approximately $21 million, and around $9 million for property outside the City in the municipal school district, for a total of some $30 million.
By 2011 the total assessed value in the city limits had increased to $279 million, and $367 for the Oxford School District (parts of the Oxford School District lie outside the Oxford city limits).