Louisiana is a cocktail of African, Spanish, French, American, and Native American influences. The cities are vibrant, and the cuisines are delectable.
If you’re planning to move, you may be wondering what it’s like to live there. Is Louisiana a good place to live?
Louisiana is a great place to live, owing to its low cost of living, diverse culture, and delectable cuisine. However, crime is high in Louisiana. Healthcare, education, and work opportunities are also less impressive.
This article digs deep into the advantages and disadvantages of living in Louisiana, including the state’s best neighborhoods, safest cities, and cities that are less favored.
Living In Louisiana Pros and Cons
Before calling the movers, check out this list of advantages and disadvantages if you’re considering relocating to the Pelican State.
Cost of Living
Living costs are relatively lower in Louisiana, with homeownership at a low median value of $167,000 (35% less than the national average). Renting is even less costly.
The average monthly mortgage is about $1,200, while the monthly rent ranges from less than $700 (1 bedroom) to a little over $800 (2 bedrooms).
Real-estate tax is only 0.52%, ranking 3rd lowest in the US. Sales tax pegs at 4.45%, while income taxes range from 2% to 6%.
Necessities like groceries, healthcare, utilities, and educational expenses are 5 to 10% less than other US states.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, is a major port city home to the US’ second-largest oil refinery, Exxon Mobil.
Some of the most important medical and industrial hubs in the deep south, like Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Turner Industries, are also in the state’s capital.
Encouraged by tax breaks in the state, the film industry, like Celtic Media Center, flourishes in Baton Rouge.
Other top industries include:
- Advanced Manufacturing
In Louisiana, people are laidback, not rushing into doing something or going somewhere. Life for Louisianans is leisurely.
Here are some not-to-miss palate experiences in Louisiana:
- Boiled Crawfish by the bucket
- Blackened fish
- Muffuletta sandwich
- Delicious Bourdin Sausage
- Glorious Gumbo (stew with strong-flavored stock, shellfish or meat, bell pepper, onion, and celery)
- Cajun seasoning
- Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets in New Orleans
New Orleans, popularly known as Crescent City for its topographical shape, is home to many tourist attractions.
There’s the French Quarter (one of the US’ oldest and most famous neighborhoods), Jackson Square, and haunted spots like St. Louis Cemetery and LaLaurie Mansion.
In Baton Rouge, cultural and historical attractions include:
- Shaw Center for the Arts
- Art Science Museum
- Magnolia Mound Plantation House
Louisiana is also called the Sportsman’s Paradise, and among the exciting activities are:
Winter in the Pelican State is comfortably warm compared to other US states, but summer can be scorchingly hot from June to September.
Smacked in the middle of Hurricane Alley, Louisiana is also frequented by severe storms, flooding, heatwaves, and hurricanes, particularly in the southern part.
While Louisiana survived many major climatic events like Hurricane Katrina, it remains the Number 1 state prone to natural disasters.
Despite a 10% decrease in Louisiana’s annual property crime rate, the state reports the highest in the US for 2022.
Violent crime increased by 14%, ranking Louisiana as the fourth-highest in the US as of 2022.
Many Louisianans are alarmed, particularly about gun violence, and 71% of the population think that crime is increasing. Similarly, 34% of Louisianans still feel safe living in the state.
Raising A Family
In a study that incorporated crucial factors in raising a family, Louisiana ranked the third-worst state in 2022.
Louisiana also ranked in the lowest five for family poverty and divorce rate.
Louisiana’s healthcare services are among the least performing across the US states, particularly in poverty-inflicted areas.
In a survey of US school systems, Louisiana ranked 49 out of 51. Factors considered included graduation rates, academic performance, test scores, and access to materials and technology.
Despite Louisiana’s diverse economy (healthcare, shipping, manufacturing, tourism, and energy production), the state ranks 49th in job opportunities, according to the US News and World Report.
Factors considered include growth, employment, and business environment.
Louisiana has many swamps, bayous, and forests, so critters often visit residents’ homes and yards.
Expect to see some rats, mosquitoes, snakes, or possums.
Safest Cities In Louisiana
Louisiana isn’t among the safest states in the US, but there are Louisiana cities whose crime rates are low compared to the state and national averages.
Across the Mississippi River from New Orleans is this city in Jefferson Parish.
Apart from violent and property crime rates below the state average, Gretna’s high Safety Index score is from the increased presence of the police force.
Violent crime is low in Mandeville, nearly five times lower than Louisiana’s average. The city’s property crime is also impressively below the state and US averages.
This small city in St. Tammany Parish has grown since resident relocations due to Hurricane Katrina. The city’s crime rates are below state averages.
Least Favorite Cities In Louisiana
In terms of safety, the following cities in Louisiana are considered less desirable.
Crime is high in this city of 16,000 residents.
Young men looking for jobs often get into street gangs like the Sons of Silence with promises of money and status.
More than 30% of the population live below the poverty line, encouraging the educationally underprivileged to earn ‘quick money.’
The increasing crime rate in this rural part of Louisiana is brought about by poverty and unemployment.
West Monroe is among the cities hit hard by the recession, encouraging gang-related violence, car theft, arson, and burglary.
Ponchatoula’s crime rate is higher than the US average across all communities in the country, but it has been steadily decreasing in the past years.
Its poverty rate is overwhelming at 96%.
Best Places To Live In Louisiana
This small city in Northern Louisiana is a closely-knit community of friendly people.
Half of the residents (14,400) rent their homes, and the public schools (elementary to college) rate above average. It’s home to the Central Louisiana State Hospital and the Ward 9 Sportsplex.
As the capital and second-largest city in Louisiana, Baton Rouge is known for its diverse neighborhoods that are fun, charming, and full of opportunities.
Its thriving economy includes major medical, technology, research, and petrochemical industries.
Public schools are rated average, with top private schools like The Brighton School and colleges like the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.
United Cajun Navy in Baton Rouge helps communities move forward from major disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans is Louisiana’s largest city, known for nicknames like The Crescent City and The Big Easy.
Much has changed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but its resilient spirit can be felt in its culture, music, and Creole food.
Loyola University New Orleans is among the favorites of college students and young professionals.
If you want the perfect blend of city amenities and melting-pot culture, choose among the following top neighborhoods in New Orleans:
- Garden District
- East Riverside
- Irish Channel
- Lake Terrace & Oaks
Named after a beautiful freshwater lake, this fifth-largest city in Louisiana is the industrial, educational, and cultural hub of the state’s southwestern area.
More than half of the residents (77,000) are homeowners amidst a backdrop of Downtown Lake Charles’ dining and shopping options.
Louisiana Fun Trivia
- The New Orleans Superdome is among the largest enclosed arenas worldwide.
- Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Harry Connick Jr., and Reese Witherspoon were born here.
- The Louisiana State Capitol is the largest Capitol Building in the US (450 feet).
- It’s home to the US’s largest alligator population (2 million).
Among the well-attended annual festivals in Louisiana include:
- Mardi Gras
- Gumbo Festival
- Andouille Festival
- Jazz and Heritage Festival
- Louisiana Film Festival
- Voodoo Fest
- Louisiana State Fair
- Crawfish Festival
- Red Stick International Animation Festival
- Mudbug Madness
- Ponchatoula Strawberry Fest
- Essence Fest
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- Pennington Balloon Festival
Conclusion: Is Louisiana a Good Place to Live?
Louisiana is the place to be if you’re looking to experience southern hospitality, not to mention the Creole flavor and Cajun cuisine.
It’s home to breathtaking sceneries, from bayous and shores to parks and pine forests.
Its low cost of living makes it ideal for keeping expenses to a minimum, with house prices as the fifth lowest in the US.
And with the Pelican State celebrating more than 400 festivals every year, finding reasons to celebrate living in Louisiana is endless.