5 Worst Places to Live in Louisiana

Louisiana, known for its vibrant culture, delicious Cajun cuisine, and festive Mardi Gras celebrations, lures visitors and potential residents with its unique character. Yet, below the surface of jazz music and crawfish boils, some cities struggle with issues such as poverty, crime, and limited economic opportunities. This article highlights the top 5 worst places to live in Louisiana, examining the factors that contribute to their less-than-ideal living conditions, to help inform potential residents.


This article considers several key factors for determining the least desirable places to reside in Louisiana:

  • Crime Rates: FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics and independent analysis from sources like NeighborhoodScout are used for identifying cities with high rates of both violent and property crime.
  • Poverty and Unemployment: Data from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates local poverty levels and unemployment rates.
  • Education: School performance metrics are analyzed to evaluate educational quality within each city.
  • Amenities and Infrastructure: A subjective assessment of the availability of resources like quality healthcare, recreational facilities, shopping, and infrastructure is considered.

5. Ville Platte

  • High Poverty and Unemployment: Ville Platte contends with pervasive poverty exceeding state and national averages. Its residents also face higher-than-average unemployment rates, hindering economic progress and stability.
  • Crime Concerns: Crime in Ville Platte is a matter of concern. While property crime rates are notably high, residents also face a greater risk of violent crime compared to Louisiana as a whole.
  • Lack of Amenities: Ville Platte may lack the diverse range of amenities found in larger cities, potentially making it less appealing for those seeking vibrant cultural scenes, extensive shopping, or specialized healthcare.

4. Opelousas

  • Elevated Crime Rates: Opelousas consistently grapples with higher-than-average crime rates, including both property and violent offenses. This elevated crime can significantly impact residents’ quality of life.
  • Economic Hardship: Poverty levels in Opelousas outpace state averages, suggesting that many residents face economic struggles. Limited job opportunities can compound this problem.
  • Education Challenges: Schools in Opelousas often lag behind in performance metrics, potentially limiting educational opportunities and overall future prospects for the youth of this city.

3. Monroe

  • Significant Violent Crime Rates: One of the primary concerns with Monroe is its high violent crime rate. This significantly exceeds both state and national averages, making it a key contributing factor to its lower quality of life.
  • Limited Economic Growth: Economic opportunities in Monroe can be restricted, creating challenges for residents seeking to find well-paying, sustainable employment.
  • Infrastructure Issues: Some areas of Monroe may exhibit signs of aging infrastructure, which could impact essential services and the overall appeal of the city.

2. Alexandria

  • Persistent Poverty Problem: Alexandria struggles with a notably high poverty rate, reflecting widespread economic hardship experienced by its residents. This can have far-reaching consequences for families and the community as a whole.
  • Public Safety Concerns: Both violent and property crime rates in Alexandria exceed Louisiana’s averages. This crime prevalence contributes to a less secure environment for residents.
  • Underperforming Schools: Alexandria’s schools often rank lower in performance compared to other areas in the state, which may affect the educational foundation and long-term opportunities for its children.

1. Bogalusa

  • Deeply Rooted Poverty: Sadly, Bogalusa holds the unenviable position of having one of the highest poverty rates within Louisiana. A significantly large portion of its residents live in poverty, creating a complex web of challenges for the community.
  • High Crime Rates: Bogalusa consistently records property and violent crime rates that significantly exceed state and national averages. This creates a heightened sense of insecurity within the community.
  • Struggling Education System: Schools within Bogalusa frequently rank low in performance assessments. This can restrict educational pathways for children and youth, potentially affecting their overall well-being and future prospects.

Important Considerations

It’s vital to recognize that ranking the “worst” places to live carries a degree of subjectivity, and any such list should be viewed with a few things in mind:

  • Neighborhood variations: Even within less-than-ideal cities, specific neighborhoods or pockets may offer safe and desirable living conditions. Thorough research beyond city-level data is necessary.
  • Individual priorities: Factors that make a city less desirable for one person might be less significant for another. Lifestyle preferences and individual needs heavily influence what constitutes a “bad” place to live.
  • Potential for change: Cities are dynamic and can change over time. Positive initiatives to address crime, poverty, or infrastructure by local governments or community groups can gradually influence a city’s overall appeal and quality of life.



While Louisiana boasts many charming and vibrant cities, it’s essential to be aware of the challenges present in certain locations. Those considering a move to Louisiana should carefully research potential cities, factoring in the elements discussed in this article. By combining this knowledge with an understanding of their unique personal needs and priorities, individuals can make informed decisions about where to call home within the beautiful Pelican State.

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MBS Staff
Articles: 6843

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