These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Louisiana For 2019

We used science and data to determine which places in Louisiana are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Louisiana.

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Louisiana brings to mind images of Baton Rouge, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Louisiana has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Louisiana that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 63 places in Louisiana with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Pelican State for 2019:

  1. Ville Platte (Photos)
  2. Natchitoches (Photos)
  3. Grambling (Photos)
  4. Bogalusa (Photos)
  5. Crowley (Photos)
  6. Bastrop (Photos)
  7. Tallulah (Photos)
  8. Ruston (Photos)
  9. Opelousas (Photos)
  10. Monroe (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Ville Platte is the poorest place in Louisiana for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Louisiana or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Louisiana for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 63 places with more than 5,000 people in Louisiana, we ranked each place from 1 to 63 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Ville Platte, crowned the “Poorest Place In Louisiana For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 63 places.

Ville Platte, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,259
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $19,716 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 23.1% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.5% (8th highest)
More on Ville Platte:  Data | Photos

Ville Platte, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Louisiana thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 7,259 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Louisiana and the 8th highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Natchitoches, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,176
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $21,579 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.6% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 44.7% (2nd highest)
More on Natchitoches:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Louisiana is Natchitoches.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 5th highest in the Pelican State.

Grambling, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,184
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $22,129 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.0% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.9% (5th highest)
More on Grambling:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Grambling’s median income ranks as the 6th lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 41.9% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Pelican State.

Bogalusa, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,852
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,600 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.3% (7th highest)
More on Bogalusa:  Data | Photos

Bogalusa ranks as the fourth poorest place in Louisiana.

The town ranks as having the 7th lowest median household income and the 7th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Crowley, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,047
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $26,645 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.7% (10th highest)
More on Crowley:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Louisiana is Crowley.

The city ranks as having the 10th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 10th highest in Louisiana.

Still not the best news for Crowley.

Bastrop, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,643
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,364 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (20th highest)
Poverty Rate: 43.5% (3rd highest)
More on Bastrop:  Data | Photos

Bastrop ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Pelican State.

It ranks as having the 3rd highest incidence of poverty and the 20th highest unemployment rate.

Tallulah, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,013
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $27,592 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.5% (6th highest)
More on Tallulah:  Data | Photos

Tallulah places as the seventh poorest city in Louisiana.

The city of over 7,013 ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Ruston, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,154
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,411 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (24th highest)
Poverty Rate: 43.4% (4th highest)
More on Ruston:  Data | Photos

Ruston ranks as the eighth poorest city in Louisiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 24th highest in the state.

Opelousas, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,480
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $20,005 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (37th highest)
Poverty Rate: 45.3% (1st highest)
More on Opelousas:  Data | Photos

Opelousas couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Louisiana; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 2nd lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Opelousas ranks as having the 1st most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Louisiana.

Monroe, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,938
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,014 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.8% (9th highest)
More on Monroe:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Louisiana is Monroe.

The city of 48,938 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Pelican State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Louisiana For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Louisiana, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Louisiana.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Louisiana, according to data:

    Richest: Central
    2nd Richest: Harahan
    3rd Richest: Youngsville

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Louisiana

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Ville Platte 7,259 35.5%
2 Natchitoches 18,176 44.7%
3 Grambling 5,184 41.9%
4 Bogalusa 11,852 36.3%
5 Crowley 13,047 34.7%
6 Bastrop 10,643 43.5%
7 Tallulah 7,013 40.5%
8 Ruston 22,154 43.4%
9 Opelousas 16,480 45.3%
10 Monroe 48,938 34.8%
11 Jeanerette 5,465 27.7%
12 Richwood 5,332 34.6%
13 Hammond 20,325 34.1%
14 Abbeville 12,350 31.5%
15 Marksville 5,519 34.0%
16 Rayne 8,079 25.4%
17 Oakdale 7,669 32.1%
18 Leesville 6,335 28.7%
19 Donaldsonville 7,975 31.5%
20 Westwego 8,557 24.8%
21 Franklin 7,244 24.4%
22 Jennings 10,084 24.1%
23 Eunice 10,305 30.5%
24 St. Martinville 6,058 31.0%
25 Springhill 5,054 33.4%
26 West Monroe 12,874 28.5%
27 Minden 12,614 23.4%
28 New Iberia 30,292 24.0%
29 Alexandria 47,954 22.1%
30 Baton Rouge 227,549 26.0%
31 New Orleans 388,182 25.4%
32 Shreveport 196,217 25.7%
33 Thibodaux 14,488 19.3%
34 Deridder 10,995 24.4%
35 St. Gabriel 7,094 28.6%
36 Breaux Bridge 8,291 25.3%
37 Port Allen 5,086 24.5%
38 Houma 33,784 24.8%
39 Lake Charles 75,194 22.9%
40 Gretna 17,888 20.0%
41 Morgan City 11,685 16.7%
42 Walker 6,266 13.7%
43 Plaquemine 6,812 24.3%
44 Pineville 14,381 21.1%
45 Slidell 27,755 14.5%
46 Carencro 8,620 17.5%
47 Bossier City 67,511 19.3%
48 Baker 13,694 20.5%
49 Ponchatoula 7,015 20.2%
50 Lafayette 126,476 19.1%
51 Gonzales 10,558 16.0%
52 Denham Springs 10,066 14.2%
53 Patterson 6,067 17.1%
54 Kenner 67,253 16.0%
55 Scott 8,784 7.7%
56 Covington 9,925 13.0%
57 Sulphur 20,237 15.5%
58 Mandeville 12,215 7.6%
59 Broussard 10,888 8.5%
60 Zachary 16,879 7.4%
61 Youngsville 11,950 6.7%
62 Harahan 9,367 7.1%
63 Central 28,462 7.2%

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