These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Louisiana For 2018


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

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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 2018:

  1. Ville Platte
  2. Grambling (Photos)
  3. Natchitoches (Photos)
  4. Bogalusa (Photos)
  5. Tallulah (Photos)
  6. Bastrop (Photos)
  7. Ruston (Photos)
  8. Crowley (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 2018.

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.

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How We Determined The Poorest Places In Louisiana For 2018

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 2012-2016 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 2018’.

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

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1. Ville Platte


Population: 7,338
Median Income: $18,679
Unemployment Rate: 21.6%
Poverty Rate: 38.4%
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 7,338 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Louisiana and the 7th 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.

2. Grambling

Grambling, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,107
Median Income: $21,741
Unemployment Rate: 18.3%
Poverty Rate: 40.0%
The second poorest city in Louisiana is Grambling.

The city ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty and 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Pelican State.

3. Natchitoches

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,402
Median Income: $21,406
Unemployment Rate: 14.4%
Poverty Rate: 40.4%
Placing as the third poorest city, Natchitoches’s median income ranks as the 3rd 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 40.4% 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.

4. Bogalusa

Bogalusa, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,964
Median Income: $23,604
Unemployment Rate: 20.0%
Poverty Rate: 38.2%
Bogalusa ranks as the fourth poorest place in Louisiana.

The town ranks as having the 7th lowest median household income and the 8th 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.

5. Tallulah

Tallulah, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,144
Median Income: $24,094
Unemployment Rate: 13.6%
Poverty Rate: 42.3%
The fifth poorest city in Louisiana is Tallulah.

The city ranks as having the 8th 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 3rd highest in Louisiana.

Still not the best news for Tallulah.

6. Bastrop

Bastrop, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,851
Median Income: $21,903
Unemployment Rate: 11.6%
Poverty Rate: 42.1%
Bastrop ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Pelican State.

It ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and the 15th highest unemployment rate.

7. Ruston

Ruston, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,245
Median Income: $26,637
Unemployment Rate: 11.3%
Poverty Rate: 43.0%
Ruston places as the seventh poorest city in Louisiana.

The city of over 22,245 ranks as having the 1st highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Crowley

Crowley, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,155
Median Income: $27,433
Unemployment Rate: 14.1%
Poverty Rate: 33.6%
Crowley ranks as the eighth poorest city in Louisiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 9th highest in the state.

9. Opelousas

Opelousas, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,605
Median Income: $19,810
Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
Poverty Rate: 43.0%
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.

10. Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 49,361
Median Income: $28,681
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Poverty Rate: 34.7%
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Louisiana is Monroe.

The city of 49,361 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 2018

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

For more Louisiana reading , check out:

  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana
  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In Louisiana
  • These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Louisiana

    City Rank Poverty Rate
    Ville Platte 1 38.4%
    Grambling 2 40.0%
    Natchitoches 3 40.4%
    Bogalusa 4 38.2%
    Tallulah 5 42.3%
    Bastrop 6 42.1%
    Ruston 7 43.0%
    Crowley 8 33.6%
    Opelousas 9 43.0%
    Monroe 10 34.7%
    Jeanerette 11 30.2%
    Abbeville 12 29.0%
    Hammond 13 32.2%
    Franklin 14 28.9%
    Springhill 15 36.7%
    Marksville 16 29.7%
    Westwego 17 23.4%
    Rayne 18 23.7%
    Donaldsonville 19 26.2%
    Jennings 20 23.9%
    Alexandria 21 23.9%
    Richwood 22 29.4%
    Leesville 23 25.5%
    Oakdale 24 26.9%
    New Iberia 25 24.0%
    Minden 26 22.2%
    Eunice 27 28.8%
    St. Martinville 28 32.5%
    New Orleans 29 26.2%
    Port Allen 30 27.2%
    Breaux Bridge 31 21.8%
    West Monroe 32 28.2%
    St. Gabriel 33 31.2%
    Baton Rouge 34 26.1%
    Lake Charles 35 23.7%
    Deridder 36 26.2%
    Shreveport 37 24.7%
    Thibodaux 38 19.1%
    Morgan City 39 20.7%
    Gretna 40 20.4%
    Patterson 41 20.5%
    Baker 42 22.7%
    Walker 43 11.1%
    Pineville 44 23.2%
    Ponchatoula 45 23.4%
    Slidell 46 15.4%
    Carencro 47 14.6%
    Plaquemine 48 23.1%
    Denham Springs 49 17.1%
    Houma 50 21.2%
    Kenner 51 15.6%
    Bossier City 52 18.0%
    Sulphur 53 15.6%
    Lafayette 54 19.0%
    Gonzales 55 15.5%
    Covington 56 16.0%
    Scott 57 6.0%
    Mandeville 58 5.2%
    Broussard 59 10.4%
    Harahan 60 8.9%
    Central 61 6.0%
    Zachary 62 8.8%
    Youngsville 63 5.5%

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