Poorest Cities In Louisiana For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth 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 62 places in Louisiana with more than 5,000 people.

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.

What's the poorst city in Louisiana? According to the facts, Natchitoches is the poorest place in Louisiana for 2020.

Rich people more 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:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Louisiana For 2020

Natchitoches, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 18,080
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $21,854 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.2% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 46.8% (2nd highest)
More on Natchitoches:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 18,080 people averages the 4th lowest median household income in Louisiana and the 2nd 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.

Ville Platte, LA

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 7,196
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $20,534 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 20.2% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.4% (8th highest)
More on Ville Platte:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Louisiana is Ville Platte.

The city ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 2nd highest in the Pelican State.

Bogalusa, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 11,793
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $25,282 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.1% (6th highest)
More on Bogalusa:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Bogalusa's median income ranks as the 8th 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 40.11421649216925% 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.

Donaldsonville, LA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,090
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 15)
Median Income: $22,716 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.3% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.4% (9th highest)
More on Donaldsonville:  Data | Photos

Donaldsonville ranks as the fourth poorest place in Louisiana.

The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 9th 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

5
/10

Population: 12,960
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,089 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.9% (7th highest)
More on Crowley:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Louisiana is Crowley.

The city ranks as having the 13th 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 7th highest in Louisiana.

Still not the best news for Crowley.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,013
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Income: $22,991 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.4% (10th highest)
More on Richwood:  Data

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

It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 14th highest unemployment rate.

Jeanerette, LA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,410
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $28,713 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 25.8% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.3% (18th highest)
More on Jeanerette:  Data | Photos

Jeanerette places as the seventh poorest city in Louisiana.

The city of over 5,410 ranks as having the 18th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Bastrop, LA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,521
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $20,439 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (35th highest)
Poverty Rate: 47.9% (1st highest)
More on Bastrop:  Data | Photos

Bastrop ranks as the eighth poorest city in Louisiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 35th highest in the state.

Tallulah, LA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,929
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $26,385 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (24th highest)
Poverty Rate: 42.5% (4th highest)
More on Tallulah:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 11th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Tallulah ranks as having the 4th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Louisiana.

Grambling, LA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,187
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Median Income: $24,505 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (22nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.5% (11th highest)
More on Grambling:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 5,187 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Pelican State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Louisiana for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 62 places with more than 5,000 people in Louisiana, we ranked each place from 1 to 62 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, Natchitoches, crowned the "Poorest Place In Louisiana For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Louisiana For 2020

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: Central
    3rd Richest: Mandeville

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Louisiana

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Natchitoches 18,080 46.8%
2 Ville Platte 7,196 39.4%
3 Bogalusa 11,793 40.1%
4 Donaldsonville 8,090 39.4%
5 Crowley 12,960 39.9%
6 Richwood 5,013 39.4%
7 Jeanerette 5,410 30.3%
8 Bastrop 10,521 47.9%
9 Tallulah 6,929 42.5%
10 Grambling 5,187 36.5%
11 Eunice 10,407 34.1%
12 Opelousas 16,399 45.2%
13 Monroe 48,663 34.9%
14 Leesville 6,055 29.5%
15 Abbeville 12,286 31.0%
16 Marksville 5,476 35.2%
17 Oakdale 7,640 34.3%
18 Jennings 10,047 27.4%
19 Ruston 22,055 40.9%
20 Westwego 8,499 28.5%
21 Hammond 20,444 31.6%
22 Franklin 7,097 23.7%
23 New Iberia 29,992 25.8%
24 Rayne 8,075 24.1%
25 St. Martinville 6,014 27.5%
26 Minden 12,442 28.3%
27 West Monroe 12,756 29.5%
28 Alexandria 47,539 23.6%
29 New Orleans 389,648 24.6%
30 Baton Rouge 225,362 25.2%
31 Morgan City 11,452 17.6%
32 Thibodaux 14,515 19.4%
33 Houma 33,520 26.6%
34 Deridder 11,050 23.6%
35 Shreveport 193,785 25.4%
36 Plaquemine 6,726 25.3%
37 Port Allen 5,051 20.1%
38 Carencro 8,775 18.7%
39 Lake Charles 76,267 23.3%
40 Breaux Bridge 8,299 21.3%
41 Pineville 14,313 21.4%
42 Gretna 17,797 17.7%
43 Walker 6,250 12.8%
44 Ponchatoula 7,131 21.2%
45 Bossier City 67,935 17.9%
46 Lafayette 126,515 19.4%
47 Slidell 27,769 14.6%
48 Gonzales 10,677 17.6%
49 Baker 13,557 14.7%
50 Kenner 66,910 17.1%
51 Denham Springs 9,991 12.3%
52 Covington 10,133 13.8%
53 Patterson 6,012 14.3%
54 Scott 8,761 8.9%
55 St. Gabriel 7,200 17.7%
56 Sulphur 20,241 12.4%
57 Zachary 17,056 8.3%
58 Harahan 9,309 9.7%
59 Broussard 11,412 8.1%
60 Mandeville 12,252 8.2%
61 Central 28,577 6.5%
62 Youngsville 12,753 5.9%

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