Poorest Cities In Louisiana For 2021

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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Louisiana.

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 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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 2021

1. Natchitoches

Natchitoches, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,898
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,715 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 43.9% (4th 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 17,898 people averages the 3rd lowest median household income in Louisiana and the 4th 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. Ville Platte

Ville Platte, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,159
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $19,616 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.4% (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 lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Pelican State.

3. Donaldsonville

Donaldsonville, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,237
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $25,551 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.5% (10th highest)
More on Donaldsonville:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Donaldsonville'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 38.45870206489676% 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. Opelousas

Opelousas, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,234
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Median Income: $22,646 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (19th highest)
Poverty Rate: 43.3% (5th highest)
More on Opelousas:  Data | Photos

Opelousas ranks as the fourth poorest place in Louisiana.

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

Bastrop, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,311
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $20,117 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (29th highest)
Poverty Rate: 46.9% (highest)
More on Bastrop:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Louisiana is Bastrop.

The city ranks as having the 2nd 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 highest in Louisiana.

Still not the best news for Bastrop.

6. Tallulah

Tallulah, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,851
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $26,351 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (20th highest)
Poverty Rate: 44.3% (3rd highest)
More on Tallulah:  Data | Photos

Tallulah 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.

7. Jackson

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,041
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $34,063 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 44.9% (2nd highest)
More on Jackson:  Data

Jackson places as the seventh poorest city in Louisiana.

The city of over 5,041 ranks as having the 2nd 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. Bogalusa

Bogalusa, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,673
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Income: $31,976 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.5% (15th highest)
More on Bogalusa:  Data | Photos

Bogalusa ranks as the eighth poorest city in Louisiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 4th highest in the state.

9. St. Martinville

St. Martinville, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,945
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 16)
Median Income: $25,520 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (2highest)
More on St. Martinville:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 7th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, St. Martinville ranks as having the 2most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Louisiana.

10. Leesville

Leesville, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,891
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Income: $31,572 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.2% (14th highest)
More on Leesville:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 5,891 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 2021

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 2015-2019 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 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Louisiana For 2021

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: Mandeville
    3rd Richest: Addis

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Louisiana

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Natchitoches 17,898 43.9%
2 Ville Platte 7,159 41.4%
3 Donaldsonville 8,237 38.5%
4 Opelousas 16,234 43.3%
5 Bastrop 10,311 46.9%
6 Tallulah 6,851 44.3%
7 Jackson 5,041 44.9%
8 Bogalusa 11,673 31.5%
9 St. Martinville 5,945 28.2%
10 Leesville 5,891 32.2%
11 Marksville 5,432 41.7%
12 Rayne 8,041 30.4%
13 Crowley 12,796 37.1%
14 Monroe 48,241 36.8%
15 Abbeville 12,236 30.4%
16 Jeanerette 5,385 25.4%
17 Eunice 10,140 29.8%
18 New Iberia 29,456 27.3%
19 Jennings 9,980 25.7%
20 Ruston 21,976 41.6%
21 Hammond 20,668 31.0%
22 Westwego 8,438 28.3%
23 Minden 12,274 33.8%
24 Grambling 5,185 38.9%
25 Plaquemine 6,680 27.0%
26 Oakdale 7,607 17.9%
27 Franklin 6,960 18.0%
28 Alexandria 47,012 24.4%
29 Shreveport 192,035 25.7%
30 Morgan City 11,206 19.6%
31 West Monroe 12,583 24.6%
32 Baton Rouge 224,149 24.8%
33 New Orleans 390,845 23.7%
34 Deridder 10,861 21.6%
35 Breaux Bridge 8,262 20.9%
36 Thibodaux 14,494 21.8%
37 Houma 33,334 23.8%
38 Lake Charles 77,283 22.8%
39 Carencro 8,984 19.0%
40 Gretna 17,774 17.8%
41 Bossier City 68,248 19.7%
42 Ponchatoula 7,195 22.0%
43 Gonzales 10,789 19.2%
44 Lafayette 126,666 19.7%
45 Pineville 14,237 17.7%
46 Slidell 27,822 15.1%
47 St. Gabriel 7,282 20.0%
48 Patterson 5,953 16.6%
49 Scott 8,729 12.5%
50 Baker 13,437 12.9%
51 Kenner 66,777 17.3%
52 Sulphur 20,113 14.1%
53 Walker 6,261 11.0%
54 Denham Springs 9,937 8.9%
55 Broussard 11,913 13.3%
56 Youngsville 13,407 11.2%
57 Covington 10,372 13.4%
58 Harahan 9,304 10.3%
59 Zachary 17,283 7.8%
60 Addis 5,274 7.8%
61 Mandeville 12,448 10.3%
62 Central 29,107 5.7%

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