Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Louisiana?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Louisiana — and anyone looking to move to Louisiana — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Pelican State for 2019:
- Hammond (Photos)
- Bastrop (Photos)
- Opelousas (Photos)
- Monroe (Photos)
- Alexandria (Photos)
- Ponchatoula (Photos)
- Pineville (Photos)
- Natchitoches (Photos)
- Crowley (Photos)
After analyzing 55 cities in Louisiana, why did Hammond take the top spot?
For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or learn more about the safest places in Louisiana.
For more Louisiana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Louisiana
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Louisiana
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Louisiana
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Louisiana for 2019?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 55 cities in Louisiana.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 55 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Louisiana — Hammond.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Louisiana.
It seems like the far eastern side of the state of Louisiana is where criminals hang out the most. At least those who prey on smaller towns.
Here in Hammond, you’ve got the 1st best chance statistically to be robbed on any given day. If you’re within Hammond’s city limits for a year’s time, there’s a 1 in 9.0 chance you’ll encounter a criminal who wants to take something from you.
Hammond is right off of I-20. Crime here has ticked downwards over the last few years, but you’re in no way safe here.
Bastrop is another city in the Louisiana panhandle that you’re simply not safe in.
If you’re within Bastrop city limits, you have a 1 in 66 chance of having your life threatened every year. Additionally, you have a 1 in 10.6 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized. Scary stuff.
Or, put another way, in the safest city on our list, Addis, residents had a 1 in 693 chance of being robbed. That’s the way it should be.
Opelousas is the 3rd oldest city in Louisiana, and one that was known as a haven for gambling and prostitution. It seems as if the people there are having a hard time moving away from those sorts of criminal activities, as every year, you have a 1 in 55 chance of being the victim of a rape, attack or outright killed when you’re within the city limits.
Legendary adventurer Jim Bowie grew up here. They need some more of his spunk around here to put the criminals in their place.
Opelousas is just north of Lafayette off of I-49. It’s beginning to sound like it’s pretty scary to travel north-south on this stretch of road. It’s no wonder the population here has plummeted 23% in the last 10 years.
Monroe, in the eastern part of the state, is the largest city to make the top of this list, meaning it has the most criminals per capita prowling the streets of Louisiana. Outright poverty might play into this ranking, as nearly a third of the residents here live below the poverty line.
Or, perhaps it’s due to its location, since it is a major stop heading east-west on I-20.
You’ve got a 1 in 12.1 chance of being robbed here every year. Additionally, Monroe saw 13 murders in 2017.
If you live in Alexandria, you already know know to avoid the city’s northeast side. But did you know you have a 1 in 69 chance of being raped, attacked or outright killed every year? Those are the stats. And it’s getting worse there by the year.
Plus, 1 in 11.4 people has their lives screwed up due to a property crime of some sort. Odds are if you’ve lived in Alexandria for a long time, you’ve been robbed at least one time in your life.
Alexandria is smack dab in the middle of Louisiana off of I-49.
Folks who live in little Ponchatoula have the 88 highest chance of being the victim of a rape or attack. The city, located in Louisiana, has seen a moderate population decline in recent years, perhaps due to the crime happening within its city limits.
In 2017, 1 out of 10.3 Ponchatoula residents were the victim of a crime.
Coming in 7th is Pineville, a city of over 14,473.
With residents facing a 1 in 97 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Pineville ranked 13th for that criteria.
Property crime now ranks 9th in Louisiana.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,184 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,722 (13th most dangerous)
More on Marksville: Data
The 8th place ranking for most dangerous in Louisiana goes to Marksville .
Residents have a 1 in 84 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which means rape, murder or aggravated assault. That’s pretty high, but for a state like Louisiana, that’s just unacceptable.
Additionally, if you live in Marksville, you have a 1 in 14.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and tractor implements.
There were 0 murders in Marksville in 2017.
It’s still pretty violent here, but you have to be more concerned about being robbed when you’re in Natchitoches. Within city limits, you have a 1 in 15.5 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of car break-ins and home invasion robberies.
Like some of the cities mentioned elsewhere on the list, there’s no doubt that the poverty level here is playing a part in the sheer number of crimes that are going on here. When people are desperate, they’ll do whatever it takes to survive.
Natchitoches is south of Shreveport on I-49.
Crowley isn’t in the top for either category of crime, but a cumulatively bad score lands it in 10th place.
On the bright side, violent crime was reformed in a serious way between 2016, with the instances dropping to 213.
That amounts to a 1 in 61 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Locking It All Up In Louisiana
The latest FBI crime data shows that Hammond ranks as the most dangerous city in Louisiana for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Hammond and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Louisiana:
- Youngsville (Pop. 13,679)
- Minden (Pop. 12,497)
- Addis (Pop. 5,117)
For more Louisiana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Louisiana
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Louisiana For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Louisiana
- 10 Safest Places In Louisiana
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Louisiana