The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Louisiana For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Pelican State for 2021.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Louisiana and is updated for 2021.

Louisianans would like to think that the only danger lurking in their state is the defensive line on the New Orleans Saints and running out of gas while hunting alligators in Shreveport; but sadly, that’s not the case.

Unfortunately, there is danger lurking in every corner of the places that made HomeSnacks’ list of the top ten most dangerous cities in the Bayou State for 2021. We’re pretty sure this came as no surprise as Louisiana is the third most dangerous state in the country.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in Louisiana? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 44 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents.

Let’s be real, we’re not talking about driving five mph over the speed limit kind of danger. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on Alexandria’s KALB at six. Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn’t drive thru, ever.

To see where these Louisiana cities with more issues than Monroe’s newspaper are located, take a look below.

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Louisiana For 2021

Opelousas, LA

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 16,049
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,454 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,019 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Opelousas:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The data is in, and Opelousas turned out to be the most dangerous city in Louisiana for 2021. Once a haven of gambling and prostitution, Opelousas has had a tough time moving away from those sorts of criminal activities. You can still gamble at Evangeline Downs, but you shouldn’t brag about your winnings too much.

That’s because Opelousas is the most violent place in Louisiana, with residents facing a 1 in 40 shout of being assaulted, robbed, raped, or outright killed.That includes the third highest rape and highest murder rate statewide.

Opelousas didn’t fare much better in the property crime, considering the city also had the second highest burglary rate in Louisiana. Opelousas is located about 25 miles north of Lafayette.

Alexandria, LA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 46,630
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,569 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,964 (Most dangerous)
More on Alexandria:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Folks in Alexandria already know to avoid the city’s northeast side, the hotbed of its criminal activity. But they may not know that two violent crimes go down in Alexandria each day. So while there are lions and tigers and bears at The Alexandria Zoo, the really scary stuff is happening on the city’s streets.

While Alexandria doesn’t top this list, it did have the highest overall crime rate, which is nearly quadruple the national average.

That’s because Alexandria had the highest rate of property crime in Louisiana, with residents facing a 1 in 11 chance of having their stuff stolen or damaged in 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,369
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,216 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,202 (Tenth most dangerous)
More on Marksville:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

If you thought living in a small city would automatically protect you from crime, consider Marksville, a city of 5,369 and the smallest spot on this list. Marksville’s motto is “where everybody is somebody,” but far too many somebodies are also criminals here.

Marksville ranked as the third most violent place in Louisiana, so while the animals are safe at Grand Cote Wildlife Refuge, the human population is on their own for finding sanctuary.

Marksville residents had a 1 in 45 chance of being violently attacked over 2019. The only “good” news for Marksville is that most of its violent crime is “just” aggravated assaults, but we’re pretty sure that won’t bring the victims any solace.

Bastrop, LA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,156
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,004 (Ninth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,142 (Third most dangerous)
More on Bastrop:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Bastrop has consistently improved its crime numbers in recent years, but it still hasn’t quite figured things out. Still, a drop in violent crime and a drop in property crime are encouraging signs.

However, residents of Bastrop had a 1 in 12 chance of having their belongings stolen or vandalized over 2019. In other words, you might want to padlock your picnic basket before a day out at Chemin-A-Haut State Park.

Additionally, Bastrop had the highest burglary rate in Louisiana, with 302 such cases recorded over the year.

Monroe, LA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 47,746
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,765 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,578 (Ninth most dangerous)
More on Monroe:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Monroe ranks as Louisiana’s fifth most dangerous city, mostly thanks to all the violence that goes down there. Monroe had the fifth highest rape and ninth highest murder rates in Louisiana.

Overall, residents had a 1 in 56 shot of being the victim of violence over 2019. That gives Monroe the third highest violent crime rate in all of Louisiana.

Monroe also experienced 623 burglaries over the year; we just hope nobody’s planning to heist the local Biedenharn Museum.

Ponchatoula, LA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,478
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,043 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,993 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Ponchatoula:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Ponchatoula is much more dangerous than either of the big cities.

If you happened to stop by Ponchaoula’s annual strawberry festival, you might think its a quaint little city. But both property and violent crime rank in the top ten statewide.

There was about one theft a day and two burglaries a week in Ponchatoula, so it’s not the sort of place you want to flash your wallet around or leave your doors unlocked.

Natchitoches, LA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 17,747
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 997 (Tenth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,880 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Natchitoches:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

As one of Louisana’s oldest cities, you’d think Natchitoches would have gotten its act together by now. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the poorest places in Louisiana, with about a third of the population living below the poverty line.

It makes you wonder how many residents can actually enjoy everything on display in the historic shopping district. Apparently not many, since Natchitoches had the third highest burglary rate statewide.

Not to mention the 4 murders in 2019; enough to give Natchitoches the sixth highest murder rate in Louisiana.

West Monroe, LA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,350
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 914 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,327 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on West Monroe:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

West Monroe might not be as crime-ridden as its eastern neighbor, but it’s still far from safe. Property crime here ranked as the sixth highest in Louisiana, with folks facing a 1 in 13 chance of having something stolen or damaged over 2019.

There was also an average of two violent crimes here each week. So if you’re going out for a walk at Kiroli Park, bring a buddy and get home before the sun sets.

New Orleans, LA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 394,498
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,144 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,292 (13th most dangerous)
More on New Orleans:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

You may have expected to see New Orleans higher up on this list, but it’s relatively safe as far as big cities go. Everyone knows folks in New Orleans love to have fun, what with the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations and the eye-catching French Quarter.

But there are some troubling crime numbers here, especially when it comes to violent crime. New Orleans recorded the second highest rape and fourth highest murder rate in Louisiana.

You’ll also want to make sure that you park your car in one of New Orleans’ safest neighborhoods, or you might join the 2,951 people who had their cars stolen here in 2019.

Gonzales, LA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,940
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 557 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,528 (Second most dangerous)
More on Gonzales:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located about a half-hour southeast of Baton Rouge, Gonzales ranks as Louisiana’s tenth most dangerous place to call home. On the bright side, the violent crime rate in Gonzales is much lower than anywhere else on this list.

On the other hand, Gonzales recorded the second highest property crime rate statewide. However, Gonzales is home to some great outlet stores, and 90% of the property crimes committed here were larcenies.

So don’t worry too much in Gonzales — if you’re not a retailer dealing with shoplifting teenagers, things should be pretty safe.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Louisiana

Most Dangerous Cities In Louisiana Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Louisiana for 2021?

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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

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 Louisiana cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 44 cities in Louisiana.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 44 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 — Opelousas. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Louisiana.

Locking It All Up In Louisiana

So what is the most dangerous city in Louisiana? After analyzing 44 cities in Louisiana, Opelousas takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Louisiana based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Opelousas ranks as the most dangerous city in Louisiana for 2021.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Opelousas and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

It’s not entirely Louisiana’s fault. There are close to 4.7 million people inside the Louisiana boot; and in our experience, there’s bound to be problems with that many people.

But, what are the circumstances that make these Louisiana cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, gangs, close to larger cities that push their problems onto surrounding cities; we’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is our number one most dangerous city in Louisiana is Opelousas.

The Louisiana places on our most dangerous list could definitely use some TLC. If you’re looking to be that diamond in the ruff, or you’re just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don’t see your city there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Louisiana.

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

Here are the safest cities in Louisiana:

  1. Tallulah (Pop. 6,701)
  2. Carencro (Pop. 9,387)
  3. Kenner (Pop. 66,653)
  4. Rayne (Pop. 8,088)
  5. Scott (Pop. 8,725)
  6. Westwego (Pop. 8,415)
  7. Mandeville (Pop. 12,331)
  8. Addis (Pop. 5,747)
  9. Harahan (Pop. 9,298)
  10. Youngsville (Pop. 15,020)

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

The Most Dangerous Cities In Louisiana

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Opelousas 16,049 2,454 8,019
2 Alexandria 46,630 1,569 8,964
3 Marksville 5,369 2,216 6,202
4 Bastrop 10,156 1,004 8,142
5 Monroe 47,746 1,765 6,578
6 Ponchatoula 7,478 1,043 6,993
7 Natchitoches 17,747 997 6,880
8 West Monroe 12,350 914 7,327
9 New Orleans 394,498 1,144 5,292
10 Gonzales 10,940 557 8,528
11 Bogalusa 11,681 1,258 4,614
12 Baton Rouge 220,648 936 5,290
13 Crowley 12,621 1,251 4,183
14 Pineville 14,261 799 5,160
15 Leesville 5,617 979 4,326
16 Breaux Bridge 8,237 509 7,344
17 Bossier City 69,044 790 4,670
18 Shreveport 187,556 779 4,899
19 Walker 6,296 524 5,209
20 Eunice 9,939 513 5,533
21 Houma 32,771 637 4,543
22 Minden 11,984 876 3,312
23 Gretna 17,729 671 4,044
24 Lafayette 126,694 524 4,304
25 Thibodaux 14,587 555 3,530
26 Lake Charles 78,733 524 3,692
27 Abbeville 12,142 831 2,594
28 Ville Platte 7,029 128 5,832
29 Sulphur 20,200 326 4,381
30 Zachary 18,009 438 3,526
31 Ruston 22,148 383 3,056
32 Broussard 12,985 246 3,303
33 Baker 13,240 385 2,462
34 Slidell 27,768 270 2,848
35 Tallulah 6,701 522 522
36 Carencro 9,387 362 2,301
37 Kenner 66,653 223 2,933
38 Rayne 8,088 247 2,299
39 Scott 8,725 137 2,968
40 Westwego 8,415 237 2,127
41 Mandeville 12,331 145 1,816
42 Addis 5,747 156 17
43 Harahan 9,298 129 881
44 Youngsville 15,020 93 1,045

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.