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.
Surprisingly, New Orleans finishes way outside of the top ten at number 24. The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Pelican State:
- Monroe (Photos)
- Alexandria (Photos)
- Bastrop (Photos)
- Hammond (Photos)
- Ponchatoula (Photos)
- Natchitoches (Photos)
- Bogalusa (Photos)
- Opelousas (Photos)
- Marksville (Photos)
- West Monroe (Photos)
Why did Monroe 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.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Louisiana for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 51 cities in Louisiana.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 51 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 — Monroe. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Louisiana.
Population: 49,703Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,601
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,379
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 11.9 chance of being robbed here every year. Additionally, Monroe saw 18 murders in 2015.
Population: 48,305Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,045
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,375
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 48 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 11.9 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.
Population: 10,773Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,225
Property Crimes Per 100k: 11,398
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 81 chance of having your life threatened every year. Additionally, you have a 1 in 8.8 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized. Scary stuff.
Or, put another way, in the safest city on our list, Harahan, residents had a 1 in 693 chance of being robbed. That’s the way it should be.
Population: 20,449Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,017
Property Crimes Per 100k: 10,156
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 2nd 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 8.9 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.
Population: 6,987Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,216
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,828
Ponchatoula is the smallest city to make this list.
And this city in Louisiana has been making great strides to get off this list altogether — the violent crime rate fell between 2013-15.
That’s means residents have a 1 in 82 chance of being a victim of violence in 2015.
Population: 18,350Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,351
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,008
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 14.3 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.
Population: 11,859Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,332
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,273
Bogalusa, Louisiana is on the east side of the state, and it can be downright scary considering the number of robberies that happen here every year. When you’re within the city limits, you have a 1 in 15.9 chance of having a crime committed against you that involves theft or vandalism.
But the sheer number of crimes happening here are going down quickly, which is a great sign. That might be due to a population decrease that has been an issue since the 1960s as the lumber and paper mills have moved onto other towns.
Population: 16,580Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,182
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,557
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 84 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.
Population: 5,515Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,686
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,911
The tiny town of Marksville might not be familiar to most residents of Louisiana. Marksville has really seen crime rise very quickly in the last few years.
For instance, there were 93 violent crimes in the entire city. For a town of 5,515, that’s a lot.
Residents in Marksville have a 1 in 16.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the FBI.
10. West Monroe
Population: 12,960Violent Crimes Per 100k: 895
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,132
West Monroe, a city in Ouachita Parish, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 111 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 116 attacks in a city of only 12,960 residents.
Locking It All Up In Louisiana
The latest FBI crime data shows that Monroe ranks as the most dangerous city in Louisiana for 2017.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Monroe’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Louisiana:
For more Louisiana reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Louisiana
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana
- These Are The 10 Most Affordable Places In Louisiana
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Louisiana