These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Louisiana For 2018

We used science and data to determine which LA cities are really ghetto.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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There are lots of people who throw the term ‘ghetto’ around. But which of Louisiana’s largest cities are the most ghetto of all?

How do you decide if a place is ghetto or not? You ask the internet. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ghetto is defined as:

“urban; of or relating to (inner) city life” and “poor; of or relating to the poor life.”

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where ghettos might exist in a state, and then put out a list.

After analyzing the largest cities in the Bayou State, we came up with this list as the most ghetto places to live in Louisiana:

  1. Bastrop (Photos)
  2. Opelousas (Photos)
  3. Ville Platte
  4. Mansfield (Photos)
  5. St. Martinville (Photos)
  6. Franklin (Photos)
  7. Bogalusa (Photos)
  8. Tallulah (Photos)
  9. Monroe (Photos)
  10. Rayne (Photos)

In case you’re wondering, Youngsville is the least ghetto city of all we measured.

Read on below to see where your hometown ranked and why.

For more Louisiana reading, check out:


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What ghetto criteria did we use?

In order to rank the most ghetto places in Louisiana, we had to determine what criteria defines a ghetto city or neighborhood.

Since a ghetto is defined as a poor area, we used income levels, crime and education levels as a guide to determine where the most broke citizens of a state live.

Additionally, the staples of inner city life include cheap and discounted retail outlets.

We started by making a list of the cities in LA with a population over 5,000 people based on the 2013 American Community Survey. That left us with 108 places in Louisiana.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Area Vibes, this is the criteria we used:

  • Household income levels
  • High school graduation rates
  • Number of convenience stores
  • Number of drug stores
  • Number of discount stores
  • Crime
  • Twitter mentions of #ghetto

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

All of these results are listed in a per capita basis. Meaning number of stores per person in a state. Additionally, high school graduation rates are determined by looking at the total number of people who live in a city, not the current graduation rate of an area’s high schools.

For geo-located Tweets, we measured all mentions coming from a city with #ghetto


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1. Bastrop

Source: wikipedia

Income: $23,188
Drop out rate: 38%
Crime: 4th worst

When you look at the data, the small town of Bastrop in Morehouse Parish is the most ghetto place in the state of Louisiana. Let’s see why.

First of all, income levels are extremely low – the 4th lowest in the state. Combine that with a 38% dropout rate and you’ve got a real mess on your hands. It’s no wonder that 6% of the population is out of work (which is high for Louisiana).

Additionally, this city has the 4th worst crime in Louisiana, where there were two murders in 2013, and where you have a 1 in 9 chance of being the victim of a property crime if you spend a year within the city limits.

2. Opelousas

Source: wikipedia

Income: $20,983
Drop out rate: 34%
Drug stores: 6th most

This is the absolute poorest city in the state, and one of the most broke places in the country.

Opelousas, in St. Landry Parish north of Lafayette, has a serious economic issue on its hands. Entire families bring in about $20,000 a year. The government says families of 4 need about $25,000 a year to just live at the poverty line.

57% of the kids in this city live below poverty.

This city has the 6th most drug stores per capita in the state. Sociologists have indicated that these types of discount shopping outlets are a staple of inner city life.

3. Ville Platte

Source: Public Domain

Income: $21,276
Drop out rate: 47%
Drug stores: 2nd most

Nearly half of the adults in this small Evangeline Parish city are walking around without even a high school diploma. That’s a true sign of a ghetto, and a situation that Ville Platte may never recover from.

This is part of the reason that 3 in 4 people lives in poverty. That’s ‘worst in the nation’ territory right there.

Crime is bad, but not outright horrible. And there are just about more drug stores per person than anywhere else in the state.

There were quite a few #ghetto Tweets coming from this area of the state.

Example: “When you have to use your map to get out of the ghetto in ville platte”

4. Mansfield

Source: wikipedia

Income: $22,197
Crime: 5th highest
Dropout rate: 29%

The population of Mansfield has dropped 10% in the last 10 years, and shows no signs of slowing down. You can tell why when you look at the data.

Like the cities above, this is a very poor place. Most families struggle to make ends meet every month, and you have a 1 in 16 chance of being victimized by a crime for every year you spend within Mansfield city limits.

You know things are bad when you google Mansfield Louisiana and the first auto suggestions are “Mansfield Walmart” and “Mansfield Police Department.”

5. St. Martinville

Source: wikipedia

Income: $29,383
Drop out rate: 32%
Crime: 18th worst

It appears as if those 4 above are the absolute worst ghettos in Louisiana, and the rest of the cities on this list are ghettos as well, but not extreme ghettos.

Take St. Martinville. The incomes are horribly low for families to be comfortable, and more than 3 in 10 residents is uneducated. But the crime is ‘only’ the 18th worst in the state. Which means you don’t have to worry about getting shot or robbed every night.

St. Martinville ranked in the top 10 in the country for ‘ghetto’ Tweets.

“you don’t know ghetto until you see st martinville.”

6. Franklin

Source: wikipedia

Income: $29,760
Drop out rate: 31%
Crime: 13th worst

The population of Franklin is plummeting, even when prices of homes average about $86,000 each. That’s a sign that things aren’t so rosy here in this small city in St. Mary Parish, south of Lafayette.

Incomes are really low here – so low in fact that 4 in 10 children live in poverty. There was a murder here two years ago, and you have about a 1 in 18 chance of being the victim of a crime if you live here long enough.

7. Bogalusa

Source: wikipedia

Income: $25,315
Drop out rate: 32%
Crime: 7th worst

Bogalusa has the unfortunate distinction of being 7th worst in two categories: Crime and income levels. By definition, this is truly a ghetto.

There are also a really high number of drug stores per person in this small city in Washington Parish. For a small town, a murder is a big deal. And just about every day, two people were either robbed, attacked or raped here.

For a place of just over 12,000 people, there were quite a few ghetto Tweets.

Here’s one: “Driving to bogalusa makes me feel like I’m going to a drug deal so I had to turn on my ghetto music.”

8. Tallulah

Source: wikipedia

Income: $24,704
Drop out rate: 29%
Drug stores: 10th most

This small city in Madison Parish of northeastern Louisiana has seen a 20% decrease in population over the last ten years. The reason people are fleeing in droves? It’s ghetto.

Residents of Tallulah had lots to say about how ghetto their city is.

“I’m doing what it takes to make it out of the ghetto (Tallulah).”
“Tallulah can turn things ghetto in 3.5 seconds”

Residents here are the 5th poorest in the state.

9. Monroe

Source: wikipedia

Income: $28,948
Drop out rate: 24%
Crime: 8th worst

Monroe is by far the largest city to make this list, meaning it’s the biggest ghetto in the state.

Crime is really bad here (as if you didn’t already know). This city of 50,000 people has to contend with both violence and robberies on a daily basis. Six people were killed here in 2013, and statistically, according to the FBI database, 1 in 10 people within city limits was a property crime victim that year.

10. Rayne

Source: wikipedia

Income: $30,997
Drop out rate: 42%
Crime: 3rd worst

If you weren’t aware that Rayne is a really, really dangerous place, then you are now. Actually, this small city in Acadia Parish is just about as dangerous as you can get as a Louisiana resident.

1 in 24 people was the victim of a crime, statistically. For a city of 8,000 people (and plummeting), having 37 violent crimes in a year as Rayne did in 2013, is really bad.

The fact that most residents here are broke and out of work, highly uneducated and struggling to make ends meet makes this a true Louisiana ghetto.

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Louisiana where there are a high number of poor and uneducated residents, and where there are a high number of discounted shopping stores, this is an accurate list.

Additionally, here are the least ghetto places in Louisiana: Youngsville, Shenandoah, Prairieville, Red Chute, Eden Isle.

We also wrote about the 10 Most Redneck Cities In Louisiana if you didn’t happen to see it.

Desktop users, below is a ghetto ranking chart of all large cities in Louisiana, along with their crime numbers:

City Crime Rank
bastrop 177.8 1
opelousas 152.1 2
ville platte 153.7 3
mansfield 168.6 4
st. martinville 145.8 5
franklin 152.2 6
bogalusa 165.8 7
tallulah 127.4 8
monroe 161.1 9
rayne 189 10
bridge city 118.5 11
donaldsonville 128.3 12
hammond 198.9 13
marksville 131.2 14
alexandria 168.6 14
natchitoches 141.4 16
eunice 157.6 17
gardere 189.5 18
oakdale 118.2 19
crowley 126.9 20
jeanerette 112.6 21
breaux bridge 122.3 22
marrero 96.6 23
st. gabriel 90.4 24
morgan city 134 24
gretna 113.8 26
plaquemine 132.9 26
leesville 157.7 26
ponchatoula 150.4 26
new iberia 119.6 30
springhill 80.4 31
carencro 135.5 32
minden 81.6 33
baton rouge 133.4 34
waggaman 84.1 35
new orleans 120.8 36
lake charles 124.2 37
shreveport 131.6 38
jennings 110.7 39
harvey 111.1 40
port allen 116.6 41
houma 132.6 42
baker 95 43
thibodaux 126.2 43
ruston 122.6 43
violet 93.6 46
merrydale 100.9 46
west monroe 141.5 48
terrytown 131.9 48
patterson 102.9 50
westwego 73.7 51
pineville 111.7 52
reserve 86.3 53
denham springs 143.8 53
st. rose 96.4 55
chalmette 134.1 56
jefferson 112.4 57
lafayette 143.7 58
raceland 69.9 59
schriever 83.5 60
avondale 61.1 61
deridder 110.4 62
woodmere 78.3 63
lacombe 48.5 64
sulphur 154.1 64
galliano 69 66
fort polk south 154.6 67
broussard 146.7 68
slidell 122.3 69
bossier city 121.7 70
brownfields 73.4 70
kenner 103.1 72
bayou cane 107.9 73
timberlane 80.4 74
bayou blue 66 75
laplace 75.6 76
gonzales 75.9 77
scott 90 78
larose 48.5 78
estelle 46.1 80
monticello 57.6 81
meraux 82 81
covington 101.4 83
cut off 52.3 83
walker 134.4 83
carlyss 82.3 83
inniswold 96.1 87
metairie 90.2 88
belle chasse 94.9 89
zachary 76.6 90
chackbay 44.4 91
village st. george 74.3 92
claiborne 85 93
mandeville 92.1 94
luling 56.2 94
river ridge 69.6 96
oak hills place 72 96
destrehan 62.2 98
harahan 63.9 99
prien 53.1 100
moss bluff 61.9 101
old jefferson 60.5 102
central 46.7 102
eden isle 56.9 104
red chute 45.9 105
prairieville 45.8 106
shenandoah 60 107
youngsville 51.6 108
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.