The 5 Worst New Orleans Suburbs

The worst New Orleans suburbs are Jean Lafitte and Westwego based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround New Orleans to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of New Orleans are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which New Orleans ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the New Orleans area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to New Orleans proper, although Mandeville certainly tries.

We examined the 9 biggest suburbs of New Orleans to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Louisiana lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of New Orleans in terms of quality of life.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 5 worst suburbs around New Orleans for 2023

  1. Jean Lafitte
  2. Westwego
  3. Gretna
  4. Pearl River
  5. Slidell

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of New Orleans? Jean Lafitte ranks as the worst suburb of New Orleans for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Louisiana check out the best places in Louisiana overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around New Orleans too.

The 5 Worst New Orleans Suburbs To Live For 2023

1. Jean Lafitte

Jean Lafitte, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,450
Median Income: $54,675 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.2% (highest)
Median Home Value: $181,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Jean Lafitte:

We’ll get the ball rolling with Jean Lafitte, the absolute worst place to live around New Orleans according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Jean Lafitte beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the New Orleans area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Jean Lafitte.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Westwego, LA

Source: Wikipedia User Infrogmation of New Orleans | GFDL 1.2
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,538
Median Income: $32,384 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $130,200 (lowest)
More on Westwego: Data

Welcome to Westwego. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 16.1 miles to New Orleans. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $32,384 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Gretna, LA

Source: Wikipedia User Infrogmation | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,836
Median Income: $44,688 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $205,200 (6th lowest)
More on Gretna: Data

Back up the highway we go for the third worst New Orleans suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Gretna on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other New Orleans suburbs.

But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Pearl River

Pearl River, LA

Source: Wikipedia User No machine-readable author provided. Blinutne assumed (based on copyright claims). | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,577
Median Income: $58,188 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $198,100 (5th lowest)
More on Pearl River:

If you live in Pearl River, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest New Orleans suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near New Orleans. Remember, we looked at 9 cities for this study.

Pearl River is about 24.5 miles to downtown.

Slidell, LA

Source: Wikipedia User jahebert 7 | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,537
Median Income: $57,920 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $169,600 (2nd lowest)
More on Slidell: Data

Slidell has the distinction of being a New Orleans suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Slidell has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro New Orleans area, where the median price is $169,600. The median income is $79,149.

Slidell has an unemployment rate of 5.28% which ranks 7th worst.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around New Orleans for 2023

To figure out how bad a New Orleans suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

It’s Saturday Night Science.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of New Orleans.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 9 suburbs to evaluate around New Orleans.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 9 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near New Orleans.” We’re looking at you, Jean Lafitte.

We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around New Orleans.

Summary: The areas around New Orleans where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding New Orleans with Jean Lafitte casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around New Orleans aren’t all bad. Mandeville takes the cake as the best place to live around New Orleans.

  • Mandeville
  • Harahan
  • Abita Springs

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst New Orleans Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Jean Lafitte 2,450 $54,675 $181,300
2 Westwego 8,538 $32,384 $130,200
3 Gretna 17,836 $44,688 $205,200
4 Pearl River 2,577 $58,188 $198,100
5 Slidell 28,537 $57,920 $169,600
6 Kenner 66,411 $58,419 $196,300
7 Abita Springs 2,622 $64,063 $212,600
8 Harahan 9,137 $68,846 $256,700
9 Mandeville 12,985 $79,149 $323,200
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.

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