Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround New Orleans.
So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we’ll use science and data 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’t expect all the suburbs to live up to New Orleans proper, although Eden Isle certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of New Orleans are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…
We examined the 34 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.
Here are the 10 worst suburbs around New Orleans for 2018:
- Westwego (Photos)
- Marrero (Photos)
- Gretna (Photos)
- Waggaman (Photos)
- Chalmette (Photos)
Read on to see how we determined the places around New Orleans that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around New Orleans too.
Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around New Orleans for 2018
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data, 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 drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of New Orleans.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 34 suburbs to evaluate around New Orleans.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 34 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 lookin’ at you, Avondale.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.
Population: 5,123Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
Median Home Price: $96,500
Median Income: $31,835
We’ll get the ball rolling with Avondale, the absolute worst place to live around New Orleans according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Avondale beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 1st worst in the New Orleans area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st 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 Avondale.
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.
Population: 2,394 Unemployment Rate: 27.1%
Median Home Price: $109,900
Median Income: $35,946
Welcome to Poydras. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 13.7 miles to New Orleans. Income levels here are the 4th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $35,946 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Population: 5,621Unemployment Rate: 15.0%
Median Home Price: $117,800
Median Income: $35,774
Back up the highway we go for the third worst New Orleans suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Violet 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 drop out rate is poor compared to other New Orleans suburbs.
But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.
Population: 8,545Unemployment Rate: 14.0%
Median Home Price: $128,400
Median Income: $33,898
If you live in Westwego, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2nd lowest New Orleans suburb when it comes to residents making money.
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 34 cities for this study.
Westwego is about 16.1 miles to downtown.
Population: 7,930 Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $153,500
Median Income: $46,909
Lacombe has the distinction of being a New Orleans suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Lacombe has the 12th lowest home values in the metro New Orleans area, where the median price is $153,500. To put that into perspective, in Eden Isle, the median income is $84,044, which is the best in the area.
Lacombe has an unemployment rate of 9.5% which ranks 7th worst.
Population: 31,454Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $127,600
Median Income: $36,230
Marrero has 31,454 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 23.3%.
Population: 2,597 Unemployment Rate: 8.8%
Median Home Price: $156,900
Median Income: $40,478
Ah, Boutte. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around New Orleans.
It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the New Orleans metro area (8.8%).
Population: 17,832Unemployment Rate: 8.9%
Median Home Price: $163,200
Median Income: $39,232
Gretna is a city about 12.1 miles from New Orleans, but New Orleans probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Gretna has the 3rd most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 8th highest unemployment rate (8.9%) in the entire New Orleans metro area.
Homes only cost $163,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for New Orleans standards.
Population: 9,673Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
Median Home Price: $109,200
Median Income: $40,027
If you absolutely have to live near New Orleans, then Waggaman might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst New Orleans suburb.
About 6.4% of residents are out of work.
Population: 22,345Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Median Home Price: $134,800
Median Income: $42,581
Rounding out the ten worst New Orleans suburbs to call home is Chalmette.
Located 7.8 miles outside the city, Chalmettes is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 4th highest unemployment rate (10.6%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around New Orleans where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding New Orleans with Avondale casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around New Orleans aren’t all bad. Eden Isle takes the cake as the best place to live around New Orleans.
For more Louisiana reading , check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Louisiana
- 10 Snobbiest Places In Louisiana
- 10 Safest Places In Louisiana
Detailed List Of The Worst New Orleans Suburbs