The 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana For 2020

We used scientific data to determine which places in the Bayou State are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst places to live in Louisiana.

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People who live in Louisiana are darn proud of it. There's a certain grit that comes with living in the Bayou State. A little bit of toughness and ruggedness mixed in with a lot of culture. More culture than most Americans have seen, actually.

But, just like every other state in the U.S., Louisiana comes with some baggage. There are some pretty rough spots there, and the purpose of this post is to identify exactly which places stand out as being the least desirable, at least according to science.

After analyzing all 60 cities with a population of 5,000 or more, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Louisiana:

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.

We understand there's a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Louisiana? That would be Bastrop.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana For 2020

Bastrop, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,521
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $76,000 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (34th worst)
More on Bastrop:  Data | Photos

Bastrop is out in the boonies in the northeastern part of the state. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely. An astounding 1 in 5 homes is vacant here.

Additionally, crime is 2nd worst in the state, which is very high considering Bastrop is so far removed from the rest of Louisiana.

Bogalusa, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,793
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $72,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (4th worst)
More on Bogalusa:  Data | Photos

Bogalusa has some issues for sure. Crime levels are very bad, in comparison to the rest of Louisiana, and residents earn one of the lowest annual salaries in the state. The unemployment rate is on par with the national average, but a lot higher than in other cities in Louisiana.

Bogalusa, in Washington Parish near the Mississippi state line, has seen its population shrink almost 9% in the last 15 years.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,013
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $47,200 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (13th worst)
More on Richwood:  Data

When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Louisiana, Richwood came in 3rd. Let's see why.

Located in Ouachita Parish with a population of 5,013, Richwood has the 13th highest unemployment rate in Louisiana. Crime is high for the state as well, coming in as the 8th most dangerous.

Additionally, 39.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Hammond, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,444
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $150,500 (36th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (15th worst)
More on Hammond:  Data | Photos

Crime is just bad in this part of the state. Hammond, in Tangipahoa Parish, has the highest number of crimes per capita in the entire state.

When you factor in low salaries and an underfunded education system, there are certainly some issues to address here.

Hammond is by far the largest city at the top of this worst ranking in Louisiana.

Crowley, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,960
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $99,000 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (7th worst)
More on Crowley:  Data | Photos

Crowley, LA needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.

Additionally, crime is 6th worst in the state, which is very high considering Crowley is so far removed from the rest of Louisiana.

If you know anyone in Crowley, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

Ville Platte, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,196
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $75,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.2% (2nd worst)
More on Ville Platte:  Data | Photos

Ville Platte, the parish seat of Evangeline Parish, is out in the middle of nowhere north of Lafayette. Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year than any other residents in the state $20,534, and crime is sky high.

Additionally, the poverty level is 39.4% in Ville Platte.

Natchitoches, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,080
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $156,000 (42nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.2% (3rd worst)
More on Natchitoches:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Natchitoches, which might be one of the poorest areas in Louisiana. Residents average $21,854 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 46.8% of Natchitoches residents live below the poverty level.

Homes here go for an average of $156,000 and the unemployment rate hovers near 17.2%.

Donaldsonville, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,090
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $110,800 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.3% (5th worst)
More on Donaldsonville:  Data | Photos

If you're looking to live in Louisiana, Donaldsonville might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2020.

The unemployment rate here is 14.3%, and households bring in a combined $22,716 a year in income. That's not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Louisiana.

Crime is the 12th highest in the state in Donaldsonville as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.

Opelousas, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,399
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $94,100 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (39th worst)
More on Opelousas:  Data | Photos

Here in Opelousas, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Louisiana. That's not a good combination.

Located in St. Landry Parish, you have a 1 in 13.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Opelousas city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (6.9%). That's good for the 39th highest unemployment rate in Louisiana.

Jeanerette, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,410
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $84,700 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 25.8% (1st worst)
More on Jeanerette:  Data | Photos

Out of all the places to live in Louisiana, Jeanerette ranks as the 10th worst -- not something to brag about.

Jeanerette's unemployment rate stands at 25.8%. While the income levels out here are some of the lowest in the state. Residents earn a combined $28,713 a year in salaries. That's not enough to really get ahead in life.

Additionally, the homes are the 8th cheapest in the entire state at $84,700. Again, some people like the cheap cost of living, but housing is priced on demand, and the fact is, there's not a lot of demand to live way out in Jeanerette. Plus, what do you do for fun here anyway?

Crime is the 28th worst in the state. You have a 1 in 21.7 chance of being robbed here and a 1 in 123 chance of being attacked or raped. Yikes.

How we determined the worst places to live in Louisiana for 2020

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 don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census's most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 60 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 60 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".

Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Louisiana -- Bastrop. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Louisiana. You can download the data here.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Louisiana

If you're looking at areas in Louisiana with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Bastrop ranks as the worst city to live in Louisiana for 2020.

If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Louisiana:

  1. Youngsville (Pop. 12,753)
  2. Mandeville (Pop. 12,252)
  3. Harahan (Pop. 9,309)

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Louisiana?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Bastrop 10,521 7.3% $76,000
2 Bogalusa 11,793 15.1% $72,300
3 Richwood 5,013 11.1% $47,200
4 Hammond 20,444 10.5% $150,500
5 Crowley 12,960 12.1% $99,000
6 Ville Platte 7,196 20.2% $75,000
7 Natchitoches 18,080 17.2% $156,000
8 Donaldsonville 8,090 14.3% $110,800
9 Opelousas 16,399 6.9% $94,100
10 Jeanerette 5,410 25.8% $84,700

How Is The Area In ?

41 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana For 2020

  1. Silly, senseless report. Quality of life and happiness can’t be measured using such data. Why go for the worst anyway? We have enough negative thinking already. How about looking for some positive aspects?

    1. Good point!! I am not 100% sold on the information collected, the method used for collecting it and I am left confused because being a lifelong resident of Louisiana myself, my hometown is on this list & the town I know to be Marksville does not even match the population #s this study is showing…??¿¿?¿¿

  2. You must have NEVER been to Ponchatoula, La.
    I am a Real Estate Agent in Tangipahoa area.
    Clients ask for Ponchatoula for the Schools. Vacant houses NO. In fact it is hard to find a vacant house to rent let alone purchase. Ponchatoula has lots of antique Dealers with quaint shops. It is also the strawberry Capital of Louisiana with the Strawberry festival in May. We count ourselves blessed to live close to this jewel of a city.

  3. Born and lived my entire life in Rayne and won’t have it any other way. Our citizens love our town and get praise from visitors who stop by our office on a constant basis. Why don’t you come by our town and visit — get out from behind that computer with your so-called stats. You probably want to visit on a weekend since our unemployment rate is so low, we will probably be working during the week days. Also, could you have taken our main street instead of a parking lot — cheap shot. have a beautiful boulevard and traditional downtown area…take your pick.

  4. You have never been to Louisiana.. Franklin.. please give me a break.. I loved the living in Franklin and miss it terribly.. don’t know where you obtained you data info but it sure isn’t reliable

    1. I also used to live in Franklin and I loved it! I now live in Baton Rouge and the crime rate is much higher here then in Franklin

  5. I’m from Ponchatoula, La. and I have to say this sounds about right. I moved almost 3 years ago and haven’t looked back.

  6. I live in Hammond apartment and I love da Hammond toula natalbany tickfaw etc area I love how ponchatoula has a good strawberry festival and has a gator in middle of town no udda city I heard of besides toula has live animal in middle of town

  7. And where would Opelousas rank? Because anyone who’s been to Opelousas, KNOWS this town is absolute sh*t! High crime,high drug usage,and just plain old nasty,trashy ppl! =/

  8. Like most that have commented. I have lived here all my life and would live no where else. Not sure where you got your information from but you need to research it again! Oh and btw I make more money then you will ever make. Add that to your survey.

  9. This is absolutely the worst journalistic piece of garbage I have ever read. I wonder if the author even took the time to visit each of these places or if they ever took a statistics course in their life or understand demographics. I study demographics and sell commercial real estate for a living and I am sure that Walmart and all of the bustling retailers choosing to locate in these areas are little more educated than the folks writing this article. I’m sure they at least visit the area before making major decisions such as writing an article (to post on social media.) These are all beautiful towns, especially Ponchatoula! (which has the best education and highest rated public schools by the way) The “facts” in this article are ALL wrong. The “author” of this article is a loser.

    1. I sell commercial real estate as well and could not agree more. This article should never have been written and should be retracted. Why would this even be written?

  10. This is not even a complete list….if your gonna list the bestworst places in Louisiana to live you should include every city not just pick and choose the ones you want to include

  11. Dude, do your research! Lake Providence has been named more than once as the poorest place in America! AMERICA! And it isn’t on this list anywhere! But it is a great place to live with a beautiful community so I can see why it didn’t make you list.

  12. Marksville is much further than “half a mile down a country road” from Alexandria. I stopped reading at that obvious and easy to fact check error.

    1. Thanks for clearing up that major blunder Winston. The one that says Marksville is about “half a mile down a country ’round’*.”…..S of Alexandria. What is that?? A typo, a country”round” or did the author of this “study” mean to type “country road”? Well, either way….the author is sadly MISTAKEN, IN ERROR WHEN HE USES THIS MISINFORMATION TO DESCRIBE MARKSVILLE

  13. Some of us love living in the boonies. If you see someone coming they are coming to visit. As for crime we have a couple of BBBIIIGGGG dogs. Don’t won’t no part of town……

  14. As someone who respects logic and statistics, I can understand the mechanics involved in the selection. However, as a lifelong Louisiana resident, I absolutely take issue with Rayne, Pontchatoula, Hammond, and Franklin being on the list. They are all wonderful cities with great locals and special festivals. The only reason that the crime rate is higher in Pontchatoula and Hammond is because Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and much of the criminal element was relocated. It’s funny that a last year a list of the 10 happiest cities in the entire US was published and the 6 of them were in

  15. I was raised in Rayne and left 22 yrs ago and thinking about moving bk I went visit 3weeks ago and I was disappointed by how parts of the city looked too many abandoned houses and too many junked up yards, I think city officials should address that,However people are still the same ,smiling faces,hospitality, friendly,caring and helpful.. which is what I remember about Rayne and is much more then I can say about the city I have been in for the past 22yrs….Omw bk to Rayne

  16. Let’s not get bent out of shape people. The purpose of this article is to make us realize that laughter is the best medicine.

  17. My husband, Bryan KEITH Newton….is from Delhi…lived in Tallulah. (SP)…I love both places….We lived in Shreveport for 2 years…because of his Job….we met in Beaufort SC…and of course…that is where we came back to….I also think the article is wrong….there r jobs…if u really want to work.

  18. You claim you used scientific data. Can you list your sources? I see absolutely no sources listed here so I’m doubtful of this data.

  19. My dad, uncles, aunts, cousins lived in Rayne all their lives and love it. I never had any problems in Rayne. I don’t believe this article is accurate. Rayne, La is a lovely city with great festivals and entertainment. Great food and people live and work here. Thank you….

  20. I personally think that this study is a complete pile of crap i live in Franklin la i am a city councilman that has nothing to do with i am about to say ,we report our crimes mostly trivial crap but that how we get stats and funding ,our town is safe we do not have shootings ,robberies and those people who judge that need to know what they are talking about we have a very safe town everbody has their troubled ones and we are lucky enough that our police know who they are ,and that isall i got to say end of story we have people move here and feel safe i will stop now because i can not fix stupid just saying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. It doesnt matter where you live in Louisiana….if your a woman , because you WONT be able to earn a living anywhere! No careers for women, its a mans world down here! Find an oil well sugar daddy or move to another state!

  22. That’s definitely a lie, I graduated from Ponchatoula High School. I think received a pretty good education. I also learned how to fabricate(weld, build) anything at that school. Why isn’t New Orleans or Baton Rouge on here? Don’t you idiots have something better to do besides sit behind a computer and criticize places you never even visited?

    1. I went to school in Ponchatoula. It’s terrible, aside from DC Reeves for 3rd and 4th grade. I became homeschooled in 8th grade and was much better off.

  23. I think this guy is spot on. Not a single one of you claiming to be from one of these cities can spell. It really is a shame. Maybe some of you should get out of your small little towns and realize you do live in a dump.

    1. I can spell. I can also read and understand Nietzsche too. 😀
      I’m not overidealizing Hammond, but I hear and read so much disdain for my little college town, and I just don’t think it’s that bad. It’s not my favorite place in the world, but some of this is blown out of proportion… or maybe just based on personal taste.

  24. Born and raised in Marksville. But cannot place where THAT picture is in Marksville. So apparently, you meant another city possibly? Marksville is 30 MILES south of Alexandria on Hwy 1 that is paved like any other highway. Pretty sure you can use Google Maps for more accuracy. It has really boomed since the casino was added. Check your facts dude!

  25. Well i happen to be from marksville la n was born n raised here n i have also lived in bastrop la… im living bk in marksville la now n ppl can say what they want bout both place im 29 yrs old n i have no complaints other then they don’t know shit bout any of these towns unless they have actually live there themselves

  26. Born and raised in Louisiana and there really is only 2 bad things in Louisiana #1 Politics- are absolutely horrible #2 Mosquitoes- walk outside in the spring right before sun up or dwn and you will be breakfast and dinner. We love seafood sports fishing hunting partying and working. Culture like no other!. Every city\state has its ups and dwns but for the most part Its a wonderful state to start a family. O btw i’m from Plaqumines Parish raised in a small village called Grand Bayou have to take a boat to get to my house.

  27. I don’t think Hammond is that bad. The schools are bad unless you send your kids to private school, but I live in the main part of Hammond and have not noticed this high rate of crime I always read about online. Sure, I see lots of drug charges, a fair amount of robberies, but serious crimes like murder are uncommon. I like that it’s an hour away from both of Louisiana’s best cities without being too close, where I do worry more about the crime (especially in New Orleans). You’re not far from Louisiana’s other cultural amenities either. For me, it’s small without being too small, like places like Springfield, where you’re in the sticks and public schools get away with having teachers carry out Christian prayers.
    Hammond’s not ideal, but what place is?

  28. “I am born and raised and Baton Rouge, Louisiana PROUD!” As a Louisianian, who is well traveled and visited many other states during my college years. One attribute and quality that this great state has that stands out, beyond any other “resilience!” Most natives here, really love one another, oh we really love too cook, and essentially “there’s no place like home!” Since the aftermath of the flood in August, 2016 even being personally affected tremendously there was a coming together as communities, cities and our overall state in the rebuilding and recovery process. No media nor inaccurate research can defame or dishonor the validate facts, Louisiana is a great state and the loving people can never be duplicated! Thanks for showcasing our GREAT State!

  29. There are some places in Louisiana that I don’t care for, but all together, it is not a piece of trash. Here, I am treated with kindness and love, while I go to other places and the big rich city snotty people look down on us. But Louisiana is a great state, I’m treated like a normal person even though I might not have my own Gucci belt collection. My family treats me with love, my friends care for me, and strangers that I don’t know are nice to me on the street. So if you wanna talk trash about my home, you might as well go stick your hand in a burner. The people here are sweet, they offer you essentials, and they treat you as if you are a member of their family. So go ahead and talk trash, hell has a front row seat available.

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