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New Orleans's neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You've got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there's a neighborhood for everyone in New Orleans.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in New Orleans. Some neighborhoods aren't as great as others.
So the question arises, which New Orleans neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we'll use science and data to determine which New Orleans hoods need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the New Orleans area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Audubon ranks way above the rest.
We examined 69 of New Orleans's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to New Orleans's reputation.
So what's the worst neighborhood to live in New Orleans for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Desire looks to be the worst neighborhood in New Orleans.
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.
Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of New Orleans.
For more Louisiana reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Louisiana
- Cheapest Places To Live In Louisiana
- Most Dangerous Places In Louisiana
The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In New Orleans For 2022
Should you desire to live in Desire? Well, it made this list, so you probably already have your answer. It's certainly an affordable part of town, with a median home price of just $26,725. As you can guess from that figure, though, life in Desire isn't exactly flush. Housing in the area is run down and there isn't much demand for local real estate.
The underlying problem comes from a disastrous economy. More than 1 out of every 7 residents is out of work. Even those with jobs scrape by with a median income of just $16,345.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $26,725 (worst)
Median Income: $16,345 (2nd worst)
More on Desire: Data
If you just heard the name, you'd probably be pretty excited to visit the Venetian Isles. Sounds like a getaway in a scenic part of Italy. And New Orleans' Venetian Isles does offer a mild taste of Venice. A bayou version, anyway.
These charms aside, though, the area presents its share of challenges. Most of these fall under the financial category. After all, it's tough to make your boat payments when unemployment rates run 10.2% and the median income stands at just $14,722.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $93,750 (7th worst)
Median Income: $14,722 (worst)
More on Viavant-Venetian Isles: Data
Given its name, you'd think Tulane-Gravier would have at least one major selling point: Tulane University. Nope. That well-regarded educational center lies about 10 minutes to the southwest. Still, the neighborhood does have its share of civic institutions. Specifically, the local landscape is dominated by the University Medical Center New Orleans.
All those doctors must live somewhere else. Otherwise, how can you explain Tulane-Gravier's $19,298 median income? The unemployment rate isn't much better, coming in at 6.9%. Home values are relatively low in the area, equaling a median level of $70,620. Still, given the low wages, this still prices many locals out of the market.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $70,620 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $19,298 (5th worst)
More on Tulane-Gravier: Data
Someday, a real estate agent might try to sell you property in Pines Village. Based on the name, they might promise a quaint community nestled into a tranquil forested setting. If they do, don't fall for it. In actuality, there's little green space to be found in the Pines Village. Even the "village" part is kind of a hype. Just regular neighborhoods populated with similar one-story houses.
What that crooked real estate agent probably already knows is that Pines Village faces serious economic woes. Even the median home price of $119,375 lies beyond the means of many locals. That's thanks to the 7.2% unemployment rate and the $20,048 median income.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $119,375 (15th worst)
Median Income: $20,048 (7th worst)
More on Pines Village: Data
Not that Florida. This Florida isn't even by the water. Besides the false advertising there, this neighborhood features run-down homes and mediocre public schools. No wonder it lands on this list as the number 5 worst place to live in New Orleans for 2022.
In terms of amenities, things are fine. There are plenty of churches and the area has its share of restaurants. You've even got Odile Davis Park for a touch of green.
As you've probably guessed, though, the underlying problem here is economic. Like most of the neighborhoods on this list, Florida attracts little besides low-paying jobs. The median income hovers at just $17,125.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $85,386 (4th worst)
Median Income: $17,125 (4th worst)
More on Florida: Data
A small section on the south side of the Mississippi River, the Fischer Development Neighborhood sits within a curve of Highway 90. The unusually bureaucratic name comes from the fact this area was once home to a series of infamous low-income projects, known for raging crime and several high-profile murders.
A redevelopment program has since led to the demolition of many of these projects, but the overall economic problems still plague the neighborhood. Just look at the unemployment rate of 9.1%.
And housing in the area isn't even that affordable any more. Sure, the median home price comes in at just $95,667. That would be a steal in many cities in America. But when locals pull in a median income of just $21,098, that becomes a steep mortgage.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $95,667 (8th worst)
Median Income: $21,098 (9th worst)
More on Fischer Dev: Data
Despite its name, West Lake Forest sits on the east side of the city. It's pretty far from the action. In fact, it lies about as far from downtown as it does from the swamps of the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.
A short drive from Lake Pontchartrain, the neighborhood is bounded to the north by I-10 and on the south by Dwyer Rd. That access to travel is an important component...you may want an escape route, at least if you're looking for a good-paying job.
Finding jobs of any kind in the area poses a challenge. This dynamic leads to an unemployment rate of 9.2%. Meanwhile, wages are exceptionally low. The median income stands at $26,270.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $114,375 (13th worst)
Median Income: $26,270 (19th worst)
More on West Lake Forest: Data
Bordered on one side by I-10 and bisected by Highway 61, Dixon is a relatively easy trip from the tourist-trap parts of New Orleans. A 15-minute drive gets you to the French Quarter and a 10-minute ride will land you at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Still, don't go looking in Dixon for an Airbnb the next time you head to the Big Easy. The neighborhood is haunted by poverty. It suffers a median income of only $16,628 and an unemployment rate of 9.6%.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $66,100 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $16,628 (3rd worst)
More on Dixon: Data
The Lower 9th Ward became nationally famous in 2005 as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Located just off the Mississippi River, in the far eastern part of the city, the neighborhood suffered significant flooding as a result of the storm. All this time later, the area is still struggling.
To be historically accurate, it faced significant problems even before Katrina hit. These underlying economic problems continue to afflict the residents. This includes a $25,937 median income and a 7.3% unemployment rate. Still, the community holds together, dotted by churches and sustained by a main drag along Claiborne Ave.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $104,867 (10th worst)
Median Income: $25,937 (17th worst)
More on Lower 9th Ward: Data
Gert Town gets its name from a general store that dominated the area in the old days. It still has a strong commercial stamp, though the character of the neighborhood has been changing. Just as an example, the old Blue Plate Mayonnaise Factory now serves as an apartment complex.
Living in a former condiment manufacturing facility provides a pretty good metaphor for life in the area in general. Top-paying jobs are difficult to land. After all, the factories are all closed down, leaving locals have to find what accommodations they can. Just look at the 6.1% unemployment rate or the $19,409 median income.
Still, there are rays of light in Gert Town. For instance, the neighborhood provides a home to Xavier University of Louisiana.
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $89,960 (5th worst)
Median Income: $19,409 (6th worst)
More on Gert Town: Data
Methodology: How we determined the worst New Orleans neighborhoods in 2022
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 places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in New Orleans:
- High unemployment (Less jobs)
- Low median income (Less pay)
- Low population density (No things to do)
- Low home values (No one's willing to pay to live here)
- High crime (Estimated)
Then, we ranked each neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana for each of these criteria from worst to best.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a "Worst Score".
The neighborhood with the lowest "Worst Score" ranks as the worst neighborhood of New Orleans.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around New Orleans to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 69 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.
Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around New Orleans
Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in New Orleans with Desire landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in New Orleans aren't all bad. Audubon takes the cake as the best place to live in New Orleans.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
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