When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Louisiana.
But where exactly in Louisiana? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Louisiana that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Minden don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Pelican State to retire for 2018:
- Minden (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jennings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Crowley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Thibodaux (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Alexandria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Houma (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kenner (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eunice (Homes For Sale)
- Mandeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gretna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Pelican State
To create our list of the best places in Louisiana to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Pelican State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 31 places from across the state.
For these 31, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 31, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Minden, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 12,790Median Rent: $701
Distance to Closest Airport: 98 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,165
More on Minden: Homes For Sale | Data
Among the original settlers in the Minden area was Newitt Drew, a Welshman originally from Virginia, who built a gristmill and sawmill on Dorcheat Bayou in south Webster Parish in what became the since defunct Overton community. Minden itself was established in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectady, New York, who named it for the city of Minden in Germany. Veeder left Minden during the California Gold Rush and spent the rest of his life practicing law in Bakersfield, California.
Population: 10,180Median Rent: $541
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,438
More on Jennings: Homes For Sale | Data
Jennings McComb, for whom the town was named, was an Irish contractor of the Southern Pacific Railroad. He built the Jennings depot on a divide peculiar to southwest Louisiana. This became the center of new development based on the railroad. The first settler was recorded as A. D. McFarlain, who came in 1881 from St. Mary Parish and opened a store. McFarlain also became the first rice grower, postmaster, brick maker, and builder in the community. Prospering with Jennings? growth, McFarlain was considered one of the town?s prominent businessmen and civic leaders.
Population: 13,155Median Rent: $573
Distance to Closest Airport: 77 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,089
More on Crowley: Homes For Sale | Data
Crowley was founded in 1886 by C.C. Duson and W.W. Duson. Incorporated in 1887, W.W. Duson, General Manager of Southwest Louisiana Land Company, plotted and developed Crowley. W.W. Duson’s daughter, Maime Duson, married Percy Lee Lawrence, who founded the First National Bank of Crowley. The 7-story building was once the tallest building between Houston and New Orleans. They lived with their three children, P.L. Jr., Pattee, and Jack at 219 East 2nd Street. The house is now on the historic register.
Population: 14,565Median Rent: $710
Distance to Closest Airport: 36 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,689
More on Thibodaux: Homes For Sale | Data
The first European colonists were French, who settled here in the 18th century when the area was claimed as part of La Louisiane. They imported African slaves as workers and developed sugar cane plantations.
Population: 48,044Median Rent: $775
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 10,353
More on Alexandria: Homes For Sale | Data
Located along the Red River, the city of Alexandria was originally home to a community which supported activities of the adjacent French trader outpost of Post du Rapides. The area developed as an assemblage of traders, Caddo people, and merchants in the agricultural lands bordering the mostly unsettled areas to the north and providing a link from the south to the El Camino Real and then larger settlement of Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.
Population: 34,052Median Rent: $785
Distance to Closest Airport: 39 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,634
More on Houma: Homes For Sale | Data
Houma was founded by European Americans in 1834 at a former settlement of the Houma people, who historically occupied this area. The city was named after them. The city was incorporated in 1848. The United Houma Nation and two other Houma tribes have been recognized by the state. Houma is also rated as a medium size city.
Population: 66,954Median Rent: $940
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,627
More on Kenner: Homes For Sale | Data
Originally inhabited by the Tchoupitoulas Indians, the area along the Mississippi River was the first land in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area on which Europeans set foot. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle landed there in 1682. In 1855, Kenner was founded by Minor Kenner on land that consisted of three plantation properties that had been purchased by the Kenner family. At the time, all land north of what is now Airline Highway was swampland.
Population: 10,199Median Rent: $609
Distance to Closest Airport: 58 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,049
More on Eunice: Homes For Sale | Data
One-time lawman and pioneer land developer C.C. Duson is credited with founding Eunice, which was named for his second wife, Eunice Pharr Duson. He and his brother, W.W. Duson, had already founded Crowley, Louisiana in 1887, and now he looked to the north of the parish for future development. Duson bought 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land from Willie Humble of Prairie Faquetaïque and mapped out a town site, laid out in lots 50-by-140 feet, 12 lots to the block. Next, he persuaded the Southern Pacific Railroad to extend a branch line from Crowley to his new town. Then he began what he and his brother had learned how to do as well as anyone: promote land sales. It was chartered as a village on September 12, 1894, and incorporated as a town on June 4, 1895.
Population: 12,244Median Rent: $1,064
Distance to Closest Airport: 28 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,417
More on Mandeville: Homes For Sale | Data
The area had long been agricultural land when the town of Mandeville was laid out in 1834 by developer Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, more often known as Bernard de Marigny. In 1840 Mandeville was incorporated as a town. It became a popular summer destination for well-to-do New Orleanians wishing to escape the city’s heat.
Population: 17,832Median Rent: $842
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,043
More on Gretna: Homes For Sale | Data
Gretna was settled in 1836, originally as Mechanicsham, growing with a station on the Mississippi River for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, Texas and Pacific Railway, and Southern Pacific Railroad, with a ferry across the River to New Orleans. The famous spice-maker Zatarain’s was founded here in 1889. Gretna was incorporated in 1913, absorbing the section of McDonogh within the Jefferson Parish boundaries. In the 1940 census, Gretna had a population of 10,879.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Louisiana goes to Minden.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- West Monroe
For more Louisiana reading , check out:
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Louisiana
- 10 Most Dangerous Places In Louisiana
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Louisiana
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Louisiana