These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana

We used science to determine the cream of the crop in the Bayou State

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As we’ve stated before in a previous article, the state of Louisiana is certainly a gem. It’s got more culture in its pinky than America has in its hand. The residents are very likeable, and there’s a lot of history and beauty throughout.

Our goal in this post is to use science to determine which of Louisiana’s cities are the best. It isn’t a knock on other places there, but, when it’s all said and done, statistically, this gives the cities at the top a lot of bragging rights.

After analyzing the largest 109 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 best places in Louisiana:

  1. Youngsville
  2. Shenandoah
  3. Prairieville
  4. Metairie
  5. Estelle
  6. Prien
  7. Oak Hills Place
  8. Central
  9. Destrehan
  10. Bayou Blue

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

How do you decide if a place is awesome or not?

In order to rank the best places to live in Louisiana, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, great weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

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How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The higher the better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Low Housing Vacancy Rate
  • Education (High expenditures per student and low Student Teacher Ratio)
  • Short Commute Times
  • Low Crime
  • The Best Weather

Additionally, we only looked at cities with populations of 5,000 or more. It’s not a slight against tiny towns, but it wouldn’t be fair to rank a town with 61 people in the same category as Baton Rouge.

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities, from worst to best, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the abridged chart.

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1. Youngsville

Source: City of Youngsville on Facebook

Population: 8,172
Median income: $104,637
Unemployment rate: 3.2%
Weather: 5th best
Crime: 8th lowest

This isn’t a knock on the rest of Louisiana, but tiny Youngsville is a little slice of heaven down there in the Bayou State. Youngsville, a small town just south of Lafayette, blew away the rest of the state across the board.

The weather, measured in terms of rain, sunny days and humidity, is statistically almost the best here, and the residents here earn far more than residents in other areas of the state. And when you have really low crime, life is good.

2. Shenandoah

Source: Google Maps

Population: 18,774
Crime: 14th lowest in Louisiana
Household income: $94,893
Unemployment rate: 4%

A small city just south of Baton Rouge, Shenandoah residents are just behind Youngsville in terms of their annual salary levels. Additionally, the weather here is also equally great, and the household vacancy rate is an astoundingly low 1.7%.

That means people want to live here. Badly. You can see why.

3. Prairieville

Source: Google Maps

Population: 41,244
Household income: $87,513
Crime: 2nd lowest in Louisiana
Unemployment rate: 3.8%

We’re starting to see a pattern here. Prairieville is located right next door to Shenandoah, meaning, statistically, Baton Rouge suburbs are awesome. At least according to science.

Crime is basically as low as you can expect in Louisiana and residents are gainfully employed. Prairieville’s population is booming, and the cost of living here is lower than the national average.

4. Metairie

Source: Flickr user Omunene

Population: 138,369
Crime: Lower 50%
Population density: 4th highest
Unemployment rate: 4%

By far the largest city at the top of our rankings, Metairie, a part of the New Orleans metro area, is a solid place to live due to the relatively low crime for a city its size and the fact that residents are employed at a high rate.

Plus, obviously, there’s a boat load of things to do, since you have party town right next door.

5. Estelle

Source: Google Maps

Population: 17,074
House vacancy rate: 5%
Unemployment rate: 4%
Crime: 4th lowest in Louisiana

Giving Lafayette a run for its money, Estelle, a New Orleans suburb, has a really low crime rate and only 5% of the houses are vacant. Additionally, residents here have jobs. And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Estelle and make the commute into the Big Easy.

6. Prien

Source: Google Maps

Population: 7,604
Crime: 10th lowest in Louisiana
Commute time: 13th lowest in the state
Household income: $61,311

Tiny Prien, a Lake Charles suburb, may not be tiny too much longer. It’s no wonder why the population has grown almost 30% since the year 2000. There’s little crime, and residents have a nice yearly income. Additionally, it’s a short trip to the office, meaning more time with the family. And more LSU tailgating time, too.

7. Oak Hills Place

Source: Google Maps

Population: 7,957
Unemployment rate: 4%
Median income: $84,872
Weather: 5th best in Louisiana

Oak Hills Place is a teeny little place in the East Baton Rouge Parish. Not only is the weather better than most other places, residents can enjoy their evenings knowing they have solid jobs.

The cost of living here, however, is higher than a lot of other cities in the state.

8. Central

Source: Google Maps

Population: 27,035
Crime: 5th lowest in Louisiana
Comfort Index: 4th best weather
Household income: $66,621

Another East Baton Rouge suburb, Central makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Louisiana mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4% of folks are jobless, you can bet Central residents are glad to live where they do.

9. Destrehan

Samford University. Source: Google Maps

Population: 11,418
Education spending: Highest in the state of Louisiana
Household income: $77,484
Crime: 18th lowest

Just outside of New Orleans, little Destrehan has it made. There’s a lot to do nearby, residents earn a large salary, and their kids go to schools that spend more per student than any other city in the state.

10. Bayou Blue

Source: Google Maps

Population: 12,264
Unemployment rate: Lowest in the state
House vacancy rate: 5%

Bayou Blue is part of the Thibodeaux metro area outside of Lake Charles. Only 2.9% of residents here are unemployed, which is off-the-charts low. No wonder why the household vacancy rate is only 5%.

There You Have It

It looks like there’s a virtual tie between the Baton Rouge and New Orleans suburbs here, but between both areas, overall, they are great places to live in Louisiana. If you’re analyzing places in Louisiana with the best economic situations, where there’s low crime and there’s a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a complete chart to the data (chart coming). Here’s how larger cities in Louisiana ranked:

29. Lafayette
52. Baton Rouge
62. Shreveport
73. New Orleans

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Louisiana, according to science. A complete story that we did is here: HomeSnacks Worst Places in Louisiana

  1. Ponchatoula (Pop. 6,577)
  2. Ville Platte (Pop. 7,464)
  3. Rayne (Pop. 7,972)
  4. Bogalusa (Pop. 12,254)
  5. Marksville (Pop. 5,679)

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