These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana For 2018

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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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. Harahan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Mandeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Broussard (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Zachary (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Lafayette (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Youngsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Scott (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Sulphur (Homes For Sale)
  9. Covington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Kenner (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Harahan if you’re thinking of moving to Louisiana — it’s the best the Pelican State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Louisiana.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Louisiana

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Baton Rouge with a population of 228,694 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 61 cities, 163 towns, and 161 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Louisiana

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Louisiana across a number of criteria from one to 61, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Louisiana”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Louisiana.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Harahan at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Harahan, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,321
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $221,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (1st best)
More on Harahan: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Harahan has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Louisiana.

The unemployment rate is the 1st lowest in the state at 2.1%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $59,397, and the average cost of a home is $221,700. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Harahan one of America’s gems.

Mandeville, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,244
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $259,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (12th best)
More on Mandeville: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Mandeville is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 2nd best place in Louisiana?

Homes are priced around $259,600 and residents have the 56th shortest commute in Louisiana.

Broussard, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,221
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $193,100 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (6th best)
More on Broussard: Real Estate| Data| Photos

If you don’t have a job in Broussard, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 4.2%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $71,250.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Zachary, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,154
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $206,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (2nd best)
More on Zachary: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The Town of Zachary consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Zachary ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Zachary are the 5th most expensive in the state of Louisiana, with the average home worth a whopping $206,300. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Zachary if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Zachary residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 19th lowest crime numbers in Louisiana.

Lafayette, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 125,808
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $177,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (11th best)
More on Lafayette: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The Town of Lafayette might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Lafayette isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $177,100 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Louisiana.

If Lafayette can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.2% is the 11th highest in the state.

Youngsville, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,878
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $222,300 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (4th best)
More on Youngsville: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Scott, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,687
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $151,200 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (7th best)
More on Scott: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Scott offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town’s charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 7th lowest in Louisiana and incomes are the 16th highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out the parks as they are a good time for people of all ages.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,198
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $121,900 (36th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (20th best)
More on Sulphur: Real Estate| Data

Sulphur had the 20th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (6.6%) and the 29th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Sulphur is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.

Covington, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,725
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $208,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (9th best)
More on Covington: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Covington is feeling the love as it ranks as the 9th best city to live in Louisiana for 2016.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (8th overall) and low crime (17th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Louisiana”.

Kenner, LA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 66,954
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $169,700 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (24th best)
More on Kenner: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Kenner 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 6.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Kenner residents are glad to live where they do.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Louisiana

If you’re looking at areas in Louisiana with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Harahan made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Louisiana

  1. Bayou Country Club (Pop. 1,429)
  2. Westminster (Pop. 3,103)
  3. Elmwood (Pop. 4,658)
  4. Presquille (Pop. 1,659)
  5. Blanchard (Pop. 2,973)
  6. Brusly (Pop. 2,675)
  7. Milton (Pop. 3,027)
  8. Lakeshore (Pop. 1,755)
  9. Addis (Pop. 4,420)
  10. Eastwood (Pop. 4,649)

Best Small Towns To Live In Louisiana

  1. Oak Ridge (Pop. 137)
  2. Hester (Pop. 373)
  3. Watson (Pop. 925)
  4. Quitman (Pop. 156)
  5. Madisonville (Pop. 769)
  6. Prospect (Pop. 651)
  7. Gilliam (Pop. 102)
  8. Belmont (Pop. 373)
  9. Port Vincent (Pop. 919)
  10. Parks (Pop. 836)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Louisiana according to the data:

  1. Opelousas (Pop. 16,605)
  2. Bogalusa (Pop. 11,964)
  3. Bastrop (Pop. 10,851)

For more Louisiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Louisiana

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Harahan 9,321 2.1% $221,700
2 Mandeville 12,244 6.0% $259,600
3 Broussard 10,221 4.2% $193,100
4 Zachary 16,154 3.2% $206,300
5 Lafayette 125,808 5.2% $177,100
6 Youngsville 10,878 3.9% $222,300
7 Scott 8,687 4.3% $151,200
8 Sulphur 20,198 6.6% $121,900
9 Covington 9,725 4.7% $208,000
10 Kenner 66,954 6.9% $169,700
11 Plaquemine 6,920 6.1% $124,100
12 Houma 34,052 6.1% $154,800
13 Central 28,017 3.7% $191,000
14 Patterson 6,085 8.0% $107,400
15 Gretna 17,832 8.9% $163,200
16 Baton Rouge 228,694 8.8% $158,400
17 Slidell 27,697 10.0% $153,600
18 Carencro 8,420 7.6% $147,900
19 Walker 6,256 12.0% $155,700
20 Port Allen 5,123 8.0% $124,000
21 Gonzales 10,492 6.7% $155,100
22 Pineville 14,477 6.5% $131,100
23 New Orleans 382,922 9.8% $197,000
24 Thibodaux 14,565 9.0% $141,300
25 Westwego 8,545 14.0% $128,400
26 Lake Charles 75,044 8.3% $135,000
27 Shreveport 198,571 7.4% $133,600
28 Minden 12,790 9.8% $85,500
29 Denham Springs 10,278 6.9% $137,800
30 Baker 13,754 6.8% $120,800
31 Ruston 22,245 11.3% $163,600
32 Oakdale 7,693 7.7% $62,400
33 Ponchatoula 6,944 4.6% $141,800
34 Jennings 10,180 8.5% $98,800
35 New Iberia 30,717 11.6% $105,000
36 Deridder 10,918 8.2% $130,900
37 St. Martinville 6,096 3.9% $79,700
38 West Monroe 13,031 6.4% $115,300
39 Alexandria 48,044 11.3% $134,700
40 Breaux Bridge 8,331 10.9% $164,300
41 Springhill 5,149 6.5% $73,900
42 Leesville 6,551 10.3% $92,600
43 St. Gabriel 6,984 6.5% $130,800
44 Donaldsonville 7,916 9.9% $104,100
45 Rayne 8,051 11.6% $83,200
46 Crowley 13,155 14.1% $88,100
47 Eunice 10,199 6.3% $94,000
48 Marksville 5,560 7.9% $107,000
49 Tallulah 7,144 13.6% $57,600
50 Franklin 7,339 15.9% $75,900
51 Monroe 49,361 12.8% $134,100
52 Grambling 5,107 18.3% $88,200
53 Natchitoches 18,402 14.4% $140,900
54 Richwood 5,626 4.8% $47,500
55 Abbeville 12,408 15.7% $80,000
56 Ville Platte 7,338 21.6% $84,900
57 Hammond 20,389 14.8% $147,600
58 Jeanerette 5,526 24.3% $54,000
59 Opelousas 16,605 8.7% $92,700
60 Bogalusa 11,964 20.0% $67,000
61 Bastrop 10,851 11.6% $64,000

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