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Got kids? Are you a young professional short on cash? Ready to retire on a budget?
Don't worry, Louisiana has you covered!
That's right, Louisiana has some of the most affordable places to live, no matter what stage you are in life. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to help you navigate the places in The Bayou State where your dollar will go the furthest.
Ask any Louisianian, and they will tell you, hands down, that their corner of the Deep South is the best. And while that might be true for most Louisiana places, there are some pretty expensive places in the Pelican State. So, we suggest that you take a look at our top ten list of the most affordable places, below, if you're planning to live in Louisiana on a budget.
How did we determine the most affordable places in Louisiana? We took a look at the US Census and the cost of living data for the state. We were especially interested in home and rental prices in places with more than 5,000 residents.
Want to know more? We suggest you crank some Louis Armstrong, grab a basket of fried gator bites in Lafayette, and keep reading.
The competition was fierce to say the least. Many of Louisiana's most affordable places boast great home prices and safe neighborhoods: any one of these places would be a great place to enjoy life while saving money. More importantly, if you choose one of Louisiana's most affordable places, you're going to free up cash for the fun "Louisiana" things to do and see. Like, buying tickets for a swamp tour in Slidell or spending a long weekend celebrating Mardis Gras in New Orleans.
So, where's the most affordable place to live in Louisiana for 2021? The cheapest place to live in Louisiana would be Oakdale.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see you're favorite there, head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Louisiana and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Louisiana For 2021
Oakdale ranks as the cheapest city in Louisiana thanks to its rock-bottom housing prices for both renters and buyers. The median rent in Oakdale is an absurdly low $444/month, which is less than half the average rent in Louisiana. On top of that, Oakdale has the cheapest homes for sale in the state, with a median home price of $69,400. Regardless of your living situation, paying the housing bills in Oakdale is more of a minor inconvenience than a bank-breaker.
You'll have no trouble believing that you're living in one of the cheapest states in America when you move to Franklin. Thanks to relatively high incomes and low home prices, Franklin has the best home price to income ratio in Louisiana. That leaves plenty of money leftover to go shopping in Franklin's historic district.
Franklin is located 45 miles southeast of Lafayette.
If you're looking for the most affordable place to live in Louisiana, look no further than Abbeville, a city just 20 miles south of Lafayette. Homes in Abbeville go for a median price of $95,400 and residents earn a median income of $38,900, giving Abbeville the fifth best home price to income ratio in Louisiana.
We already named Abbeville as one of the best places to raise a family in Louisiana thanks to its low crime, good schools, and access to kid-friendly amenities like Palmetto Island State Park. The fact that you can have all this for the lowest price in the state seems too good to be true.
Rank Last Year: -
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.3x (50th cheapest)
More On Jackson: Real Estate
Jackson, Louisiana, gets its name from General Andrew Jackson, who became a national hero by defending New Orleans in a famous battle in 1815. These days, the town is a quaint community of 5,041 residents. More than just a typical small town, though, Jackson stands as the number 4 top place in Louisiana for affordability.
Now, we're not going to lie about life in Jackson: the economy in the area is challenging. The median income sits at a skimpy $34,063 and the unemployment rate hangs at 10.52%.
Fortunately, these scarce funds can go far in Jackson. This is especially true when it comes to housing. The median home value ranks as the sixth lowest mark in the state, coming in at a figure of $84,500. The median rent hovers at $627 per month.
Though it's a small town on its own, Jackson provides access to one of Louisiana's most important urban areas. It's situated about 40 minutes north of the state capital of Baton Rouge. A two-hour drive will get you to New Orleans, the site of General Jackson's famous battle.
If you fancy being able to go on a swamp tour with gators, bears, and eagles anytime you like, Patterson is the place for you. We didn't name it one of
the best places to live in Louisiana without good reason reason after all. Patterson has the seventh best home price to income ratio in the state, thanks to a low median home price of $101,000 and a relatively high median income of $40,574.
A suburb of Lafayette, Scott is the sixth most affordable city in Louisiana. Scott's median income of $54,551 is quite high, which helps offset the slightly higher home prices and rent. Buying or renting, Scott is in or around the top ten statewide in terms of housing costs to income ratio. And with across the board 7/10+ in our Snackability categories for safety, education, jobs, and housing, you can be sure that moving to Scott is a good investment for your future.
Baker exists as a suburb of the state capital of Baton Rouge. A 15-minute drive will get you to the center of one of Louisiana's most important cities. And this proximity won't cost you that much... Baker provides one of the most affordable places to live in the state.
Baker's median home value hovers at $129,800. That's a modest level for Louisiana as a whole. But it provides amazing value for the area. The median income in the area sits at a healthy $53,082 and the unemployment rate comes in at 4.98. Putting the housing market in context with the local earning power, Baker sports the number 4.0 best ratio of home prices to income in the state.
Rents in the area are a little steeper. The median figure there hovers at $957 per month.
Welcome to Sugar City! Otherwise known as Jeanerette. The town of 5,385 residents gets its nickname from the sugar industry that dominated the economy during the 19th and 20th centuries. In today's world, Jeanerette holds another claim to fame. It ranks as one of the cheapest locations to put down roots in Louisiana.
The one-time booming area has hit some hard times. The median income stands at $34,643 and the unemployment rate runs a whopping 24.86%.
Still, Jeanerette has its positives as well. These largely stem from the affordable housing in the area. The median home price sits at $84,600, the seventh cheapest figure in Louisiana. Rents have a median value of $725.
Jeanerette lies in the southern part of Louisiana, about 40 minutes southeast of Lafayette. It provides excellent access to the region's unique natural wonders. For instance, an hour-and-40-minute drive will take you to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
Bogalusa gets its name from the local Choctaw language. It means "smoky water." It's an apt description, given that the area has a long industrial history. This has included at various times thriving lumber and paper mill operations.
The economy has slowed in recent decades, as some of those once booming companies shut down. That deindustrialization has taken its toll on Bogalusa. The median income now runs a paltry $31,976 and the unemployment rate sits at 13.23%.
Dollars may be scarce in town. But at least you get a lot for the money you have. The area sports the eighth lowest median home value in Louisiana, with a figure of $87,800. Rents come in at a median level of $599 per month.
Bogalusa is located in the far eastern part of the state, near the Mississippi River. Take a couple minute drive to the east and you'll enter the state of Mississippi. If you're interested in history, check out the Robert "Bob" Hicks House, situated in Bogalusa. It was the site of important local civil rights meetings in the 1960s.
With a population of 20,113, Sulphur is the biggest city to make this list, proving that you don't need to be teeny to be affordable. At first glance at the housing prices, you may think we made a mistake putting Sulphur so high up on this list. But when you remember that Sulphur is also among richest places in Louisiana and things start to make sense. With a median income of $53,287, Sulphur is safely in the top ten statewide for both housing to income ratio, regardless of if you're buying or renting. It's also home to top-notch hiking trails like the Creole Nature Trail.
Sulphur is located in the southwestern part of Louisiana, near Lake Charles.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Pelican State For 2021
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Louisiana to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 62 places in Louisiana that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Louisiana according to the data is Oakdale. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Louisiana Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Louisiana, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana for 2021.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Louisiana according to the data:
- New Orleans
For more Louisiana reading, check out:
- Most Dangerous Places In Louisiana
- Best Places To Live In Louisiana
- Worst Places To Live In Louisiana
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Louisiana