Our goal in this post is to use science to determine Louisiana’s best places to live. It isn’t a knock on other cities in Louisiana, but statistically, when it’s all said and done, our ranking shows which cities in the Bayou State have bragging rights for 2023.
It’s got more culture in its pinky than America has in its hand. The residents are very likable, and the state has a lot of history and beauty, making it the envy of the South.
But to determine the best places to live in Louisiana, we looked at data from the FBI on crime, the Census for things like home prices and education, and school quality and cost of living numbers.
We came up with this list of the ten best places in Louisiana after analyzing the state’s 58 largest cities. So, grab some crawfish and a beignet from Cafe Du Monde, and learn about Louisiana’s best places.
What’s the best place to live in Louisiana? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Harahan ranks as the best place to live in Louisiana for 2023 — quite the catch if you can afford to live here.
If you’re analyzing places in Louisiana with the best economic situations, low crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
For more reading, check out:
The 10 Best Places To Live In Louisiana For 2023
|Rank Last Year||1||–|
|Median Home Value||$284,900||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0101||0.0353|
King Louis XIV would be super proud of Louisiana’s #1 best place to live in the state, Harahan, because this city is pretty great.
While Harahan is the middle point between Baton Rouge and Gulfport, Mississippi, there’s nothing middle of the road about this small town of 9,043 residents 25 minutes directly west of New Orleans
in Jefferson Parish. The crime rate in Harahan is below the state average–it is one of the top safest places in the Bayou State.
Harahan’s cost of living numbers aren’t too shabby, either. The median home price here is the 2nd highest in the state at $284,900, but people here make good money–$75,099/year and the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the state at 2.8%.
|Rank Last Year||3||–|
|Median Home Value||$233,700||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0071||0.0353|
Located along the shore of the Mississippi River, Addis, Louisiana, might seem like a rustic Southern town. Actually, it provides a charming mixture of old and new, offering residents excellent access to the region’s most important population centers. A scenic spot with a great location, Addis ranks as the number 2 best place to live in the state.
The state capital of Baton Rouge is just 15 minutes to the north, while an hour-and-half drive down I-10 will get you to New Orleans. This makes Addis an excellent home town for commuters. More than that, the community also represents an outstanding place to raise a family, with good schools and friendly neighborhoods.
Given these advantages, it’s no wonder 31.89% of households in town have kids. The economy in Addis is strong as well. The median income in the area comes in at $101,450, while the median home value hovers at $233,700. The unemployment rate sits at 1.8%.
Originally founded as a key railroad intersection (initially going by the name Baton Rouge Junction), Addis offers some old-town charm. Check out the town museum, located inside a historic former bank and post office.
|Rank Last Year||2||–|
|Median Home Value||$367,100||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0153||0.0353|
What started as a vacation destination in the early 19th Century for Louisiana’s middle and upper class to escape the heat of the bayou, is now the 3rd best place to live in the state.
So, if you guessed that the cost of living here is slightly higher than the rest of the state, you guessed right. The median home price in Mandeville is the highest in the state at $367,100 and everyday living expenses like transportation and utilities are also slightly higher. Mandeville is after all one of the richest in the state so we were not surprised to find that the 13,194 residents who live here earn a median income of $84,886/year. But, since most of these are second homes, we were surprised to find that the job market in Mandeville was holding strong and that the unemployment rate here is the 14th lowest in the state at 3.6%. (Someone has to cater to Louisiana’s wealthy, right?)
The crime rate in Mandeville was definitely lower than the rest of the state (there were only 201 crimes recorded last year)–wealthy people don’t tend to scrimp on security and they don’t scrimp on entertainment, either. In fact, Mandeville scored an 8.5/10 for amenities on our SnackAbility scale; and the word on the street, you won’t be considered a Mandeville local until you’ve spent a weekend exploring Fontainebleau State Park.
|Rank Last Year||4||–|
|Median Home Value||$249,700||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0178||0.0353|
Hop on the causeway and head west from Mandeville and you will run right smack dab into Louisiana’s 4th best place to live, Youngsville.
This is why Youngsville is Louisiana’s best of the best: this city of 15,990 residents in Lafayette Parish are pretty smart. The number of people with a high school diploma is close to 25% and the number of people with a degree is upwards of 45%–that’s over half the population, folks. In fact, Youngsville earned one of the highest scores on our SnackAbility Scale–a 9/10 for best city indicators like jobs, safety, and education.
Youngsville’s job market is also strong: the current unemployment rate here is the 4th in the state at 2.4% and the city’s average combined household income is $111,619/year. And you’re going to need a job if you choose to buy a home here instead of rent as the median home price in Youngsville is the 7th highest in the state at $249,700.
The cost of living here is slightly higher than the rest of the state, but can you really put a dollar amount on happiness? We don’t think so. In fact, we’re pretty sure that if you asked any Youngsville-ite, they will tell you that Youngsville is one of the happiest places to live, work, and raise a family in the state. Yes, life truly is sweeter in “young village.”
|Rank Last Year||8||–|
|Median Home Value||$248,300||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0241||0.0353|
There are two types of people who live in the 5th best place to live in Louisiana, Zachary: either the veteran holdouts who have lived here forever and are watching their home values skyrocket as the median home price here is the 8th highest or those who make well over the city’s median income of $88,811 and can afford to buy a home at $248,300. Zachary is after all one of the richest places in the states.
Either way, if you choose to buy your forever home in Zachary, you will be set. Your kids will get to go to great schools, there are a ton of job opportunities here (the unemployment rate is the 27th lowest in the state at 5.9% and the city’s cost of living is manageable if you work hard like the rest of Zachary’s 19,401 residents.
Zachary did score rather low on our SnackAbility scale for crime. At the time of this report, there were 467 crimes reported; but in all fairness, a majority of them were property related. To put it in perspective, you have a 1 in 162.6 chance of being a victim of a crime, so just be smart so that you can win at the adult version of the game of LIFE.
|Rank Last Year||5||–|
|Median Home Value||$160,800||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0381||0.0353|
Just above the heel of the infamous Louisiana boot is the 6th best place to live in the state, Sulphur. But, that’s not dirty boot your smelling, this city used to be the home to working sulfur mines during the early 20th Century (hence the name). Sulphur’s new focus, however, has shifted to keeping its 21,286 residents happy, healthy, and thriving.
Located 10 miles directly west of Lake Charles along “the I-10,” Sulphur excelled in a majority of our SnackAbility indicators: jobs, affordability, amenities, and commute times. In terms of jobs, Sulphur has the 23rd lowest unemployment rate on our list at 5.6%. Some of the highest paying jobs here are in healthcare and engineering–the state is after all one of the leading states for oil and gasoline production. And, folks, Sulphur is super affordable–you can get a home for the median home price of $160,800. So, we were not surprised to find that Sulphur is one of the most affordable places in the state. The city’s cost of living expenses like groceries, healthcare, and utilities also managed to come in under the state average.
|Rank Last Year||10||–|
|Median Home Value||$279,500||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0272||0.0353|
Whether you’re a fan of good ‘ol fashioned southern hospitality, sweet southern charm, or a low cost of living, Louisiana’s 7th best place to live, Broussard, has all of this and then some.
Don’t let the fact that there are only 13,322 residents in this small town in Cajun Country make you think that there’s nothing to do here. It’s actually quite the opposite. Matter of fact, one of the main attractions here is the Zoo of Acadiana and there are a lot of historical hotspots like the Cypress Island Preserve and Acadian Village that will keep you happily entertained on a daily basis.
However, with the 15th lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.7%, you are going to find yourself pretty busy working to pay the 5th best median home price in the state. And, you’re going to want a job as the Broussard does not need anyone else adding to their current poverty rate at 16.2%.
|Rank Last Year||9||–|
|Median Home Value||$234,900||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0486||0.0353|
Located just minutes from the “Crawfish Capital of the World” (Breaux Bridge) is the 8th best place to live in Louisiana, Lafayette. And the following is a guide to navigate the cost of living waters in the “The Heart of Cajun Country”.
Yes, if you want to buy a home here, you will be paying the 10th best median home price in the state–a single-family home will cost you $234,900. You won’t have trouble finding a job here as the unemployment rate is the 28th lowest in the state at 6.1%. And just so you know, the combined household income in Lafayette is $58,850/year. And while this salary is doable, you’re going to want to choose a job wisely–we hear swamp tour operators and crawfish and shrimp fishing are pretty popular industries and always looking for help.
And because Lafayette is so centrally located, the commute times here are next to nothing. In fact, Lafayette scored an 8/10 on our SnackAbility scale for commute times as well as jobs, housing, and education. Lafayette also had high marks for diversity and amenities. Yes, if you didn’t already know, Lafayette has a large French and Cajun population that not only enhance Lafayette’s flair, but they create some of the best cuisine.
|Rank Last Year||13||–|
|Median Home Value||$283,600||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0114||0.0353|
There might be remnants of Civil War battles on this soil, but the only battle being fought now in Louisiana’s 9th best place to live, Covington, is the battle to keep the city’s cost of living down and its criminals at bay. And, folks, it seems to be working as Covington scored an 8/10 for housing on our SnackAbility scale. Incidentally, Covington has the 3rd best median home price at $283,600 and living expenses like groceries, health and transportation services are well below the state and national average. The same can be said for the crime rate here. Not only is Covington one of the safest places in Louisiana, there were only 130 committed here last year.
We bet that you didn’t know that Covington is in a region referred to as the Ozona belt–basically, this small town in St. Tammany Parish has some of the best air and water quality in the state. So, there’s no excuse to get out and about in this town, and we recommend you start at one corner of the 80,000 acres that have been set aside for city parks and wildlife refuge areas. And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, the city itself is located where the Bogue Falaya and Tchefuncte River meet. In fact, We hear that the annual Three Rivers Art Festival is a must see.
|Rank Last Year||6||–|
|Median Home Value||$211,900||$199,312|
|Crime Per Capita||0.0335||0.0353|
Thibodaux, located in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, is ranked as the number 10 best place to live in Louisiana for 2023. This charming city is known for its low cost of living and offers a variety of attractions and activities that make it an ideal place to call home.
Thibodaux’s vibrant community includes plenty of places to explore and enjoy. You can enjoy the city’s rich history of local landmarks, such as the Bayou Lafourche Folklife and Heritage Museum, or take a stroll through the historic downtown district. For outdoor enthusiasts, Thibodaux offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking along the banks of Bayou Lafourche.
Thibodaux is conveniently located near New Orleans, where you can experience lively music and delicious cuisine. Or you can visit the beautiful beaches along the Gulf Coast after a short drive.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Louisiana
Best Places To Live In Louisiana Size Requirement
Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Louisiana, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Baton Rouge, with a population of 225,500, against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So, to create our ranking, we broke the best 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 filter left 58 cities, 163 towns, and 161 small towns.
We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Louisiana have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’
Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Louisiana
Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.
We ranked each place in Louisiana across a number of criteria from one to 58, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Louisiana.”
The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher is better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
Summary: The Best Places 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 the best place to live in Louisiana for 2023.
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Louisiana according to the data:
- Ville Platte (Pop. 6,364)
- Opelousas (Pop. 15,810)
- Bogalusa (Pop. 10,689)
For more Louisiana reading, check out:
- Cheapest Places To Live In Louisiana
- Most Dangerous Places In Louisiana
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Louisiana
- Best Places To Retire In Louisiana
- Richest Cities In Louisiana
- Safest Places In Louisiana
- Worst Places To Live In Louisiana
Best Places To Live In Louisiana Table
|Rank||City||Population||Unemployment Rate||Home Value||Median Income||Rent||Crime Per Capita|