10 Safest Cities In Louisiana (2023 Update)
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Louisiana is the 25th most popular state with 4.6 million residents. As well as being home to New Orleans, the state also includes major cities Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Lafayette. None of these large cities feature in the ten safest cities in the state, but the state as a whole has the highest per-capita murder rate in the U.S. with 13.7 per 100,000, more than double the national average of 6.6. It also has a statewide violent crime rate equivalent to 820 crimes per 100,000 population.
Whether you’re looking to visit the area and want somewhere safe as your primary starting point, or are moving to the area and want to find the safest neighborhoods, the following 10 cities are the safest in the state with a population of more than 5,000 people, and according to the FBI’s most recent full-year violent crime statistics.
The 10 Safest Cities In Louisiana: A Quick Look
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||247|
Rayne has a population of 8,088 and sees the equivalent of 247 violent crimes per 100,000. Of the 20 reported violent crimes in 2019, 17 were aggravated assault and the remaining three were robberies. No homicides were reported in the year. The city also has a property crime rate of 2,300 per 100,000.
Known as the Frog Capital of the World, Rayne gained its nickname because of the high number of frogs that live in the area and because the Jacque Weil Company, which used to be located in the town, used to export frog legs to restaurants around the world. It is also known as the City of Murals and you will see many murals that were painted on building walls by Robert Dafford, in conjunction with the Rayne Beautification Board, to brighten up the brick walls.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||246|
Broussard is a slightly larger town with a population of 12,985. It has a violent crime rate of 246 per 100,000 people but it does have a property crime rate of 3,304 per 100,000. No murders were committed in 2019. The 32 reported violent crimes included 23 aggravated assaults, 6 robberies, and 3 rapes.
The town was founded in 1884 by a local merchant, Valsin Broussard, and officially became a city in 2002. Broussard founded a vigilante committee when his store was robbed. The area was known for growing sugar and soybean and for its hay production. The city has a median household income of over $80,000 although 13% do live in poverty. The city is an industrial community and has more than 300 businesses as well as links to other major cities.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||238|
Westwego has a population of over 8,000 and saw 20 violent crimes reported in 2019, the equivalent of 238 crimes for every 100,000 and making it the 8th safest large city in Louisiana. The 20 crimes consisted of 11 aggravated assaults, 6 robberies, and 3 rapes. As well as having a slightly lower violent crime rate than Broussard, Westwego also has a lower rate of property crimes at 2,127 per 100,000.
The suburban community is a borough of New Orleans and, although it is disputed, one tale of where the city got its name is that it was established by travelers who were heading west and when asked where they were going would simply say “West we go”. Incorporated as a city in 1951, Westwego was initially popular with fishermen and trappers that made their money from the local wetlands and bayous. Today, it has a median family income of just $30,000, and 28% of the population lives below the poverty line but it maintains a low crime rate making it one of the safest cities in Louisiana.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||224|
Kenner is another suburban city of New Orleans. In fact, it is the largest New Orlean suburb city and the 8th largest city in Louisiana with 66,653 residents. It is also the largest city on this list and despite its large number of residents it manages to maintain a violent crime rate of 224 for every 100,000 people. It did endure 4 homicides in 2019, however, and has a property crime rate of nearly 3,000 per 100,000.
Kenner was founded in 1855 and saw considerable growth during the late 1950s when developers drained the swamps in the north of the city. The proceeding construction of Interstate 10 saw further growth in the city. Kenner is home to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||157|
Addis is a small city that is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area and has a population of less than 6,000. In 2019, it saw 9 violent crimes and a single property crime, giving it a rate of 157 and 17 crimes per 100,000 population respectively. All of the violent crimes reported were aggravated assaults.
Originally known as Baton Rouge Junction, the settlement started as a division point on the Texas and Pacific Railroad line. It is named for the railroad official that led the building of a depot and hotel on the site. The median family income for this city is $39,625 and 18% of the population live below the official poverty line.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||146|
Although Mandeville’s population of just over 12,000 only has a violent crime rate equivalent to 146 per 100,000, the small city did see 2 homicides in 2019 as well as 1 rape, 3 robberies, and 12 aggravated assaults. The city also has a property crime rate of 1,817 per 100,000.
Mandeville means “big farm” in French and, after its formation in 1840, it became popular as a summer vacation spot for residents of New Orleans that wished to escape the stifling city heat. Its popularity soon spread throughout the year and it became an important spot on the New Orleans jazz scene. The median household income here is $72,989 and just 7% of the population live below the official poverty line.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||138|
Scott is a suburb of Lafayette and has a population of 8,725 with a violent crime rate of just 138. No homicides occurred during 2019 although the small city does have a property crime rate equivalent to 2,968 per 100,000. The 12 violent crimes included 2 rapes and 10 aggravated assaults.
Scott was first settled in 1902 but didn’t become a city until 1990. The city officially holds the title of Boudin Capital Of The World. Boudine refers to the Louisiana Creole sausage and Scott not only has more producers of the sausage, per capita, than anywhere else but no other city produces more of the sausage. The median family income in Scott is $41,538 and 14% of the population are believed to live below the poverty line.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||129|
Harahan is a suburb of New Orleans and has a population of 9,298 people. This small suburban city has a violent crime rate of 129 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of just 882 per 100,000. The 12 reported violent crimes were all aggravated assaults. It is the third safest city in Louisiana thanks to these low rates.
The median family income in Harahan is $66,741, which is a significant growth from less than $45,000 in 2000. The poverty rate for Harahan is 10% which is roughly the same as that of the state as a whole.
2. Ville Platte
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||128|
Ville Platte’s population of just 7,029 makes it one of the smallest cities on this list and its violent crime rate of 128 per 100,000 makes it the second safest city. All of the 9 recorded crimes were robberies, which means that there were no aggravated assaults and no homicides registered. The property crime rate for Ville Platte, however, is high at 5,833 per 100,000.
Although violent crime rates are very low, the property crime rates are high and this could be because more than 40% of the city’s population live in poverty and Ville Platte only has a median family income equivalent to less than $20,000. The town has given itself the title of Smoked Meat Capital Of The World and is officially recognized as being the Swamp Pop Capital Of The World. Despite having a small population, the town plays host to two annual festivals: a cotton festival and a smoked meat festival.
|Violent crimes per 100,000:||93|
Youngsville has a population of more than 15,000 which means that it is not the smallest city on the list. But its violent crime rate of 93 means that it is the only city on the list below the 100 mark and is considered the safest city with a population of over 5,000 in Louisiana. It has a property crime rate of 1,045 crimes per 100,000.
Youngsville was incorporated in 1908, became a town in 1983, and was declared a city in 2006 after seeing its population increase 300% between 1990 and 2005. Even though Youngsville has grown considerably, it remains a rural farming city and it has a median household income of nearly $90,000 with 11% of the population living below the poverty line.
How To Stay Safe In Louisiana
Louisiana has the highest homicide rate in the country and is prone to natural disasters. However, if you are visiting the area or looking to move there, there are steps that you can take to help ensure you stay safe.
- Choose A Safe Neighborhood – The rise of private rentals and private rental portals means that it is possible to stay in private homes, and while this does enable you to enjoy a more authentic trip and avoid hotels, such accommodation means that you could be staying in dangerous neighborhoods. Check the zip code of anywhere you are considering staying and do your research before booking. If in doubt, a hotel should offer more security than a private house.
- Ditch The Cash – New Orleans is not a cardless society and you should be able to pay by card in most venues. The same is certainly true of the rest of Louisiana. Cash is easily stolen, but if you have your credit card taken, you can ring the issuer and have it canceled before you are out of pocket.
- Stow Your Valuables – When you’re drunk and having a good time, it is very easy to forget and walk around with your cell phone out getting photos of everything, but this can make you a target for opportunistic thieves that will look to relieve you of your cell phone and other valuables on display. Leave anything you don’t require at the hotel and stow the valuables you do take out with you in a bag or pocket, where they are impossible to spot and more difficult for others to get hold of.
- Pay Attention – Be aware of your surroundings, avoid places that appear quiet and potentially dangerous, and don’t have your head in your cell phone all the time. If you are unaware of what is going on around you, you are more likely to step into a difficult situation.
Louisiana is a beautiful state with incredible food, amazing music, and generally very friendly people, but there are exceptions to this. If you’re looking for a quiet break, consider staying in one of the cities listed above, which are the ten safest cities in the state, and always follow guidelines to ensure that you stay safe when you’re away.
Featured Image Credit: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock