Residing in the Deep South and South Central parts of the US, Louisiana is known for its beautiful biological diversity that encompasses coastal marshlands, beaches, and barrier islands. The state also has breathtakingly beautiful waterways like the Sabine that forms the Western boundary, Pearl towards the Eastern boundary, and many more. If you’re a nature lover, then you’ll enjoy exploring the state’s wildlife species like ibises, egrets, sturgeon, paddlefish, etc.
Now if all of this has made you inquisitive about what else the state has to offer you, you are at the right place. We have covered everything you need to know about the state of Louisiana especially if you’re planning to move there. So let’s get started and know about the different amenities offered by Louisiana.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Louisiana?
The state borders Texas towards the west, Arkansas towards the north, Mississippi towards the east, and the Gulf of Mexico towards the south. Speaking of the population of the state, there are as many as 4,661,496 people living in an area of 52,069.13 sq mi. If you’ve ever heard anyone referring to the state as ‘Bayou State’, that’s mainly because it has the Mississippi, Red, Ouachita, and various other rivers which are also called the bayous.
As you go towards the northwestern part of the state, you will be surrounded by hills and woodlands. The state can be divided into two distinct regions, the uplands of the north and the alluvial region towards the coast. The Driskill Mountain in the uplands will leave you astounded with its highest elevation of around 535 feet above sea level. But if you go towards the alluvial region, you’ll greet several coastlands and beaches that are spread across 20,000 sq mi.
Whether it’s the beaches that draw you to this state or the beautiful waterways that take your breath away, Louisiana surely is blessed with amazing natural wonders. But if you’re more inclined into exploring the city side of the state, then you should definitely pay a visit to New Orleans. Right from great music and cuisine to different festivals in the French Quarter, you get to experience the most exotic city lifestyle.
Crime Rate In Louisiana
We want you to acknowledge that just knowing about the geography or beauty of the state isn’t enough if you want to move there. Your safety is one of the most important things that you should keep in mind before moving.
Louisiana unfortunately isn’t the best place when it comes to crime. According to SafeWise, the state has the fifth-highest rate of violent crimes in the US. This grim fact is corroborated by NeighborhoodScout’s study, which estimates the violent crime rate in Louisiana to be 5.49 per 1,000 residents. This means that your chances of being a victim of violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, and assault) is 1 in 182 people. This is much higher than the US average of 2.50 per 1,000 residents.
Your chances of being a victim of property crime (burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft) in Louisiana is 1 in 32. The crime rate for property crimes in the state is 31.62 per 1000 residents, which compared to the national median of 21 is considerably higher.
With crime being a major concern, choosing a safe city is of paramount importance when moving to Louisiana. So cities like Addis, Harahan, Tallulah, Youngsville, and Mandeville are what you could consider.
Louisiana is known to have a humid subtropical climate because it resides near the Gulf of Mexico. While the summers here are long, hot and humid, the winters are mild as a result of the state’s low latitude and topography. You will experience extremely hot and humid summers in the months from June to September wherein the average temperature is around 90°F which lowers down to around 70°F at night.
If you go towards the northern part of the state, you will get to experience really cool winters. The average temperature in winters is around 59°F which lowers down to around 46°F near the Gulf. The lowest temperature in winters is almost 37°F in the northern part of the state.
The state experiences rain almost throughout the year while the months from April to September can be considered the state’s wet season. You will experience a lot of intense thunderstorms and brief tropical downpours in the summers. If you visit the state during winters, you will still experience rainfall but it is not that intense as compared to summers.
Speaking of the other vulnerabilities that you might face in Louisiana, you have to know that it is known to have tropical cyclones, especially in New Orleans. The state has a lot of bayous and marshes which are a major reason for hurricanes. Also, if you’re planning to move to Louisiana, be ready to deal with tornadoes and thunderstorms, especially in the summers.
Is It Expensive To Live In Louisiana?
The state’s several bayous and rich biodiversity may have captivated you with their beauty, but you also have to see whether you can afford to live in the state before moving there. For example, you’ll have to keep a track of the housing expenses, taxes, food, and other utilities that you’ll have to pay for. So let’s carefully examine all these aspects to give you an insight into how much you’ll have to spend to live in the state.
Cost Of Living In Louisiana
When it comes to the Bayou State, the one good thing is its relative affordability. According to BestPlaces, the cost of living index of Louisiana is 86.9, which is lower than the US average of 100. This means that overall expenses in this state are going to be lower than the national average. But of course, this may vary depending on where in Louisiana you’re moving to.
When in Louisiana, you can eat, and eat well as food is considerably cheaper. An individual would spend $3,119 and a family of four would spend $9,006 on food on average (compared to the US average of $3,240 and $9,354 respectively).
But before you start celebrating, we have to remind you that the tax rates are quite high in Louisiana. The state has a progressive income tax and the sales tax, at 9.52%, is one of the highest in the US!
The same goes for healthcare in Louisiana. As per data from 247 Wall St., an individual would spend about $4,707 a year, which is more than the national average of $4,266. And a family of four would spend $14,214 (compared to the national average of $12,950).
Buying A House
Housing cost is one of the most important aspects you’ll have to consider if you’re planning to move to a new place. If you’re planning on buying a house, you should be spending an average of $183,101 (as per Zillow). This is in stark contrast to the US average of $281,370, meaning you’ll be saving a huge chunk of your money if you’re moving to Louisiana!
Renting A House
You can always rent a house or an apartment if you can’t afford one or simply don’t want one. When in Louisiana, your median house rent will be around $850 per month which is less than the US national median of around $1,023 as per the data shared by 24/7 Wall St. Depending on whether you’re renting a one-bedroom or a five-bedroom house, the rent would range from approximately $721 to $1,140.
Utilities are somewhat more affordable in Louisiana, with an average monthly electricity bill of $105, which is just below the US average of $107. Do keep in mind that your transportation costs can also affect the overall cost of your living in the state. Here are some of the estimates for your transportation costs in Louisiana as shared by 24/7 Wall St.
Considering the average cost of gas and fuel economy, you will have to pay around $1.90 per gallon as your fuel cost in Louisiana. So if you are a motorist traveling to work every day, you would have to spend as much as $829 on gas per year.
Louisiana Economy And Employment Opportunities
The state boasts of a diverse and vast economy that includes tourism, film, agriculture, petroleum, and natural gas industries. The agricultural sector contributes to the state’s economy by producing cotton, soybeans, sugarcane, rice, and dairy products. Louisiana is also known for being the largest supplier of crawfish in the world.
Speaking of tourism and film industries, let’s not forget the famous ‘Hollywood South’ in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It won’t come to you as a surprise that the state earns a whopping $5.2 billion every year because of the tourism and film industries. Apart from these industries, Louisiana is also known for its rich petroleum and natural gas deposits especially in the Gulf of Mexico. No wonder the state’s gross state product soared up to $240.48 billion in 2019.
The average annual income of an individual in Louisiana is about $27,923. This might seem quite low as the national average is $34,103. But the overall low cost of living can compensate for relatively low income. And yet another thing to look out for is the unemployment rate in Louisiana, which at 7.3% is more than what the country as a whole has (6.1%).
But if you’re someone who’s working in information technology, business and operations analysis, or in medical fields, you may be in luck as these are the jobs that are in high demand in Louisiana. As per Zippia, anesthesiologists and gynecologists earn as high as $265k a year while engineers can earn around $100k.
Louisiana wouldn’t be your first choice if education is the reason you’re moving. To name some of the prominent universities in the state, the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Tulane University in New Orleans are some of the largest universities located in the state. Apart from these, there are several other public and private educational institutions that you can approach if you want online programs or degrees.
Getting Around Louisiana
There are several modes of transport available for you to discover this beautiful Bayou State while sightseeing the beautiful waterways and wildlife of the state. Let’s take a look at the different modes of transportation available for you.
Buses: The average cost of the bus ticket available for you to reach any of the 25 cities in the state is around $80 for the top routes. If you’re looking for the cheapest ticket available, you will have to pay around $12 whereas the most expensive bus ticket will cost you around $252.
The Jefferson Lines can be your best option if you want to travel to Louisiana from any other state as it offers services from around 130 locations from outside the state. There’s also the Tornado bus which will take you to Louisiana from as many as 80 locations but not within the cities of the state. If you are considering the Greyhound, it will connect you to only two cities within Louisiana from around 20 locations outside the state. You can also choose to travel by the El Expreso Bus which will take you to Louisiana from 11 locations outside the state but not anywhere within the state of Louisiana.
Taxis: If you need to travel to work, taxis can be one of the most convenient ways of traveling. The minimum taxi fare in Louisiana would be around $7 wherein you’ll be charged around $1.28 per km. You can always book an Uber to travel anywhere within Louisiana.
Trains: The average cost of your train ticket for the top routes in Louisiana would be around $109. The cheapest ticket available for you would be around $13 whereas the most expensive train ticket will cost you around $414.
Fortunately, you can choose from different train services to travel from and to Louisiana. If you choose Amtrak, it will connect you to only 5 cities and towns within the state but from 276 locations outside the state. There’s also the Amtrak Sunset Limited which will connect you to 5 cities within the state from 15 locations outside the state. You can also choose to travel by Amtrak Crescent which will connect you to 2 cities within the state from around 31 cities from other states.
Best Cities To Live In Louisiana
1. New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the most popular cities residing along the Mississippi River in Louisiana. The city is known for its diverse culture and multilingual heritage. If you’re a fan of music, food, and festivals, you should definitely consider this city. Mardi Gras is the most popular festival celebrated in the city. The famous Bourbon street obviously cannot be forgotten with its French Quarter, Spanish Creole Architecture and the most talked-about nightlife which you may have seen in many films and series.
Apart from that, this city also offers great educational institutions like Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Loyola University of New Orleans, etc. Although the city’s amenities can be really expensive, it’s the price to pay to have several recreational activities close by! So if you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, then New Orleans or ‘Hollywood South’ is the right place for you.
- Median Home Value: $178,500
- Median Home Rent: $1,595
- Unemployment Rate: 11.0%
Also See: Top Cities for Music Lovers
2. Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge resides along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. It is one of the most popular and largest metropolitan cities located in Louisiana. The city has a diverse economy with several petrochemical, medical, tourism, technology, and research industries. If you want to move here for educational opportunities, then you should consider the two most prominent institutions in the city, Louisiana State University and the Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College.
For those seeking employment opportunities, the city is home to several renowned industries like BBQGuys, Baton Rouge Refinery, Marucci Sports, etc. Apart from that, the city boasts in its art exhibits at the Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge Gallery, Louisiana Art and Science Museum, etc. You should definitely consider living in this city if you’re looking for a flourishing and economically booming city.
- Median Home Value: $164,200
- Median Home Rent: $1,551
- Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Lafayette resides along the Vermilion River in Louisiana. If you like to explore places with historical exhibits, then you should definitely visit the Alexandre Mouton House Museum in Lafayette which has several antiques, historical documents, and old Mardi Gras costumes. There’s also the two-acre Cypress Lake that will interest you especially if you like exploring nature and wildlife where you’ll get to see alligators, turtles, birds, and fishes.
Apart from all of this, the city is also famous for its crawfish and many of you may recognize it as the ‘Crawfish Capital of the World’. For those wanting to explore educational opportunities, the city is home to the University of Louisiana System, South Louisiana Community College that offers various bachelor’s degree and diploma programs. So if you want to live in a city that has not only great natural wonders but also great food and culture, then Lafayette is surely where you’d want to move to in Louisiana.
- Median Home Value: $159,100
- Median Home Rent: $1,322
- Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Is Louisiana A Good Place To Live?
Louisiana is definitely a good place to live in when it comes to prospering cities and towns that offer good education and recreational activities like hiking and fishing. At the same time, the crime and unemployment rate can be a bit of a trade-off. If at all you’re planning to settle here, you’ll have to deal with the tornadoes and hurricanes that occur throughout the year, especially in summers. So make sure that you don’t get carried away by the state’s beauty, examine all aspects right from affordability to your safety, and then see if this state ticks off all your boxes in your checklist.
Also See: Most Affordable Apartment Movers