Safest Cities in Louisiana – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

Louisiana has a lot of qualities, however, low crime isn’t one of them. The state is plagued by the violent crime endemic to the southeastern region of the United States, and was named the most violent state in the country by USA Today for logging the highest murder rate in the country. Despite the state’s reputation, a handful of Louisiana cities are relatively safe, posting admirably low crime rates that stand in contrast to the situation, statewide.

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Crime rate per 1,000
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Law enforcement per 1,000

Louisiana’s safest city is Mandeville, a small city separated from New Orleans by Lake Pontchartrain. Home to many musicians, Mandeville is well removed from the violence plaguing its neighbor across the lake, recorded a low violent crime rate of 1.29 per 1,000 in 2018, along with a property crime rate below the national level.

Covington earns the #2 spot on the list. The parish seat of St. Tammany Parish logged a 2018 violent crime rate of about half of the statewide rate, as well a slightly-below-average level of property crime.

We head north for #3 Minden, a city of 12K in Webster Parish. The small city logged a violent crime rate less-than-half of the national rate (and under a third of the Louisiana rate) in 2018, and its property crime rate is a notch below national levels.

4th in the ranking is Gretna, the 2nd largest city in Jefferson Parish located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Though Gretna’s crime levels are a bit higher than the three preceding entries on the list, they are nonetheless significantly below statewide rates.

Abbeville, the parish seat of Vermilion Parish, closes out the ranking of Louisiana’s 5 safest cities. While the city has an issue with violent crime, its property crime rate is the 2nd lowest in the state.

Louisiana’s Safest Cities

LACityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Mandeville12371162174823318.831.2917.543.88
2Covington10658302234025323.742.8120.923.75
3Minden12215182513326922.021.4720.552.70
4Gretna179658655512964135.684.7930.897.18
5Abbeville12279892413333026.887.2519.632.69
6De Ridder10820103013031128.740.9227.822.77
7Kenner675561552040229219532.492.2930.203.39
8Baker13487443353137928.103.2624.842.30
9Slidell27973878157390232.253.1129.142.61
10Thibodaux14745685346060240.834.6136.224.07
11Ruston22274826284971031.883.6828.192.20
12Eunice10073444874253152.724.3748.354.17
13Sulphur20250958797097448.104.6943.413.46
14Broussard12672525003455243.564.1039.462.68
15Morgan City11066965355063157.028.6848.354.52
16Pineville14415917967288761.536.3155.224.99
17Bogalusa117301245845370860.3610.5749.794.52
18New Orleans39637446111806314572267457.2011.6345.573.68
19Shreveport190808158898847211147260.128.3251.803.78
20Bossier City695515762998192357451.398.2843.112.76
21Lafayette1275926815882332656351.445.3446.102.60
22Houma33226158162592178353.664.7648.912.77
23Baton Rouge2247902067119657951403262.429.2053.233.54
24Gonzales10916627754983776.685.6871.004.49
25Natchitoches17981159114170130072.308.8463.463.89
26West Monroe12594103100873111188.228.1880.045.80
27Monroe482916773278175395581.9014.0267.883.62
28Crowley1277922891644114489.5217.8471.683.44
29Opelousas16262348118057152893.9621.4072.563.51
30Alexandria472386853973180465898.6114.5084.113.81
31Hammond2055029921241022423117.9114.55103.364.96
32Bastrop102701381006321144111.3913.4497.963.12

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.