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Louisiana – Famed in the US and wider world for its food, music, and at times unpredictable coastal weather systems, the state takes its name from King Louis XIV. Purchased from France in the earlier 19th century as part of a vast area of land which overnight doubled the size of the USA, it quickly became established as part of what would become the “Deep South”.

The state’s population of 4.6 million includes more Native American tribes than any other US state. Large areas of the countryside are essentially natural marsh and swamp which makes it a haven for wildlife. Louisiana’s economy is known for its food and general agricultural products sector. Tourism is also another major contributor. Both shipping and industry are also significant elements in the state’s wealth generation.

Household income in Louisiana at $46,000pa is considerably below US averages and has fallen since 2008. Per capita income around $30,000 is similarly lower and the state ranks approximately 41st in personal income terms.

6.47 Average violent crime per 1,000
45.65 Average property crime per 1,000

Crime statistics suggest that Louisiana as a whole has significant problems vis-à-vis the national norms. They include:

  • It’s the 48th safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • Violent crime is almost double the national average (ratio 1.87) based upon 6.47 violent crimes per 1,000 compared to the national average figure of 3.47. This is 42nd in safe state rankings.
  • Property crimes are also at levels above US norms (ratio 1.13) at 45.65 against the national level of 40.43.

Despite these statistics, some areas have surprisingly lower crime levels. The top 5 safe areas of the state include:

  1. Gretna
  2. Mandeville
  3. Youngsville
  4. Covington
  5. Minden

Safest Cities in Louisiana, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Gretna395612.17631.301
2Mandeville142491.12019.915
3Youngsville161691.17012.355
4Covington292412.74322.798
5Minden82130.64017.044
6De Ridder202211.79919.881
7Broussard272712.22722.351
8Thibodaux615784.17339.543
9Kenner1932,1042.87431.333
10Slidell979953.44435.330
11Morgan City935198.06645.013
12Baker513663.75426.943
13Jennings213842.08538.118
14Sulphur958384.69241.389
15Houma1231,2453.60936.528
16New Orleans4,45716,86711.21442.438
17Ruston1237205.48232.088
18Eunice495434.77752.934
19Bogalusa15461912.97952.170
20West Monroe841,0416.51680.754
21Pineville1481,04710.22672.342
22Gonzales927528.35568.289
23Zachary1187636.91244.693
24Bossier City5353,2837.68347.148
25Baton Rouge2,33512,72110.26855.940
26Lafayette7215,8635.60345.559
27Denham Springs387243.67970.094
28Natchitoches2171,18211.86864.647
29Shreveport1,85010,8139.53955.755
30Crowley21367616.35251.896
31Lake Charles6383,5248.21745.385
32Hammond3082,00614.87196.852
33Alexandria6904,19714.41787.693

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Louisiana, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

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 rated them using the population of the city and 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 we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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