Louisiana is a very popular tourist destination with New Orleans’ ornate French Quarter, spicy Cajun food, and jazz culture. There’s also, of course, Mardi Gras - but aside from all that, Louisiana is excellent place to live. First explored by the Spanish in the 1500s, then, in 1682, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier (also known as Sieur de La Salle), claimed the entire Mississippi River Valley and called it “Louisiana” in honor of Louis the XIV. Louisiana became a French colony in 1731, but was lost to Spain in 1763, with the portion east of the Mississippi under British control in 1764. The territory then returned to French control in 1800 before being sold to the U.S. in 1803. The southernmost part of the territory, known as “Orleans”, became the state of Louisiana in 1812. As a result of these influences, the state has maintained a rich cultural heritage. To this day, Louisiana is the only state to follow a Napoleonic legal system while the other forty-nine states follow English common law. Louisiana also has strong manufacturing industries, including coal products, paper, lumber, wood products, apparel, and processed food. They also lead the nation in sulfur, petroleum, and natural gas production, mostly from offshore deposits.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
Harahan is located ten miles north of New Orleans on a bend in the Mississippi River and is named for James T. Harahan, a former President of the Illinois Central Railroad company. It began with only two streets - Hickory Avenue and Oak Avenue - and four hundred people. Today, Harahan is nicknamed “The City of Friendship.” Harahan’s safety rating is approximately 79% lower than the state average. It had 11 reported violent crimes, 1.18 per 1,000 people, compared to the state average of 7 per 1,000 people. Their property crime reports totaled to 101 incidents, or 10.81 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 1,619, or 50 per 1,000 people.
Patterson is twenty miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, on the banks of the Lower Atchafalaya River. Patterson prides itself on its laid-back, small-town atmosphere and many attractions - including the Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum, the Atchafalaya golf course, and the Cypress Sawmill Museum and Festival. Patterson’s safety rating is approximately 75% lower than the state average of 1,982. It had 9 reported violent crimes, 1.47 per 1,000 people, compared to the state, which averaged 7 per 1,000 people. Their property crime numbers totaled to 80 incidents, or 13.10 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 1,619, or 50 per 1,000 people.
3. PORT ALLEN
Port Allen began in 1809 as a settlement named La Ville Saint Michel. The unpredictable and unforgiving waters of the Mississippi sunk La Ville Saint Michel in 1870 and a new settlement was established nearby - this time further from the water. In 1878, after the Civil War, the new location was re-dubbed Port Allen. Port Allen’s safety rating is approximately 68% lower than the state average. It reported 22 violent crimes, 4.29 per 1,000 people, compared to the state which averaged 7 per 1,000 people. Their property crimes total came in at 57 incidents, or 11.11 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 1,619, or 50 per 1,000 people.
Scott is located thirty-nine miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and just west of Lafayette. The town is home to La Maison de Begnaud tourist center, an Acadian home that serves as the welcome, as well as a heritage interpretive center complete with a Cajun gift shop. Scott also has an Arboretum with a walking trail and many species of native trees. Scott’s safety rating is approximately 67% lower than the state average. It reported 11 violent crimes, 1.23 per 1,000 people, compared to the state, which averaged 7 per 1,000 people. Property crimes totaled 170 incidents, or 18.94 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 1,619, or 50 per 1,000 people.
Mandeville is located on the northern banks of Lake Ponchartrain, almost directly across from Metairie and New Orleans. Mandeville was founded in 1834 and is regarded as the oldest inhabited locality of Saint Tammany Parish. The town prides itself on its contrast with New Orleans and boasts a serene and naturalistic environment with planning guidelines that guarantee low-density residential development. Mandeville’s safety rating is approximately 61% lower than the state average. It reported 15 violent crimes, 1.22 per 1,000 people, compared to the state, which averaged 7 per 1,000 people. There were 282 incidents of property crime, or 22.92 per 1,000 people, as opposed to the state’s average of 1,619, or 50 per 1,000 people.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Louisiana, 2017
11. Morgan City
41. Denham Springs
3. Port Allen
24. Lake Charles
45. West Monroe
26. Bossier City
36. Ville Platte
7. De Ridder
27. New Orleans
38. Breaux Bridge
29. Baton Rouge
To identify the safest cities in Louisiana, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.