by Susan Gulliford
Nearly 29 million people visited Louisiana in 2015, a new record for the state. These tourists, along with the state’s 4.7 million residents, are interested in safety. That is why the team at ValuePenguin analyzed the FBI Crime Report to determine the safest places in Louisiana.
These 46 cities with populations of over 5,000 have crime scores that range from 465 to 7,029. The average crime score for The Pelican State is 3,057.
Only one of the five safest places is an affluent city (defined as having a median household income at least 50% higher than the state’s median household income). The other four cities are middle and working class communities with median household incomes slightly above or even below the benchmark for Louisiana. Several communities work hard to attract tourists to see their natural beauty. For more information, you can review the full report here.
5 Safest Places in Louisiana
These cities have an average final crime score of 927, which is 70% lower than their typical peer in the state. These five are the safest places in Louisiana.
Patterson takes pride in being a “Sportsman’s Paradise” because of its fishing and hunting. Visitors and residents alike can take comfort in the fact that the city is very safe. Patterson had the lowest rate of violent crime rate and the lowest rate of property crime. In fact, it was the only city in this study to achieve a crime score below 500. Patterson is a middle-class community with a median household income and per capita income close very close to the median and average for Louisiana.
This city of approximately 9,300 people is a 28-minute drive from New Orleans. The police department offers classes on safety and self-defense to help its citizens. Harahan has the fourth-lowest rate of violent crime and the third-lowest rate of property crime. The median household income is 39% greater that the median for Louisiana.
3. St. Gabriel
This small city 17 miles south of Baton Rouge earns the number three spot. Incorporated in 1994, this young city has the oldest surviving church in the Mississippi Valley. St. Gabriel had the second-lowest rate of property crime and the overall crime score is 65% lower than the average for Louisiana. It has a median household income similar to Louisiana as a whole ($47,917 for St. Gabriel; $44,991 for Louisiana).
This city of over 12,200 is a 41-minute drive from New Orleans. Mandeville has a full-service police department, and it offers resources so residents can fight fraud. Mandeville achieved the third-lowest rate of violent crime and the fourth-lowest rate of property crime. The median household income is 54% higher than the state’s median and the poverty level is low in this beautiful community on Lake Pontchartrain.
The largest city in the top five, Minden has just under 13,000 residents. It is approximately 30 miles from Shreveport in northwest Louisiana. The police department has 37 full-time police officers and staff, and they keep people and their property safe. Minden has the second-lowest rate of violent crime and the fifth-lowest rate of property crime in Louisiana. The mayor calls the city “...one of the best kept secrets in the South.” With these low crime rates, it shouldn’t be.
Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 9,000, midsize cities with populations between 9,000 and 15,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 15,000. Here are our findings:
Full List of Places in Louisiana
Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Louisiana” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.
People look for consistently safe cities to live and visit. Patterson, Harahan, St. Gabriel and Mandeville were in the top five safest places for both 2015 and 2016. The newcomer to the top five for 2016, Minden, made it there because of low rates of violent and property crime.
There was consistency among the least safest places. Four of the cities in the bottom five for 2015 were in the bottom five for 2016. New Orleans, the state’s largest city and most famous city, was not in the bottom five for either year.
There were fewer cities in the 2016 study than in the 2015 research. Therefore, it is difficult to do exact year-over-year comparisons because the size categories changed accordingly. For instance, the ValuePenguin team removed Sulphur, the sixth safest large city in 2015, because the FBI determined that the agency’s data were underreported.
To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.
We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores. In order for readers to make good decisions about where to live and visit, we must remove cities that have questionable data quality. The ValuePenguin team eliminated Sulphur because the FBI determined that the agency’s data were underreported. Monroe, West Monroe, and Ferriday were also removed because the FBI determined that the agency’s data were overreported.
Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crime per 100K||Property Crime per 100K||Crime Score|