Louisiana boasts a vibrant and diverse culture, yet grapples with a concerning crime rate. In 2019, the FBI reported that the state had a violent crime rate of 2,454.98 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 8,019.19 per 100,000 people, surpassing the national averages of 1,476.6 and 4,017.7, respectively. This article delves into the city in Louisiana considered the most perilous to reside in.
Opelousas: The Most Dangerous City in Louisiana
Among various sources, Opelousas emerges as the most hazardous city in Louisiana. Situated in St. Landry Parish, north of Lafayette, this relatively small city houses approximately 16,000 residents. Opelousas bears the unique distinction of being the third oldest city in Louisiana and is renowned as the epicenter of Zydeco music, a Creole and Acadian rhythm and blues genre with the accordion at its heart.
Despite its cultural heritage, Opelousas has a shadowy past, including a history of gambling and prostitution, alongside a present marred by widespread criminal activity. The city ranks second in the state for violent crime and first for property crime. Notably, the violent crime rate in Opelousas stands at 2,370 per 100,000 people, which is 3.8 times greater than the state average and a staggering 6.1 times higher than the national average. Regarding property crime, Opelousas records a rate of 6,573 per 100,000 people, exceeding the state average by 2.8 times and the national average by 4.4 times.
Opelousas witnesses a prevalence of aggravated assault and robbery as the primary violent crimes, while burglary and larceny-theft dominate the property crime landscape. In 2019, Opelousas reported 380 violent crimes and 1,052 property crimes. The likelihood of falling victim to violent crime in this city stands at 1 in 53, and for property crime, it’s 1 in 15.
Other Dangerous Cities in Louisiana
It’s crucial to note that Opelousas is not the sole city in Louisiana grappling with high crime rates. Other cities deserving attention for their elevated crime levels include:
Alexandria: Situated on the south bank of the Red River, with a population of around 48,000 people, Alexandria is famous for its zoological park and art museum, yet is marred by high crime rates. It ranks fourth in the state for violent crime and third for property crime. The city reports a violent crime rate of 968 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 11,110 per 100,000 people. Residents in Alexandria face a 1 in 103 chance of being a victim of violent crime and a 1 in 11 chance of encountering property crime.
Monroe: This city, with a population of about 46,000, is located northeast of Alexandria, on the east bank of the Ouachita River. Monroe is renowned for its university and airport but struggles with a high murder rate. It takes the top spot in the state for violent crime and second place for property crime. Monroe records a violent crime rate of 2,969 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 6,118 per 100,000 people. The odds of becoming a victim of violent crime in Monroe are 1 in 34, and for property crime, it’s 1 in 16.
Marksville: With a population of around 5,500 people, Marksville, situated in Avoyelles Parish, is known for its casino and historic sites. However, it also grapples with a high assault rate, ranking third in the state for violent crime and fifth for property crime. The violent crime rate in Marksville stands at 1,793 per 100,000 people, with a property crime rate of 6,171 per 100,000 people. Residents of Marksville face a 1 in 56 chance of falling victim to violent crime and a 1 in 16 chance of experiencing property crime.
Louisiana, with its allure and character, harbors some cities with elevated crime rates, making them potentially unsafe for residents and visitors. Opelousas, being the most perilous city in the state, sets a concerning example. Other cities such as Alexandria, Monroe, and Marksville also exhibit crime rates considerably higher than state and national averages. In light of these statistics, exercising caution and vigilance when residing or traveling in these areas is advisable, with particular attention to areas recognized as hotspots for criminal activity.