Louisiana added about 100,000 residents over the past 10 years, according to Census data, which represents a growth rate of less than three percent. While that’s one of the slowest rates in the country, it does represent an increase from the 2010 Census, which saw population climb by just over one percent.

While population growth is slow in Louisiana, many people across the country may be considering a move to the state, and many more who already live there are weighing their options when it comes to where in Louisiana they’d like to live.

Ensuring you can protect your investment is of the utmost importance, which is why reviewing property crime statistics can be helpful. While violent crimes rightfully get most of the headlines, the average person is far more likely to be victimized by property crime than violence.

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At A Glance:

    • With #1 being the best, Louisiana is ranked #50 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
    • You have a 3.16% chance of being a property crime victim in Louisiana in the next 12 months.
    • Louisiana’s property crime rate is 50% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
    • Alexandria has the highest property crime rate in Louisiana (89.6 incidents per 1,000 people).
  • In many states, the community with the highest population-adjusted property crime rate is a tiny hamlet that consists mostly of factories, businesses, or tourism-related attractions. That’s not the case in Louisiana, as Alexandria is not a tiny community. The city of about 47,000 people is the seventh-largest in the state.

Louisiana’s property crime rate is the worst among all states, and only the District of Columbia has a higher rate. Louisiana’s next-closest neighbor when it comes to property crime rates is Arkansas, where these crimes occur at a rate of about 28.5 per 1,000, while Mississippi and Texas both have rates about 10 points lower than that of Louisiana.

Louisiana’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)

  • Rate of Property Crime
    • Louisiana average:: 31.6 crimes per 1,000 people
    • National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people

The crime rate in Louisiana is the highest of the 50 states, but it’s on the downswing. In addition to 2019 representing the lowest property crime rate the state has had since 2010, these types of crimes have dropped by about 13 percent over the past decade. It’s not all good news, though, as the average decline was 27 percent, and all but two states saw their rates drop, Alaska and North Dakota being the exceptions.

Louisiana’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)

    • Average Rate of Property Crime:
      • Louisiana 10-year average: 34.38 crimes per 1,000 people
      • National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
    • -13% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
      • There was a 13% decrease in property crime in Louisiana from 2010 as compared to 2019.
    • 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Louisiana?:
      • The highest rate of property crime in Louisiana was 2011 (36.84 crimes per 1,000 people)
    • 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Louisiana?:
      • The lowest rate of property crime in Louisiana was 2019 (31.6 crimes per 1,000 people)

What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.

Louisiana’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)

      • Which type of property crime occurred the most in Louisiana over the past decade?
        • Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 24.1 crimes per 1,000 people.
        • Average property crime rate by category
          • Average burglary rate: 8.1 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average larceny rate: 24.1 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average vehicle crime rate: 2.1 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average arson rate: 0.18 crimes per 1,000 people
        • Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Louisiana.
      • +25% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
        • Arson and vehicle theft have both become more common in Louisiana over the past decade. Arson rates climbed by 25%, while vehicle theft rose about 6%.
      • -42%/3% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
        • Rates of burglary and larceny have both fallen, dropping by 42% and 3%, respectively.

Crime is a complex problem with root causes that run the gamut, so it’s something of an oversimplification to wonder why property crime rates are so high in Louisiana. That said, researchers have linked property crime rates to issues like unemployment, poverty, and urbanization.

Looking at just those three factors, poverty and unemployment would appear to be the biggest contributors in Louisiana. While Louisiana has a below-average urbanization rate (73.2 percent vs. 81 percent in the U.S.), the state’s rates of both poverty and joblessness are far higher.

Nineteen percent of Louisiana residents live below the poverty line, which is the second-highest rate in the U.S., and well above the overall national rate of 12.3 percent. And in April 2021, Louisiana’s unemployment rate of 7.3 percent was the 10th highest.

Addis, a community of about 5,700 people in West Baton Rouge Parish, had the lowest property crime rate with just a single incident reported in 2019. All told, the five towns with the lowest rates recorded fewer than 10 incidents.

Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:

  • Addis, Louisiana (West Baton Rouge Parish)
  • Rayville, Louisiana (Richland Parish)
  • Jena, Louisiana (La Salle Parish)
  • Many, Louisiana (Sabine Parish)
  • Olla, Louisiana (La Salle Parish)

Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Alexandria, Louisiana (Rapides Parish)
  • Gonzales, Louisiana (Ascension Parish)
  • Bastrop, Louisiana (Morehouse Parish)
  • Opelousas, Louisiana (St. Landry Parish)
  • Breaux Bridge, Louisiana (St. Martin Parish)

* Excludes cities with zero property crime reported