Louisiana residents take pride in their home state, and many love the lives they lead. It may come as a shock to residents to find out that Louisiana ranked near the bottom of a list of the best states to live in.
Out of all 50 states, Louisiana ranked at number 49 on financial analysis website Wallethub.com’s “Best States to Live” list. The states were ranked by averaging several key factors and metrics. The only state to rank lower than Louisiana was Mississippi, who ranked at the bottom of the list.
Analyst Jill Gonzalez explained Louisiana’s low rank and what the state can do to improve the quality of life for its residents. The top indicators for evaluating states on this list were affordability, job opportunities, access to quality education and healthcare, quality of life, and safety.
According to Wallethub’s research Louisiana fares poorly among some of those indicators.
Gonzalez said "Louisiana has one of the lowest median annual household incomes, as well as the second lowest income growth rate (4%), the fourth highest unemployment rate, at 4.9%, and the third largest share of population living in poverty, almost 20%. The state lacks in job opportunities, it has a high foreclosure rate, and more than 16% of the population struggle with food insecurity.”
Their research also suggested that Louisiana didn’t rank highly in education and healthcare accessibility either. She noted low graduation rates, and high premature death rates along with other alarming statistics.
“Louisiana has the fourth lowest high school graduation rate, at 78%, and only 84% of adults have a high school degree,” said Gonzalez.
“More than 12% of the population is uninsured, the state has the fourth highest premature death rate, and 22% of its residents report being in poor health. Low life expectancy, and a large share of obese and physically inactive adults add to the problem.”
Gonzalez also noted that there were other factors at play that contributed to Louisiana’s low rank on the list. “Other things that influenced Louisiana's poor overall ranking include long work weeks, very few entertainment opportunities, such as performing arts centers and movie theaters, and a high crime rate," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez noted that both citizens and lawmakers are responsible for working together and making their communities better. "The responsibility for improvement is shared by citizens and lawmakers. Authorities should do their due diligence to ensure the population has access to jobs, food, healthcare and safety,” Gonzalez said.
“On the other hand, it's the responsibility of each citizen to keep their children in school, care for their own health and physical wellbeing, and try to improve their overall quality of life."
The full list can be read by logging onto www.wallethub.com.