Discover the 11 Most Dangerous Places in Louisiana

Written by Justin Zipprich
Updated: August 28, 2023
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Key Points

  • Alexandria, Louisiana has a high crime rate, with violent crime occurring 1,880 per 100,000 and property crime occurring 7,300 per 100,000.
  • Monroe, Louisiana is known for its high temperatures, reaching upwards of 94 degrees in July and August, and also has a high rate of violent crime.
  • Opelousas, Louisiana has a history of crime and currently has a high rate of assault, robbery, and property crimes.
  • Lake Martin, Louisiana is one of the most alligator-infested lakes in the state, and caution is necessary when visiting to avoid dangerous encounters with alligators.
  • Hammond, Louisiana has a high rate of violent crime and property damage, and the town’s police officers are among the lowest paid in the nation.
Watch out for these 11 places in Louisiana!

It’s not fun to think about the bad parts of any state, but it can be necessary. If you’re thinking of visiting Louisiana or moving to the state, it’s important to know the places that come with added safety risk. You may want to explore them with caution, or even avoid them completely. If you’re planning to visit the “Pelican State” soon, then be aware of these dangerous places in Louisiana.

1. Alexandria, Louisiana

Alexandria. Louisiana. USA.

Alexandria has a bad reputation of having crime issues.


One of the most dangerous places in Louisiana is the city of Alexandria. The main issue here is the crime rate. This relatively small town of only around 48,000 residents is located on the southern side of the Red River, near the heart of the state. Parts of the city are dangerous, including the downtown area.

According to recent numbers, violent crime occurs to 1,880 people per 100,000, and property crime occurs to 7,300 people per 100,000. The property crime rate is nearly three times the average in the rest of the state. On the bright side, Alexandria has a great educational system that is above the state average.

2. Monroe, Louisiana

Welcome to Monroe Louisiana sign

Monroe has the reputation of being one of the hottest cities in the state.

©David L. Hoover/

There are several reasons why Monroe makes the list of the most dangerous places in Louisiana, including its soaring temperatures. Monroe is the absolute hottest place in Louisiana, remaining warm during much of the year. During the months of July and August, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach upwards of 94 degrees. 

Warm temperatures can be dangerous, leading to heat stroke and dehydration. The best way to avoid heat-related health issues is to wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin and eyes. You should also drink enough water during the day, so you stay replenished. This also helps ward off headaches and other ailments.

Unfortunately, the heat isn’t the only dangerous part of life in Monroe. The town also has a crime issue. This city has the highest rate when it comes to violent crime, with a 1 in 147 chance of becoming a victim. There’s also a property crime rate of 1 in 18. Though Monroe also has positive attributes, visitors should remain aware and hydrated.

3. Opelousas, Louisiana

Opelousas pinned on a map of Louisiana, USA

Be careful and you can enjoy some of the sights of Opelousas, Louisiana.

©Dmitrijs Kaminskis/

The town of Opelousas has a negative reputation mostly due to the regular crime. Unfortunately, this has been the case for decades. The town was once a primary hub for prostitution and gambling. Opelousas is located north of Lafayette and has a small population of about 16,000. Sadly, the folks there have about a 1 in 53 chance of being the victim of assault or robbery. The numbers related to murder and property crimes aren’t great either. The violent crime rate is about 3,774 out of 100,000. Though Opelousas has some nice restaurants and museums, we can think of safer places to live and visit.

4. Lake Martin, Louisiana

A closeup grayscale of an alligator in the water

Be cautious of the alligator population in Lake Martin.

©Mix Tape/

Lake Martin is one of the most alligator-infested lakes in Louisiana. This lake is located near the Cyprus Island Nature Preserve, where many alligators live. In fact, a bridge over the water provides a pretty good view of these reptiles. 

Though alligator attacks are unlikely, caution is still necessary. Stay on the path, and don’t explore unfamiliar areas, especially near water sources. It’s best to go with a group so you can watch out for one another. And if you see an alligator swimming with its mouth open, remember, it’s not trying to attack you. They open their mouths to bring in air, which regulates their body temperature.

5. Hammond, Louisiana

Hammond. Louisiana. USA on a geography map

Hammond is famous for having some of the lowest paid police officers.


Hammond is a small town of 20,000. There’s plenty of culture and diversity, but it’s not the safest place to live. Many people work and attend school in this suburban town, which is home to Southeastern Louisiana University. Sadly, there’s currently a one in seven chance of violent crime in Hammond. That’s three times the national average. Additionally, there’s a one in six chance of property damage to homes and vehicles. 

Hammond is famous for having some of the lowest paid police officers in the nation. While these brave men and women do an outstanding job, it stands to reason that less money equals fewer resources available to help the community.

Despite its safety issues, Hammond is focused on education, so the town could have a bright future ahead.

6. Marksville, Louisiana

Marksville. Louisiana. USA on a geography map

Marksville is dangerous but the town has potential.


The tiny town of Marksville, Louisiana, is home to just about 5,000 residents. The town’s motto is “Where Everybody Is Somebody.” This town is located east of Alexandria and northwest of the large Louisiana State Penitentiary. This is not only one of the most dangerous places in Louisiana but one of the most dangerous towns in the U.S. 

Residents face a 1 in 14 chance of a violent crime. Property crimes and theft are also a concern in Marksville. Though shopping at the Tanglewood Soap Company or visiting the Grand Paragon Casino can be entertaining, they may also be unsafe.

7. Near the Coast

Super Typhoon, tropical storm, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, over ocean. Weather background. Typhoon, storm, windstorm, superstorm, gale moves to the ground. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

Always be on alert for potential hurricanes when staying on the coast.


The coast of Louisiana can be a dangerous place to live, with numerous hurricanes having made landfall in the state. As far as the U.S. is concerned, Louisiana is the fourth most common state to be hit with a hurricane, behind North Carolina, Texas, and Florida. From 1851 to 2018, the state saw 54 hurricanes. One of the most famous of these was Hurricane Katrina, which caused $108 billion in damage.

Of course, hurricanes don’t happen every day, but when they do, it’s best to evacuate. If you’re unable to leave, seek shelter, stay away from windows, and listen to the radio for updates so you can react appropriately. 

8. Bastrop, Louisiana

Bastrop. Louisiana. USA on a geography map

Like in many other border towns, crime is frequent in Bastrop.


There can be more danger in border towns because of so many people coming and going, and this is the case for Bastrop. Situated near the Arkansas border, this small town is one of the most dangerous places in Louisiana. The town is famous for plantation-style homes and a high crime rate. The 9,500 residents need to be aware of a 1 in 13 chance of being the victim of a crime. Bastrop also has a high murder rate, with a lot of the crime centralized around Bastrop South. Some of the rural areas are a bit safer, but it’s still best to keep your guard up while visiting the area.

9. Along Highway 90

Vintage Highway 90 truss bridge in rural Louisiana

HIghway 90 is dangerous due to pot holes and a lack of safety crossings.

©Fotoluminate LLC/

Drivers in Louisiana should be cautious when traveling along Highway 90, one of the most dangerous roads in Louisiana. It’s dangerous for a number of reasons, and even earned the nickname “Killer Highway.” This highway has a ton of traffic at all times, which automatically increases the risk of accidents. The road is also dangerous for pedestrians because there is a general lack of safe crossings. Worst of all, the road is of very poor quality because it’s loaded with potholes and uneven surfaces, which can make driving at high speeds unsafe.

10. Urania, Louisiana

Urania. Louisiana. USA.

Urania is considered the poorest town in the country.


According to recent Census Bureau data, Urania is the poorest town in the country due to shrinking industries. Sadly, the poverty rate is just over 40%, and the median income is just over $12,000. When unemployment is high, and resources are sparse, crime tends to rise.

11. New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulf Coast States, USA, Car

New Orleans is a festive city but it’s also known for a fair share of crime.


The Big Easy is known for delicious King Cakes, chicory coffee, and a hot jazz scene. Heck, if you’re coming to the South for a taste of culture, then New Orleans is a must-see. Unfortunately, this beloved city isn’t ripe with crime.

The infamous city provides a 1 in 18 chance of being victimized, and its murder rate is less than desirable. There are also a handful of property crimes, and last year alone, there were over 3,500 auto thefts. This remarkable city is still worth visiting. Just be cautious and stay on the beaten path.


These 11 most dangerous places in Louisiana are full of bad weather, traffic, alligators, and crime. Though they have their charm and perks, they are not the safest places in the state. If you decide to visit, do so with caution.

Summary of the 11 Most Dangerous Places in Louisiana

4Lake Martin
7Near the Coast
9Along Highway 90
11New Orleans

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pavone

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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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