10 Worst Neighborhoods In New Orleans 2024: Decoding Danger

Nola Neighborhoods

New Orleans, the vibrant heart of the South, is renowned for its lively nightlife and festive atmosphere, rivaling the likes of Miami and Nashville.

However, for those considering making the Big Easy their home, safety and low crime rates are paramount.

In this piece, we delve into the city’s crime statistics and identify the ten neighborhoods in New Orleans that are most notorious for crime.

Is New Orleans a Safe Haven or A Risky Bet?

When it comes to safety, the numbers paint a rather grim picture for New Orleans. The city’s crime rate stands at a staggering 5,864 incidents per 100,000 people, a figure that overshadows the national average by 150%.

This implies that residents face a 1 in 18 chance of falling victim to a crime. The city’s violent crime rate is particularly alarming, with an average of over 150 murders recorded annually from 2014 to 2022.

However, it’s important to remember that statistics only tell part of the story. New Orleans is a city of contrasts, where vibrant culture and history coexist with the harsh realities of crime.

It’s a city that demands caution, but also one that rewards those who embrace its unique spirit. So, if you’re considering a move to New Orleans, it’s crucial to understand the city’s crime landscape and make informed decisions about where to live.

10 Cruddiest Places

Neighborhood Population Median Home Value Median Income
Desire 2,629 $26,725 $16,345
Viavant-Venetian Isles 983 $93,750 $14,722
Tulane-Gravier 3,437 $70,620 $19,298
Pines Village 3,187 $119,375 $20,048
Florida 1,427 $85,386 $17,125
Fischer Dev 1,061 $95,667 $21,098
West Lake Forest 4,260 $114,375 $26,270
Dixon 1,458 $66,100 $16,628
Lower 9th Ward 3,636 $104,867 $25,937
Gert Town 4,082 $89,960 $19,409

1. Desire: The Unfulfilled Dream

Desire New Orleans

The Desire neighborhood, despite its enticing name, is a place where dreams seem to be on hold. The area, with its low median home price of $26,725, might seem like a bargain, but the reality is far from it.

The houses are in a state of disrepair and the demand for real estate is low. The area is grappling with an economic crisis, with one in seven residents unemployed and those who are employed earning a meager median income of $16,345.

The neighborhood, once a bustling community, now wears a deserted look, with vacant houses and closed businesses dotting the landscape.

The local schools are underfunded and the crime rate is high, making it a challenging place to raise a family. However, despite the hardships, the residents of Desire hold on to hope, believing in the potential of their community to rise above its current circumstances.

  • Population: 2,629
  • Median Home Value: $26,725
  • Median Income: $16,345 

2. Viavant-Venetian Isles: The Mirage of Venice

Venetian Isles

The Viavant-Venetian Isles neighborhood might sound like a dreamy Italian escape, but it’s more of a bayou version of Venice.

The houses are perched on water, and residents often commute by boat. However, the financial struggles of the area are hard to ignore. With an unemployment rate of 10.2% and a median income of just $14,722, it’s a struggle to keep up with the boat payments.

Despite the economic challenges, the residents of Viavant-Venetian Isles take pride in their unique lifestyle. The community is tight-knit, with neighbors helping each other out in times of need.

The area is also rich in culture, with local festivals and events bringing the community together.

  • Population: 983
  • Median Home Value: $93,750
  • Median Income: $14,722 

3. Tulane-Gravier: The Misnomer

Tulane-Gravier might lead you to believe it’s home to the prestigious Tulane University, but the reality is quite different. The neighborhood is dominated by the University Medical Center New Orleans, but the doctors seem to live elsewhere.

With a median income of $19,298 and an unemployment rate of 6.9%, the area is far from prosperous. However, the neighborhood is not without its charms.

The area is home to several historic buildings and landmarks, and its close proximity to the French Quarter makes it an attractive location for those seeking a taste of New Orleans’ vibrant culture.

Despite the economic challenges, the residents of Tulane-Gravier remain resilient, working together to improve their community.

Population: 3,437
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $70,620 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $19,298 (5th worst)

4. Pines Village: The Illusion of Tranquility

Pines Village

Pines Village might conjure images of a serene forested community, but it’s far from it. The neighborhood is plagued by economic challenges, with a median home price of $119,375 that’s out of reach for many locals due to a 7.2% unemployment rate and a median income of $20,048.

Despite these challenges, Pines Village has a strong sense of community.

The residents are known for their friendliness and hospitality, and the neighborhood is home to several community organizations that work towards improving the quality of life in the area.

The neighborhood also boasts several parks and green spaces, providing residents with a much-needed respite from the urban hustle and bustle.

  • Population: 3,187
  • Median Home Value: $119,375
  • Median Income: $20,048 

5. Florida: The Misplaced Sunshine State


Florida, a neighborhood far from the water, is a place of economic struggle. Despite having a fair share of amenities like churches and restaurants, the area is marked by low-income jobs, with a median income of just $17,125. However, the neighborhood is not without its charms.

The area is home to several historic buildings and landmarks, and its close proximity to the French Quarter and the Mississippi River offers residents easy access to some of New Orleans’ most popular attractions.

Despite the economic challenges, the residents of Florida are known for their resilience and community spirit. They take pride in their neighborhood and work together to make it a better place to live.

  • Population: 1,427
  • Median Home Value: $85,386
  • Median Income: $17,125 

6. Fischer Dev: The Echoes of the Past


Fischer Dev, once home to infamous low-income projects, still bears the scars of its past. Despite redevelopment efforts, the neighborhood is still grappling with an unemployment rate of 9.1% and a median income of $21,098. However, the area is slowly showing signs of recovery.

New businesses are opening up, and there are efforts to improve the local schools and community facilities. The residents, many of whom have lived in the area for generations, are hopeful for the future and are committed to seeing their neighborhood thrive once again.

  • Population: 1,061
  • Median Home Value: $95,667
  • Median Income: $21,098 

7. West Lake Forest: The Far-Flung Struggle


West Lake Forest, despite being far from downtown, is not far from economic challenges. The area has an unemployment rate of 9.2% and a low median income of $26,270. Despite these challenges, West Lake Forest has a strong sense of community.

The neighborhood is home to several parks and recreational facilities, and the local schools are known for their dedicated teachers and staff.

The residents, while aware of the economic struggles, are committed to improving their neighborhood and creating a better future for their children.

  • Population: 4,260
  • Median Home Value: $114,375 
  • Median Income: $26,270 

8. Dixon: The Ghost of Poverty

Dixon, despite its proximity to the tourist attractions of New Orleans, is haunted by poverty. The neighborhood has a median income of just $16,628 and an unemployment rate of 9.6%. However, Dixon is not defined by its economic struggles.

The neighborhood is home to a vibrant community of artists and musicians, and its close proximity to the French Quarter means that residents have easy access to some of the best cultural attractions in the city.

Despite the challenges, the residents of Dixon remain hopeful and are committed to improving their community.

  • Population: 1,458
  • Median Home Value: $66,100 
  • Median Income: $16,628

9. Lower 9th Ward: The Survivor

The Lower 9th Ward, known for the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, continues to struggle. The neighborhood has a median income of $25,937 and an unemployment rate of 7.3%. Despite these challenges, the Lower 9th Ward is a neighborhood of survivors.

The community has come together to rebuild their homes and their lives, and there is a strong sense of solidarity among the residents.

The neighborhood is also home to several community organizations that provide support and resources to those in need.

  • Population: 3,636
  • Median Home Value: $104,867 
  • Median Income: $25,937 

10. Gert Town: The Changing Landscape

Gert Town NO

Gert Town, once dominated by a general store, has seen a shift in its character. Despite the transformation, the area is still grappling with economic challenges, with a 6.1% unemployment rate and a median income of $19,409. Despite these challenges, Gert Town is a neighborhood on the rise.

The area is home to Xavier University of Louisiana, and there are several redevelopment projects underway. The residents of Gert Town are optimistic about the future and are committed to seeing their neighborhood thrive.

  • Population: 4,082
  • Median Home Value: $89,960 
  • Median Income: $19,409 

A Dark Chapter in New Orleans’ History

One of the most horrific crimes that ever shook the city of New Orleans was the tragic rampage of Mark Essex, a chilling episode that unfolded over several days in early 1973.

Essex, a disgruntled Navy veteran, embarked on a killing spree that left nine people dead, including five police officers, and thirteen others wounded.

The terror began on New Year’s Eve when Essex shot and killed a local police officer. Over the next few days, he carried out a series of sniper attacks, targeting police officers and civilians alike.

The climax of his violent spree came on January 7, when he barricaded himself on the rooftop of the Howard Johnson’s hotel in downtown New Orleans.

From this vantage point, he fired indiscriminately at passersby and responding police officers, turning the bustling city center into a war zone. The standoff ended when police, aided by a Marine helicopter, stormed the rooftop and killed Essex.

The shocking events left the city in a state of fear and disbelief, marking a dark chapter in New Orleans’ history that is remembered to this day.


1. What is being done to improve safety in New Orleans?

While New Orleans has struggled with high crime rates, the city has implemented several initiatives to improve safety.

These include increasing police presence in high-crime areas, investing in community policing programs, and implementing crime prevention strategies such as improved street lighting and surveillance cameras.

The city is also investing in social programs aimed at addressing the root causes of crime, such as poverty and lack of education.

2. Are there safe neighborhoods in New Orleans?

Yes, there are many safe neighborhoods in New Orleans. Areas such as Uptown, Garden District, and Lakeview have lower crime rates compared to the city average.

However, it’s important to remember that crime can occur anywhere, so residents should always be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions.

3. How can I stay safe while living in or visiting New Orleans?

Staying safe in New Orleans involves being aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and avoiding high-crime areas.

It’s also recommended to secure your home and vehicle, avoid displaying valuable items in public, and travel in groups whenever possible.

If you’re visiting the city, stick to well-populated areas and follow advice from local authorities and travel advisories.

4. What is the impact of crime on the economy of New Orleans?

High crime rates can have a negative impact on the economy of a city. They can deter tourists, which is a major source of income for New Orleans, and discourage businesses from setting up in the city.

High crime rates can also lead to higher costs for law enforcement and criminal justice, and can decrease property values in high-crime areas.

5. How has Hurricane Katrina impacted crime rates?

Hurricane Katrina had a significant impact on New Orleans, including its crime rates. The storm and its aftermath led to a temporary spike in crime due to the chaos and lack of law enforcement immediately following the disaster.

In the long term, the storm exacerbated social and economic issues in the city, which are often linked to crime. However, the city has been working hard to rebuild and address these issues in the years since the storm.

Final Words

In conclusion, while New Orleans is a city of vibrant culture, rich history, and unique charm, it also grapples with significant crime rates that pose challenges for both residents and visitors.

The city’s crime landscape is complex, with certain neighborhoods experiencing higher crime rates and economic struggles. However, it’s important to remember that these issues do not define the city or its people.

New Orleans is a city of resilience, where communities come together to address their challenges and work towards a safer, more prosperous future.

The city’s response to crime, including increased police presence, community policing programs, and social initiatives, demonstrate a commitment to improving safety and quality of life for all residents.

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