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Guide to Moving to Louisiana

Louisiana, also known as the Pelican State, is located in the southern part of the United States of America. It is bordered by Arkansas to its north, the Gulf of Mexico to its south, Mississippi to its east, and Texas to its west. It also has a total area of 4,600 square miles of inland waters with a subtropical climate. This is the reason why it has various breathtaking sceneries in the form of bayous, shores, forest and many more. The state is called the Festival Capital of America due to its countless festivals that are celebrated every year. Louisiana’s capital is Baton Rogues is while New Orleans is its largest city.

A park in New Orleans which has a beautiful and lush greenery
A breathtaking view of the city park in New Orleans

Contents:

Pros and Cons

The state of Louisiana has its highs and lows which is an essential thing to consider especially when planning to move into its cities. Here are some of its pros and cons:

The Good:

  • Various natural attractions: The state boasts its breathtaking landscapes perfect for a relaxing vacation. It has countless parks, bayous, pine forest and many more.
  • Great Food: Louisiana has awesome cuisines. From Jambalaya to Cajun seasoning, it is every food lover’s dream. Every meal in its restaurant looks, tastes, and smells amazing due to its fresh ingredients and seasonings.
  • Exciting Festivals: Almost everything is celebrated in Louisiana wherein it has about 400 festivals held each year. Cities are always full of life and excitement which is a plus for those who like to have fun and celebrate.
  • Low Cost of Living: The prices of goods are low in the state when compared to others. With cheaper gas prices, homes, groceries, etc., the state is sure good for the pocket.
  • Love for Sports: Louisiana loves sports which is the reason it is sometimes called “The Sportsman’s Paradise”. The citizens here love almost all kinds of sports such as basketball, football, golf, baseball, etc.
  • Slow pace lifestyle: People coming from busy states like New York will notice the big difference in Louisiana lifestyle. Calm and slow, there are fewer people walking in the streets and cars traveling during rush hours.
  • Low-Cost Education: The state has many affordable education institutions which is an advantage especially to its citizens who are struggling financially.

The Bad:

  • Racism: Racism is still prominent among its citizens. Though not all as most are very friendly, having racism in a state leads to many problems like chaos and misunderstandings.
  • The Weather: If you’re expecting a white Christmas in this state, then the chances are slim. This is because winter doesn’t start until late January. In addition, the temperature is rather hot when compared to other states.
  • Prone to Natural Disasters: Due to its climate and geographical position, the state is often visited by hurricanes and other severe natural hazards such as floods, heatwaves, etc.
  • Poor Health Care: The state has trouble providing quality health care services to its people particularly in the rural areas.
  • Rampant Critters: Due to its various swamps, forest, and bayous, there are always critters that come around in people’s yards and homes. Some of these are snakes, rats, possums, etc.
  • Limited Job Opportunities: The state’s economy has not been doing so well recently, this is the reason why there are only a few job opportunities offered to its citizens. As a result, its poverty rate has increased.
  • Low-Quality Education: According to US News, Louisiana ranked 49th in its educational ranking among other states. This is based on assessment exams done to its students wherein some scored lowest in the country.

Fun Fact

Louisiana has many interesting facts that only a few may know about. Here are some:

  1. The New Orleans Superdome, one of the largest enclosed arenas in the world, is so big that rainstorms can allegedly from inside it.
  2. Though it originated in Southern Europe, the famous Mardi Gras festival is celebrated in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  3. Many famous celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Ellen DeGeneres, and Harry Connick Jr. were born in this state.
  4. Rayne, Louisiana is famously known as The Frog Capital of the World.
  5. The state was named “La Louisianne” by French explorer Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle to honor King Louis XIV.
  6. The Louisiana State Capitol is the largest Capitol Building in the United States. It measures 450 feet tall with 34 floors.
  7. The state is home to 2 million alligators which making it have the largest alligator population in the United States.

Funny State Laws

  • It is prohibited to snore unless all bedroom windows are closed and locked.
  • Gargling in public is illegal.
  • Testing a bed before buying it is not allowed in the state.
  • It is illegal to have fake wrestling matches
  • Eating more than three sandwiches at a wake is prohibited.
  • Urinating in the water supply and an infraction is illegal and could land you 20 years in prison.
  • Goatees are illegal in the state unless you pay a special license fee to have it.

Weather and Climate

Louisiana’s climate is affected by its geographical location as it is located on the gulf coast of Mexico. This is the reason why it is affected by diverse air masses along with the warm moist air over the Gulf of Mexico and dry continental air masses. The state has a humid subtropical climate which is characterized by hot summers, short and mild winters, and abundant precipitation throughout the year. It is also prone to tropical storms wherein hurricane season can last up to 6 months. During summer, the average temperature can go up to 90°F (32.2°C) while night stay below 70°F (21.1°C). Winters are mild with temperatures of 66°F (18.9°C) in the south and below 59°F (15°C) in the north while nights have below-freezing temperatures of 37°F (2.8°C) in the north and 46°F (7.8°C) near the Gulf.

Nature

The popular Lake Martin in Lafayette, Louisiana
A scenic sight of Lake Martin in Lafayette

The state has breathtaking natural attractions to boast about which are perfect for those who are seeking a natural retreat alone or with their family. This is because of its location and climate making it abundant natural vegetation. It has three major divisions consisting of forest, prairies, and marshlands. Each is filled with amazing plant life such as live oaks, Spanish moss draping, magnolia flowers and many more. Some of its top places to see are:

  • Driskill Mountain
  • Atchafalaya River Basin
  • Barataria Preserve
  • Avery Island
  • Honey Island Swamp
  • Kisatchie National Forest

Natural Disasters

Louisiana is not a stranger to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Due to its climate and location, it is frequently affected by these various natural hazards which all have devastating results to the state. This is why Louisiana’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is very active in keeping the public safe and aware of what to do during these circumstances. Below are some of its natural hazards:

  • Floods: This is the most common threat not only to Louisiana but in almost all parts of the world. Floods often occur because of prolonged rainfalls, heavy rain showers, and overflowing of rivers or streams of surrounding areas. It is always best to evacuate and get to high ground when extreme flooding occurs.
  • Hurricanes (Tropical Cyclones): These are very typical in the state especially during the months of June to November. Hurricanes are very devastating and can result in loss of homes or even death.
  • Thunderstorms: The state’s warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean is the reason why there is frequent thunderstorms development. This can also result in the formation of hail and damaging winds in which it can cause damages to property and other structures.
  • Tornadoes: These are one of the most damaging natural hazards as they can happen and anywhere. It is characterized by a rapid and violent rotating column of air that extends from the cumulonimbus cloud to the ground. It has intense winds that are over 200mph.

Moving Prices from Major Cities

When moving from a major city to a state such as Louisiana, it is always best to know or have an idea of how much it would cost. This helps you budget and plan your savings for your relocation. Here are some estimated moving costs of relocation to Louisiana:

  • Dallas, TX to Louisiana$1,795
  • Los Angeles, CA to Louisiana= $2,394
  • New York, NY to Louisiana= $2,316
  • Phoenix, AZ to Louisiana= $1,799
  • Chicago, IL to Louisiana= $1,645
  • Philadelphia, PA to Louisiana= $2, 950

Housing / Real Estate

A miniture house a top of an interior layout
A layout of house interior with a miniture house and maginifying glass on top

The state of Louisiana has a homestead exemption which means less money is spent taxes on homes. Also, other reasons such as job issues and flooding made housing prices low. With lower than average housing prices, it was ranked 20th in affordability by U.S. News. The state’s median home value costs around $141,397 while the rent price is only around $1,200.

Price of Living

The cost of living in Louisiana is lower when compared to other states. With grocery, housing, and health services cost low, the state is very affordable to live in. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, here are some estimated cost of living for a family with 2 adult and 2 children in Louisiana.:

  • Baton Rouge, Metro area
    • HOUSING: $906
    • FOOD: $760
    • CHILD CARE: $805
    • Transportation : $1,180
    • HEALTH CARE: $1,207
    • OTHER NECESSITIES: $672
    • TAXES: $777
      • Monthly Total: $6,307
      • Annual Total: $75,680
  • Lafayette, Metro Area
    • HOUSING: $865
    • FOOD: $792
    • CHILD CARE: $775
    • Transportation : $1,176
    • HEALTH CARE: $1,136
    • OTHER NECESSITIES: $668
    • TAXES: $745
      • Monthly Total: $6,157
      • Annual Total: $73,882
  • New Orleans, Metro area
    • HOUSING: $996
    • FOOD: $806
    • CHILD CARE: $840
    • Transportation: $1,101
    • HEALTH CARE: $1,093
    • OTHER NECESSITIES: $727
    • TAXES: $787
      • Monthly Total : $6,351
      • Annual Total: $76,213
  • Alexandria, Metro area
    • HOUSING: $750
    • FOOD: $669
    • CHILD CARE: $736
    • Transportation: $1,123
    • HEALTH CARE: $1,194
    • OTHER NECESSITIES: $572
    • TAXES: $637
      • Monthly Total $5,682
      • Annual Total $68,181

Demographics

The state is full of diversity as many different people have migrated and stayed in it. The median age of its citizens is 36.2 years of age composing 51.1% females and 48.9%, males. Louisiana has gone important changes in its demographics in the 20th century. Here is its latest racial composition according to ACS:

  • White: 62.39%
  • Black or African American: 32.18%
  • Two or more races: 1.88%
  • Asian: 1.74%
  • Other race: 1.21%
  • Native American: 0.58%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%

Education

Though education is not its best asset, Louisiana has many educational institutions that it boasts of such as:

Healthcare and Medical Institutions

Louisiana’s health care is one of the worst in the nation. According to U.S News, it ranked 45th in overall health care. Despite this, the state still tries to develop and enhance its health care system. The Louisiana Department of Health is the one responsible for offering health care services development to health facilities, organizations, and other health providers across the state.

  • Ochsner Medical Center
  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center
  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Lafayette General Medical Center
  • Abbeville General Hospital

Tourism / Attractions

The state is very proud of its countless attractions. Because of its natural wonder, the state has become a haven for tourists all over the world. From natural parks to museums, each has its own interesting experience to offer. It also has its own fun activities that can be done or with family. Tourists can go enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, and many more while surrounded by breathtaking views and interesting wildlife. Here are some of its top attractions:

  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Honey Island Swamp Tour
  • Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
  • R. W. Norton Art Gallery
  • Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge

Top Cities

The famous french quarter located in New Orleans
The stunning and historic French Quarters in New Orleans

The heart and soul of Louisiana lie in its beautiful cities which are full of life, wonderful people, amazing attractions and fun festivities. Some of its top cities include:

  • New Orleans
    • New Orleans, also known as Big Easy, is famous for its exciting nightlife, vibrant and fun music, and delicious cuisines. It is also where the famous Mardi Gras Festival is held and celebrated wherein many people from all parts of the world flock together to celebrate.
  • Breaux Bridge
    • The small city is located in the heart of Cajun Country. It is known as the Crawfish Capital of the World and hosts the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival yearly. The city was founded by Acadian settlers who traveled from Canada and made home to the state of Louisiana.
  • Natchitoches
    • The city of Natchitoches is the oldest community in Louisiana. It was established in 1794 by French colonists and named the city after the Natchitoches Native American tribe.
  • Lafayette
    • The city is known for being the cultural center of Louisiana’s heritage. The city is home to many museums such as Alexandre Mouton House, The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, LARC’s Acadian Village and many more.
  • Baton Rouge
    • The capital city of the state, Baton Rouge is full of exciting events and amazing attractions. These include Magnolia Mound Plantation, and LSU Rural Life Museum.

Job Market

Louisiana’s job market is struggling due to its lack of job opportunities for its citizens. Currently, it is ranked 48 in the unemployment rate according to U.S. News. Though saying this, the state continues to find ways to develop its market. Some of its Top Hiring Companies include:

  1. Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
  2. Vie Sauvage LLC
  3. St. Francis Primary West
  4. Paragon Casino
  5. Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel

Economy

The state’s economy depends on its agriculture with cotton as its primary crop in the north and sugar cane in the south. Its economy is experiencing some struggles due to its lack of job opportunities, poverty, and low health care services. Still, the state has many top industries in its states which are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Agribusiness
  • Automotive
  • Energy

Things to do

Various campers in a forest
Groups of tourist camping in a forest

Louisiana is a state that is full of life due to its various recreational activities in each of its attractions. Here are some top attractions:

  • Mardi Gras
    • Held during February in New Orleans, the Mardi Gras is the biggest annual event in the state. The event is filled with colorful float parades, balls, and street celebrations. People from all parts of the world would come and celebrate the famous event.
  • Honey Island Swamp
    • The breathtaking sight of the Honey Island Swamp is the most pristine swamp in the U.S. It is located in St. Tammany Parish wherein day tours are available to be able to enjoy the beauty of the swamp.
  • Lake D’Arbonne State Park
    • The park is composed of 655 acres of rolling hills, hiking trails, forest and a huge lake. Tourists can go fishing, hiking, swimming and many more.
  • Vermilionville
    • Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, the beautiful Vermilionville features the heritage and traditions of the Acadian settlers during the 18th-19th century. View and discover many artifacts with fascinating stories in this amazing living history museum.
  • Rosedown Plantation and Gardens
    • Known as one of the most well preserved domestic Southern plantations, the breathtaking plantation presents a look of the lifestyles of owners and slaves during the mid-19th century. The site features beautiful flowers and tranquil gardens.
  • Fontainebleau State Park
    • The state park features the ruins of an old sugar mill and historic old grove. Tourists can enjoy a scenic view while kayaking, hiking, sailing, and camping on this site.
  • Bogue Chitto State Park
    • The Bogue Chitto State Park boasts an unforgettable outdoor experience to its tourists. It has one of the most scenic rivers in the state and has various activities to offer such as swimming, hiking, tubing and many more.
  • Kisatchie National Forest
    • The Kisatchie National Forest is the only national forest in the state. It features flatwood vegetation and rare longleaf pine forest. Tourists can enjoy and explore amazing animal species and rare plants during their tour.

Public Transport

Transportation Fares
Capital Area Transit System (CATS) Adults: $1.75 Youth 5-18: $.35 Senior Citizens (age 62 and older): $.35
SporTran Adults: $1.25 Child (Under 37″): FREE Discount: $0.60
Regional TA Adults: $1.25 Child Age 2 below: Free Senior Citizen: $0.40
Jefferson Transit Base fare – $1.50
Amtrak Depends on location and date
Greyhound $20
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Depends on location
Shreveport Regional Airport Depends on location

Crime and Safety

Handcuff with its keys
Handcuffs for law violatorsi

Louisiana’s crime rate has been decreasing in the past years and has shown a downward trend according to city rating. The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice has many programs to help its citizens keep safe from any crimes in the state. Some of these programs are the Family Justice Center, Innocence Compensation Program, Bulletproof vest and many more. With violent crimes and property crime decreasing, it is expected to be lower in the incoming year. According to Background Check, some of the safest places to live in Louisiana are:

  • Gretna
  • Minden
  • Mandeville
  • Covington
  • Youngsville

Acquire a new driver’s License

Acquiring a new driver’s license when moving to Louisiana is essential as the old one would be deemed useless in the state. Here are some steps on how to acquire a new one:

  1. Completing a driver’s education course is the first essential thing to do when getting your new one.
  2. Visit the nearest local Office of Motor Vehicles in your location and apply in person.
  3. Bring the required documents such as:
  • Certificate of Driver Education Completion or official transcript from a school in Louisiana for a driver’s education course.
  • A certified birth certificate or Louisiana identification card.
  • Proof of residency
  • Social Security Verification
  • Certificate of Required Attendance from your school
  1. If under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must be bought to sign the license application
  2. Pass vision and knowledge test
  3. Pay the necessary fees
  4. Claim the permit

Road Safety, Highways, and Routes

Louisiana has many institutions and agencies to help keep their road safe for its citizens. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development work together to provide this to their citizens.

Here are some of its Highways and Routes:

  • Louisiana Highway 1
  • Louisiana Highway 173
  • Louisiana Highway 523
  • Louisiana Highway 3132
  • Interstate 410
  • Interstate 110

Museums

In the end, is moving to Louisiana worth it?

Packing of clothes and things in luggages
A bunch of packed luggages ready for moving

Like any other state, Louisiana has many disadvantages such as lack of job opportunities, poor health services and lack of quality education. In addition to this, the state is prone to natural hazards which may be dangerous when unprepared. But through all this, the state holds many promises for people who decide to move and live in it. Its low cost of living, peaceful surrounding, breathtaking natural attractions, and festivals outweighs its disadvantages. For its natural hazards, there are many ways to avoid and prepare these circumstances. The state is full of wonderful history and relaxing resources which will make your stay unforgettable. This is why moving to the wonderful state is indeed worth it.

Bottom Line

Moving to a new state requires much-needed planning and the help of moving companies as they are the one’s experts in relocation for your things to Louisiana. There are different movers and packers for each item such as piano movers, hot tub movers, art movers, pool table movers, long-distance movers and office movers. All of these moving professionals would not only make relocating easy but also keep your items safe from any breakages and destruction during the move.