Moving to Louisiana: State Relocation Guide
Known as the Pelican State or the Mardi Gras State, Louisiana is a melting pot of cultures. It carries influences of the French, Spanish, Native American, African, and diverse cuisines of Creole and Cajun backgrounds.
It’s a top tourist destination: People flock there every year to enjoy the Southern hospitality and visit famous cities and spots, such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the French Quarter, the Mardi Gras festival, the tallest capitol building in the country, and the many alligators.
In addition to visiting, many people are also moving to Louisiana. The state has around 4.6 million residents and is growing.
The attractiveness of moving to this state lies in its relatively low cost of living, excellent educational institutions, and affordable housing. But before you make the jump and pack up your bags, it’s essential to know what living in Louisiana is really like.
So if you’re considering moving to Louisiana, we have a complete guide to help you make an informed decision about your next place of living.
Louisiana has a hot and humid subtropical climate. The winters are mild, and residents won’t experience heavy snowfall or freezing temperatures. But the summers can get extremely hot and humid. So if you’re a fan of hot weather, Louisiana is the place for you.
During the hot summers, temperatures might go as high as 93°F, and in the winter, expect the lowest temperatures to be around 39°F. There is some variation in temperatures within the state, with the Central and Northern regions being a bit cooler than the Southern part.
What makes Louisiana a bit cooler is the rainfall. The state experiences an average of five inches each year, so it is prone to severe weather.
Louisiana’s geographical position indicates that there is some risk of natural disasters. The state is prone to tropical cyclones, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. After the last hurricane devastated much of the state, authorities have redefined their emergency preparedness plans, so you can rest easy.
Taxes in Louisiana
Louisiana has relatively low taxes, and the ones that you should know the most about are the property tax, income tax, and sales tax.
One of the most attractive things about moving to Louisiana is the low property taxes. The state has the fifth-lowest tax in the country, with only 0.53%. So if you were to purchase a house at the median housing price of $163,100, you would pay only $848 in taxes.
Louisiana has a progressive income tax that is slightly higher than the national average and could go up to 9.55%. So if you were making the median annual salary of $49,469, your income tax would be around $1,339. As for the sales tax, Louisiana has had a 4.45% sales tax since 2018.
Cost of Living in Louisiana
If you’re planning a move to Louisiana from an expensive state, such as California or New York, you will be pleasantly surprised by the low cost of living.
Generally, we use a cost of living index to compare states. The overall national index is 100, and any state ranking above 100 is more expensive. States ranking below 100 have a cheaper cost of living than the average. Louisiana’s overall cost of living is 86.9.
Most living items in Louisiana are cheaper. These expenses include groceries, healthcare, utilities, etc. Housing is one of the cheapest aspects to living in Louisiana, ranking at an index of only 62. The only item that is slightly more expensive is transportation.
But even within Louisiana, you can find cheaper or more expensive places to live. Some of the more affordable areas in the state are:
Employment in Louisiana
In the past few decades, Louisiana has been in a constant state of change. Its economy has been growing, and the job market is booming.
New job opportunities are always coming up, and the business environment is starting to rely more on services. Living in Louisiana is extremely manageable, despite the economic shift, with the median housing cost at $163,100 and the median monthly rent at $866.
With more job opportunities coming up, the unemployment rate is dropping and is currently at 5.8%. The state’s economy depends mostly on energy and manufacturing, but some higher growing jobs are Software Engineer, Software Developer, Health Aide, Physical Therapist, etc. Some of the top industries in the state are:
- Advanced Manufacturing
In addition to the top industries, here are the top employers in Louisiana.
- Ochsner Health System
- Odyssea Marine
In terms of health care, Louisiana has a lot of room for improvement. The state ranks #46 in healthcare compared to all other states.
If we dig deeper, Louisiana ranks #26 for healthcare access and #47 for health care quality and public health. So, while living in Louisiana means having considerable access to health care services, their quality is relatively low.
But if you have decided to move to Louisiana, you should consider enrolling in a health insurance plan.
Louisiana has a specific enrollment period, usually running from November to January of each year, where residents can select a plan. If you are moving to the state in a different period, you can still enroll because you qualify as a new resident.
You have various options for health insurance in Louisiana, from the Bronze, Silver, and Gold tiers. Prices vary, but if you are a 35-year-old married person with two children, you can expect to pay from $1,204 to $1,758, depending on the tier you select.
The same plans increase significantly as you age. If you are a 65-year-old, your premiums could range from $1,720 to $2,511. In addition to the usual plans, you can also enroll in Medicaid and Medicare if you qualify.
Education in Louisiana
Living in Louisiana with school or college-aged children can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re looking for quality education. The state ranks at the bottom of the list for education, at #48 for college and #46 for Pre-K to 12th grade.
Despite this, there are still some fantastic school districts you can move to for your children, and your kids could also select a highly ranked public or private university. Some of the best public school districts in Louisiana are:
- Zachary Community Public Schools (Zachary)
- St. Charles Parish Public Schools (Luling)
- Ascension Parish Public Schools (Donaldsonville)
- Lincoln Parish Public Schools (Ruston)
- Plaquemines Parish Public Schools (Belle Chasse)
If you’re looking for a Louisiana college, some of the best colleges in the state are:
- Tulane University (New Orleans)
- Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge
- Loyola University New Orleans (New Orleans)
- Louisiana Tech University (Ruston)
- University of Louisiana – Lafayette (Lafayette)
Louisiana is a generally fun state to live in and is known as the festival capital of the country. Louisiana lifestyle is easygoing, and you won’t be hard-pressed to find fun activities to do for reasonable prices, even if you have attended all the amazing festivals.
If you’re a fan of history and natural attractions, you should see some of the major cities in the Pelican State and visit the Greater New Orleans, attend the Mardi Gras and take a walk through the French Quarter. See the Cajun Country, Plantation Country, the LSU Rural Life Museum, and the Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
If you love the outdoors, there is plenty of natural beauty and many state parks and hiking trails you can visit in the deep South, offering both mountainous and sea views. Consider going to the Fontainebleau State Park, the Palmetto Island State Park, and the Longfellow Evangeline State Historic Site, Lake Charles, amongst others.
And don’t forget to visit the Kisatchie National Forest, which is the only national forest in the state.
Louisiana is also a sportsman’s paradise — and almost all of the locals are fans of some sport. The most popular ones are football with the New Orleans Saints and basketball too. The Southern state also has some delicious food that you can try, and don’t forget to try gumbo, one of the state’s favorites.
If you’re looking to see all these wonders in Louisiana, you will definitely need a car to get around.
If you’re bringing an out-of-state vehicle, make sure to register it and your driver’s license appropriately by visiting the DMV and filing the necessary documents through your local post office. Your driver’s license will be updated to a Louisiana one, and you’ll even be allowed to get new motor vehicles.
Top 5 Places to Live in Louisiana
Now that we know more about what life in Louisiana is like, it’s time to decide where to move. Here are a few tips and places you can choose based on their affordability, quality of education, and lifestyle.
With a population of 68,000, Bossier City is one of Louisiana’s best places to live. Most of the population owns their home, and it’s quite affordable to purchase property.
Since the city is located near the Red River, you have plenty of available activities to do, including participating in carnivals, visiting the casino resorts, and more.
A small town with 14,000 people, Pineville is the perfect place to live if you want to be settled for your entire life. It offers a pleasant community and high-quality schools. Its primary industries and job opportunities are in agribusiness and manufacturing, and most people own their homes.
So if you’re looking for the idyllic suburban lifestyle, Pineville is the place for you.
Shreveport is the third-largest city in Louisiana and the second most populous one, with 192,000 residents. It’s a great city to live in if you want an exciting life, great job opportunities, and quality schools. You can live, work, and play well in Shreveport since the city offers affordable housing and exciting nightlife.
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, and as such, it has a diverse population of 226,000. The exciting city and the Baton Rouge Metro Area are home to exciting job opportunities in technology, research, medicine, natural gas and energy, and more.
It’s the perfect place to live if you want to further develop your career and reside in a city with delicious food and fun activities. In Baton Rouge, you will never be bored.
A hub of life, diversity, and excitement, New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana, with a population of 392,000. It is located by the Mississippi River, has a fantastic history, and is a melting pot of cultures, so you will always have something to do.
Although most people in the city own their homes, they tend to be more expensive than in other places in the state, at a median home value of $231,400.
You’ll find fun music festivals, a relaxing city park, great nightlife, and delicious food. But, you will also have access to good career choices and quality education. New Orleans, the Crescent City, has it all.
A Southern state in the country, Louisiana is becoming increasingly popular as a moving destination. Its economy has been booming, and new jobs and careers in technology and services are increasing. The state has warm weather, with hot and humid summers in Southern Louisiana and milder temperatures in the North.
Louisiana moving offers a low cost of living and affordable housing, with low property taxes for you to enjoy. And it’s also a place where you can have fun, especially in New Orleans, its major city. Visit many festivals, state parks, museums, and more, and slowly become part of the deep South.
But moving can be a challenge, especially having to ship your car on top of that.
At Guardian Auto Transport, we can take care of shipping your car to Louisiana, since we’re the best auto shipping company in the country. You can rely on us to get your car safely and quickly from point A to point B. Our services are highly rated, and some of the best companies in the country use them, including Tesla.
So start your journey towards Louisiana by getting your free quote today.