Whether you’re visiting New Orleans or planning on relocating to the city, the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a neighborhood to stay in is likely safety. The same is true for pretty much any city really, as safety should always be your top priority. When it comes to New Orleans, crime rates are notoriously high; the city even earned the seventeenth slot on CBS News’ “The most dangerous cities in America, ranked.”
In 2017, the murder rate in The Big Easy was a staggering 40 per 100K residents. The city has seen over 100 murders every year since 1966, and while that number has dropped significantly from a high of 400 per year in the mid-1990s, New Orleans still has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
With a high overall crime rate, you should pay special attention when visiting The Big Easy, or planning out a neighborhood for you and your family to settle down. Like most heavily populated cities, the most violent crimes in New Orleans occur far from the communities that tourists generally visit.
Regardless of your reason for visiting, everyone wants a neighborhood that is family-friendly, clean, and above all, safe. The Big Easy has one of the highest crime rates in the United States, at 59 per one thousand residents. Fortunately, a high crime rate does not mean that there aren’t safe areas in New Orleans.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in New Orleans?
- 1. Lake Shore – Lake Vista
- 2. Audubon
- 3. West End
- 4. Village de L’est
- 5. Gentilly Woods
- 6. Lakewood
- 7. Algiers Point
- 8. Lakeview
- 9. Navarre
- 10. Old Aurora
- Safest Neighborhoods in New Orleans for 2020
- Tips for Staying Safe in New Orleans
- Related Questions
What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in New Orleans?
When you compare New Orleans to other cities of a similar size and population, the crime rate in New Orleans is considerably higher than average. The city has one of the highest rates of property crime, violent crime, murder, and motor vehicle theft in the nation, according to FBI crime data.
Despite grim statistics, The Big Easy is still worth a visit and can be a great place to settle down as long as you know where to go, how to act, and which neighborhoods to steer clear of. I’m sure you already know that NOLA is the place for jazz music, Cajun cuisine, and Mardi Gras. However, if you’re looking to become a resident of this colorful city, you need to learn more than just where you can get the best beignets.
We analyzed raw data and crime statistics in order to determine which areas were safe in New Orleans. More specifically, we took a look at violent crime, property crime, and total crimes per 100K people in each neighborhood. The communities with the lowest rankings made our list of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans:
- Lake Shore – Lake Vista
- West End
- Village de L’est
- Gentilly Woods
- Algiers Point
- Old Aurora
Let’s take a look at each neighborhood in detail, their crime statistics, characteristics, and livability.
1. Lake Shore – Lake Vista
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 154
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,014
- Population: 2,957
Lake Shore/ Lake Vista is a neighborhood in New Orleans that is a subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area. With the lowest overall crime rate, Lake Shore/Lake Vista is the safest neighborhood in the city. This area is considered one of the newer neighborhoods in New Orleans, founded in 1939. Although the community is relatively new, it contains the 18th century Old Spanish Fort, whose origin predates the city’s founding.
Residents of this neighborhood get to enjoy many surrounding parks and Lake Pontchartrain on its northern border. Lake Vista is famous for its street names named after borders and homes that face a lane/sidewalk, instead of a street. Lake Shore/Lake Vista ranks number one on our list of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans with a violent crime rate per 100K of 154 and property crime sitting at 1,014 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 218
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,480
- Population: 16,424
The Audubon neighborhood of New Orleans is a subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrollton area. Extending from S. Claiborne Ave to the Mississippi River, Audubon is home to some of the most beautiful streets in The Big Easy. Flooded with historic architecture, the area is bisected by the streetcar line and St. Charles Avenue.
Audubon is famous for be the University section of Uptown New Orleans, as it contains both Loyola and Tulane universities. Student occupied properties surround the universities, while the adjacent streets feature some of the most exceptional real estate in the city.
Residents enjoy the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Park, the Audubon Golf Course, and plenty of other outdoor adventures. You’ll see plenty of foot traffic in this community with strollers, students, bikers, and joggers exploring the area. Audubon is the second safest neighborhood in New Orleans. The violent crime per 100K people comes in at 218 and property crime is 1,480 for 2020.
3. West End
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 159
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,714
- Population: 4,058
Sometimes referred to as West Lakeview, West End is a subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area in New Orleans. This neighborhood is slightly removed from city life and can be a great place to raise a family. Stretching from Lake Pontchartrain to Veterans Blvd, West End is a unique blend of single-family homes, townhouses, high-rise condos, and waterfront boathouses.
Its close proximity to Lakeview allows residents to take advantage of all the amenities, without the high cost of living associated with more urban locations. The New Canal Lighthouse is situated right on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain and complements West End’s nautical ambiance.
West End is the ideal place for those looking for all the history and charm that comes with Downtown New Orleans, but without the crowds. Residents enjoy picnics and biking along the lake, spectacular waterfront views, and plenty of shopping and dining experiences.
West End ranks third on our list of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans. The violent crime rate per 100K is 159, while the property crime comes in at 1,714 for 2020.
4. Village de L’est
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 370
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,540
- Population: 9,068
Located in Eastern New Orleans, the Village de L’Est neighborhood is known for its large Vietnamese community. The community is also referred to as Versailles, as the earliest migrants to the area after 1975 originally settled in the Versailles Arms apartment complex. Often called “Little Vietnam,” this neighborhood offers a variety of family-owned Vietnamese restaurants.
This area is also home to the locally popular Vietnamese Farmers’ Market. Though it is a small community, it boasts a crime rate that is 50% lower than the state average and 26% lower than the national average. Village De L’est is the fourth safest neighborhood in New Orleans. The violent crime rate for the area comes in at 370 and the property crime per 100K people is 1,540 for 2020.
5. Gentilly Woods
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 400
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,783
- Population: 3,156
A subdistrict of the Gentilly District Area, Gentilly Woods is a neighborhood that sits right below the Pontchartrain Park subdivision. Built in the 1950s, this subdivision consists of affordable single-family homes and is relatively close to the University of New Orleans and Southern University.
Gentilly Woods is primarily residential and offers a suburban feel with some fast food and retail options along the Chef Menteur Highway boundary. Running errands in Gentilly Woods will likely require the use of a car or public transportation.
The area’s architecture is dominated by raised cottages and ranches. Three- or four-bedroom homes, two bathrooms, off-street parking, and fenced yards are the norm in Gentilly Woods. There is a small park in the area along with the nearby Pontchartrain Park and golf course. Gentilly Woods ranks fifth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans. The violent crime rate for the area is 400, while the property crime per 100K people comes in at 1,783 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 252
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,963
- Population: 1,812
The Lakewood neighborhood is a subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area and is adjected to both the Parish line and West End, spanning both sides of the I-10 freeway. The interstate cuts the neighborhood into two separate areas: Lakewood South and Lakewood North. Both Lakewood North and Lakewood South are somewhat tucked away, although homes are still visible on the perimeter of the interstate.
Residents of Lakewood enjoy low traffic, due to the lack of through streets in the neighborhood. The area was originally housed the Lakewood Country Club prior to most residential construction. However, with the completion of the I-10 and I-610 routes in the 1960s, the country club was relocated.
Nowadays, the neighborhood is home to a small community and although it’s quiet, it isn’t particularly walkable. You will need a car to run even the simplest of errands, which can be a drawback for some. The traditional New Orleans architecture is not found in Lakewood, as most homes were originally custom-built to the owner’s taste. Lakewood is the sixth safest neighborhood in New Orleans with a violent crime rate per 100K people of 252 and the property crime is 1,963 for 2020.
7. Algiers Point
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 293
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,950
- Population: 3,022
Algiers Point is New Orleans’ second oldest neighborhood, and some say the city’s best-kept secret. The small community of roughly 3,000 is the only part of New Orleans that exists on the other side of the Mississippi River. Though, it is a part of the larger Algiers neighborhood, or 15th Ward. In the 1900s this area was home to some of the early African American jazz artists and is often considered the birthplace of jazz. Algiers is very significant in the history of New Orleans.
Algiers Point is the ideal destination for those looking for a respite and a condensed version of traditional New Orleans. Here you’ll find Greek Revivals, Shotguns, Queen Anne’s, Italiantes, Creole Cottages, and virtually any type of New Orleans architecture you can imagine.
In addition to stunning architecture, residents enjoy historic churches, Magnolia tree-lined streets, quaint cafes and pubs, along with live music and weekly trivia nights. Algiers Point ranks seventh on our list of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans. The violent crime per 100K comes in at 293 and the property crime is 1,950 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 127
- Property Crime Per 100K: 2,153
- Population: 8,015
Lakeview is a subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the community was home to more seniors who had lived in Lakeview for generations. Nowadays, the area has seen a huge surge in construction, more modern houses, and increasing interest in those who grew up in the area and have decided to return.
Nestled alongside City Park, Lakeview offers the opportunity to wander the paths of the stunning Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a part of New Orleans Museum of Art, or visit the nearby beloved family amusement park, Storyland. The lakefront is dotted with marinas, sailboats, and popular seafood restaurants to enjoy.
Another popular location for residents of Lakeview is Harrison Avenue, where the dining and shopping are supreme. The ambiance of Lakeview is friendly, fun, casual, carefree, and quintessential New Orleans. Lakeview ranks eighth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in the city of New Orleans. Violent crime in the area comes in at 127 per 100K people, while property crime is 2,153 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 361
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,912
- Population: 2,902
The Navarre New Orleans neighborhood is a subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area, situated adjacent to City Park. Since the majority of the community’s streets are tucked away and off the main thoroughfares, this area is a true hidden gem. Although many folks don’t drive through Navarre, it still has plenty to offer visitors and potential future residents.
The southwest corner of the neighborhood is anchored by Greenwood Cemetery and hosts some of the beautiful above-ground tombs in New Orleans. Navarre also has two parks, City Park and Delgado Park, that offer plenty of green space.
While some claim the neighborhood is part of Lakeview, others affirm Mid Center. Regardless, the eclectic cottage homes offer a little something for everyone. Based on our calculations, Navarre is the ninth safest city in New Orleans. The violent crime rate per 100K people is 361 and property crime is 1,912 for 2020.
10. Old Aurora
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 391
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,952
- Population: 18,186
Tucked inside of the Algiers District, Old Aurora’s friendly neighbors and historic bungalows make it one of the best neighborhoods to live in New Orleans. This area is notorious for having affordable, spacious homes and you can generally expect to get more square footage for the price when compared to other communities.
The neighborhood is just across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, which can be accessed quickly by way of the Algiers Point ferry. Residents enjoy stunning views of the Downtown New Orleans skyline, lovely local Victorian architecture, a quieter way of life, and oak-lined streets. In fact, the area is ideal for families and retirees and is one of the top locations for buying property in the city.
Old Aurora closes out our list at number ten of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans. The violent crime rate per 100K is 391 and property crime comes in at 1,952 for 2020.
Safest Neighborhoods in New Orleans for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|
|1||Lake Shore – Lake Vista||2,957||154||1,014|
|4||Village de L’est||9,068||370||1,540|
Tips for Staying Safe in New Orleans
Although the city of New Orleans has an exceptionally high crime rate, this should not deter you from visiting the city. Follow these tips for staying safe in The Big Easy:
- Know which neighborhoods to avoid. Just like anywhere else in the country, crime in New Orleans is higher in particular neighborhoods. Be aware of which communities you should steer clear of and which to stick to. If you’re a tourist in town, do not visit any of the cemeteries without a tour group, especially at nighttime. Criminals are known for staking out cemeteries and hiding behind the tombs.
- Stay alert at all times. When walking and using public transit be attentive to your surroundings. Avoid strolling by yourself after dark and consider traveling with a companion. While the taxis and streetcars in New Orleans are relatively safe, vehicle break-ins and traffic accidents are somewhat common.
- Avoid pickpockets in popular tourist areas. Since Bourbon Street and The French Quarter are very popular among tourists, it’s also frequented by con artists, scammers, and petty criminals. Keep your belongings close and stay alert.
- Try not to look like a tourist. If you are visiting the city as a tourist, try not to look the part. This makes you a target for criminals. For example, avoid wearing Mardi Gras beads unless it’s actually Mardi Gras season.
What are the most dangerous neighborhoods in New Orleans?
Most of the crime in New Orleans stems from the fact that both its city and tourist areas are much smaller when compared to other cities. When you factor in thousands of tourists during Mardi Gras, and other celebrations, you have a breeding ground for petty crime. Just like any other populous city, you’ll want to avoid specific areas in order to stay safe.
In terms of dangerous neighborhoods, gang violence has increased in the 6th District, which encompasses Hoffman Triangle, Central City, Touro, Irish Channel, and Zion City. Violent crimes such as shootings and homicides have occurred in these areas as of late. With regard to Central City, you don’t want to stray past Oretha Castle Haley (OCH) Boulevard into the area after dark.
Other New Orleans neighborhoods to avoid include Desire and Florida, for their notoriously bad crime reputation and statistics worse than almost anywhere in the nation. St. Claude also experiences significantly more robberies, thefts, assaults, and burglaries than the national average. Here’s a full list of the ten worst neighborhoods in New Orleans based on raw crime data:
- Viavant-Venetian Isles
- Pines Village
- Fischer Dev
- Lower 9th Ward
- West Lake Forest
- Treme’ Lafitte
Is the French Quarter safe?
While it can feel dangerous at times and violent crime does happen, many residents believe that the French Quarters is one of the safest areas of New Orleans. Those who live and work in the area believe that they are generally safe. According to the most current crime statistics, the French Quarter has a total crime rate that is 11% lower than the national average and a property crime rate that is 17% lower.
However, the violent crime rate in the French Quarter is 22% higher than the United States average, or your chance of being a victim of violent crime is 1 in 215. Violent crime involves five criminal offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, and gang violence.