Once again Louisiana finds itself near the bottom of a survey. The financial site WalletHub has ranked Louisiana the 48th best state (or 3rd worst depending on your perspective) to raise a family. The state only did worse than Mississippi and New Mexico.
The study ranked Louisiana in several different categories such as “affordability” and “education & childcare.” Here’s Louisiana ranked in selected category.
Raising a Family in Louisiana (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
• 23rd – % of Families with Young Kids
• 24th – Child-Care Costs (Adjusted for Median Family Income)
• 47th – Infant-Mortality Rate
• 37th – Median Family Salary (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
• 47th – Violent-Crime Rate
• 48th – % of Families in Poverty
• 27th – Housing Affordability
• 46th – Unemployment Rate
• 49th – Separation & Divorce Rate
While some of these items can be addressed by the government, most of these cannot. Much of this has to do with a broken culture that is negatively impacting the children of the state. We desperately need to return to a culture that values having kids after marriage and keeping marriages together.
But there are things the state and local governments can and should address. The first one that jumps out at me is the violent crime rate. We have a public safety problem in this state. Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport are frequently in the top 10 in per capita murder rates every year. Many of these murders are never solved.
But even that goes back to a culture problem. We have a culture that tolerates and even celebrates lawless behavior. As a state, we must instill the simple principle of teaching our children to not hurt people or take their stuff.
The other ones that jump out is the poverty rate and the unemployment rate. Also related, Louisiana has the highest corporate tax rate in the South and one of the highest rates in the country at 8%. Louisiana is also terrible when it comes to regulatory regimes such as occupational licensing. We need to have a state that is friendly to business and encourages work.
If Louisiana wants to be a prosperous state for all of its people, we need a culture change. We need a culture that promotes family and character. We also need a culture that promotes entrepreneurship and prosperity.