The Safest – And Most Dangerous – Places To Live In The Lake Area

Karla Wall Friday, October 21, 2016 Comments Off on The Safest – And Most Dangerous – Places To Live In The Lake Area
The Safest – And Most Dangerous – Places To Live In The Lake Area

BY KARLA WALL

While browsing the web, we recently came across 92.9 The Lake  blogger Kristian Bland’s rundown of the safest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the Lake Area. Bland’s blog provided links to a site called NeighborhoodScout, which listed five area neighborhoods in each category, taking into account such factors as annual crime rate, and the chances of becoming a victim of crime in each area.

We decided to take the idea just a bit further, and dig just a little bit deeper into NeighborhoodScout’s data. Here’s what we found.

First, Some Explanation

To explain NS’s formula (or, rather formulae — they use 20 different formulas to generate their crime reports) would take a person much more skilled in information tech than yours truly.

Suffice to say that NS gleans stats from about 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the FBI and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Using algorithms I can’t comprehend, much less explain, they run the stats and produce a Crime Index and crime report for each area with an accuracy approaching 87 percent.

That 87, of course, is a number to keep in mind. It’s not 100.

But the reports do give you a picture of the area in which residents can be fairly certain they won’t become a victim of crime, and where they’re very likely to become victims.

The findings below probably won’t surprise any longtime resident of the area; the factors and relationships pointed out in the data probably won’t surprise anyone.

What’s the key characteristic of a dangerous neighborhood? Poverty. Of the five most dangerous neighborhoods listed here, the highest per capita income level is $22,115 (these stats, by the way, are from 2014, the latest data available, according to the site); the lowest is $12,977. The highest median household income is $26,302 (that, oddly enough, is in the most dangerous neighborhood listed); the lowest is $21,220.

Of the most dangerous neighborhoods, all have more than 29.3 percent of children living below the federal poverty level; one area has a surprising 65.4 percent. All have an income level lower than at least 89.2 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, and one has an income level higher than that found in 96.7 U.S. neighborhoods.

That income level is, of course, among those who work. Hand in hand with the high poverty level is a high unemployment level. The most dangerous neighborhoods have an unemployment level of at least 6.5 percent; one has an unemployment rate of 21.4 percent.

Social fabric is also a factor that’s hard to miss here. You won’t find a majority of families and married couples in the most dangerous neighborhoods; all list a percentage of single residents of at least 37.7 percent; 51.4 percent of one area’s population is single.

Conversely, the safest areas are solidly upper middle class, with a per capita income of at least $25,847; the highest was $48,149. As would be expected, in most of these areas, the percentage of children below the poverty level is low — as low as 3.6 percent. I say most, because one area was an anomaly, with 11.4 percent of children below the poverty level.

The unemployment rate is also low in these safer areas. The lowest unemployment rate among the safest neighborhoods is 1.5 percent; the highest is 5 percent.

The safest neighborhoods are also those with the highest percentage of married residents and families. The lowest percentage of married residents among the five safest areas is 56.6 percent; the highest percentage is 67.6.

Some Definition

For each neighborhood, you’ll find statistics for violent and property crimes. As may be obvious, violent crimes are those that involve bodily injury: assault, rape, armed robbery, homicide. Property crimes include burglary, larceny, auto theft, etc.

For each neighborhood, NeighborhoodScout issues a Crime Index, based on the crime stats for that neighborhood. A rating of 1 is worst, or most dangerous; a rating of 100 is best, or safest.

THE AREA’S FIVE MOST DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOODS

5. W.SALLIER/LAKE ST.

md-5-w-sallier-st-lake-stWhere It’s Located: 

This neighborhood is bordered on the south by 210/Ryan St., runs north on Ryan, then west on Sallier, north on Marine St., follows Contraband Bayou back to 210, then east back to Ryan/210.

What It’s Like:

NeighborhoodScout defines the neighborhood as a “hip” place to live, and as easily walkable. If you like quiet, however, you’ll want to search elsewhere for your next home; the site gives the area only a 27.8 percent “Quiet” rating. The neighbors here aren’t likely to hold a college degree (only 16.2 percent), and only 6.2 percent hold advanced degrees.

The population consists mostly of single persons (37.7 percent), but 29.7 percent are married. The percentage of divorced residents is 16.9.

It’s one of the lowest income neighborhoods in the area. Average per capita income in the area is $18,690; average median household income is $25,182. But the area holds a rather high unemployment rate — 10.6 percent.

The neighborhood is rated by NeighborhoodScout as having an income level lower than 93.6 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, and 39.5 percent of the area’s children live below the poverty level, which means that more children here live below that level than in 82.6 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

NeighborhoodScout gives the area a Crime Index Rating of only 3 (remember, a rating of 100 is safest). Here are the stats:

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent Crimes: 52

• Property Crimes: 426

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent Crimes: 10.80

• Property Crimes: 88.44

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim 

• Violent Crime: 1 in 93

• Property Crime: 1 in 11

 4. MALLARD JUNCTION/HIPPLE

md-4-mallard-junction-hippleWhere It’s Located:

From the I-210/Hwy. 14 intersection, goes north along Kayouchee Coulee to I-10, east to Hwy. 397, south on 397 to Joe Spears Rd., back northwest along Tom Watson Rd. (just east of the road; it doesn’t include Watson Rd.) to Broad St., south on Legion St./Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. to Merganser St., south on Merganser to Mallard Cove Golf Course, along the course to Chennault Pkwy., then to E. Prien Lake Rd., east to Broad St./Swift Plant Rd.

What It’s Like:

This neighborhood is described as much quieter than the W. Sallier/Lake St. area, with a 69.5 percent Quiet rating. It doesn’t seem to hold much appeal for urban sophisticates, however, with only a 3.4 percent rating in that area. It’s a hip area, according to the site, with a 65.6 percent rating.

Folks here are a little less likely to be well educated. According to the site, about 11.1 percent of residents hold a college degree, and 3.2 percent have an advanced degree.

Almost half the residents here are single (49.9 percent), and the married and divorced residents each comprise 14.3 percent of the population.

Per capita income is the lowest of the five most dangerous areas, at $12,977. Median Household Income is $29,073. Again, however, that’s of those who are working; the area has an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.

NeighborhoodScout rates the area as having a lower income than 89.2 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. It’s estimated that 36 percent of the children in the area are living below the poverty level.

The area’s Crime Index Rating is a whopping 2. Why?

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 61

• Property: 534

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 11.39

• Property: 99.72

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim 

• Violent: 1 in 88

• Property: 1 in 10

3. MILL ST./SHATTUCK ST.

md-3-mill-st-s-shattuck-stWhere It’s Located:

From Broad St., goes west to Enterprise Blvd., north to I-10, west to Prater St., east on Mill St., south on Goos St. to Broad.

What It’s Like:

Highly walkable (a 79.9 percent rating), hip (86 percent), but somewhat noisy, with a 36.6 percent Quiet rating.

Eleven percent of the residents in this neighborhood hold college degrees; and 3 percent have advanced degrees.

Your neighbors here are likely to be single; 51 percent of the population in this area is single. Married persons make up 16.7 percent of the population, and 20.9 percent of residents are single.

Per capita income is $20,005; Median Household Income is $21,220. The unemployment rate is a hefty 21.4 percent.

This is one of the lowest-income areas in the region, having an income level lower than 96.7 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. The percentage of children living below the poverty level here is 65.4 percent, a higher rate than in 96.9 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area has a Crime Index of 1.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 31

• Property: 198

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 19.70

• Property: 125.79

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 51

• Property: 1 in 8

2 CITY CENTER

md-2-city-centerWhere It’s Located: 

From I-10/Enterprise Blvd., goes south to Broad St., east on Broad to Kirkman St., south on Kirkman to Seventh St., west on Seventh to Ryan St., to Lakeshore, then along Veteran’s Blvd./N. Lakeshore back to I-10.

What It’s Like:

The area is highly walkable, quiet (63 percent), and hip, with a 93.9 rating in that category. You’ll find more people here with college degrees than the previous two areas, oddly enough, with 17 percent of residents holding degrees, and 5.6 percent having earned advanced degrees.

The residents here are more likely to be single (38 percent). Married persons make up 28 percent of the population, and 17.5 percent are divorced.

The income rate is a bit better, too, with per capita income at $22,115, and median household income at $24,656. The unemployment rate is 6.5 percent.

The neighborhood has an income level lower than 94 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, according to NS, and 29.3 percent of the neighborhood’s children live below the poverty level, a higher rate than in 71.2 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area’s Crime Index Rating is dismal, at 1.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 25

• Property: 270

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 11.80

• Property: 128.27

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 84

• Property: 1 in 8

1. GOOSPORT 

md-1-goosportWhere It’s Located: 

From I-10/Hwy. 397, goes north on Pujol Rd. to River Rd., east on River Rd., northwest to the Calcasieu, then east along the Calcasieu to Goos Ferry Rd. past Hwy. 171 to Fitzenreiter Rd., east on Fitzenreiter, then south on Pear St. to Medora, west on Medora, then south on Prater to I-10, and along I-10 back to its intersection with Hwy. 397.

What It’s Like:

The neighborhood is pretty much middle-of-the-road in all of NeighborhoodScout’s categories, with a 47.3 percent Hip rating, a 50.1 percent Walkability rating, and a 48 percent Quiet rating.

The rate of college-educated residents is fairly low, with 9.5 percent holding college degrees, and 3.4 percent having advanced degrees.

Single persons make up the slight majority of residents here, at 33.3 percent; 32.6 percent are married; and 12.2 percent are divorced.

Per capita income is $14,350; median household income is $26,302. The unemployment rate is fairly high, at 7.4 percent.

The area has an income level lower than 92.4 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, according to NS. The percentage of children living under the poverty level is 36 percent, a level higher than in 79.2 percent of neighborhoods in the U.S.

The area’s Crime Index rating is 1.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 74

• Property: 636

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 13.18

• Property: 113.27

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 76

• Property: 1 in 9

THE AREA’S FIVE SAFEST NEIGHBORHOODS 

5. MOSS BLUFF

safest-5-moss-bluffWhere It’s Located:

From Hwy. 378 (Ararat Rd.), goes east on Hwy. 378 (Sam Houston Jones Pkwy.) to S. Perkins Ferry Rd., follows S. Perkins Ferry and the Calcasieu River back past Hwy. 171, continues to follow the river northeast to just south of Clyde Delaney Rd., then goes west past 171, and south back to Ararat Rd.

What It’s Like:

The Moss Bluff area, while increasingly popular and ever expanding, isn’t considered very hip by the Neighborhood Scout site, which gives it only a 1.2 percent Hip rating. It does get a 56.3 percent Urban Sophisticates rating, however. It’s not a place you can walk around easily, at 7.7 percent. But it is a great place for those who enjoy quiet (66 percent).

Of the residents here, 27.5 percent have college degrees, and 7.1 percent have advanced degrees.

The majority or residents here are married (60.1 percent), with 11.4 percent divorced, and 21.5 percent single.

Per capita income is $25,847; median household income is $61,535. The unemployment rate is 1.7 percent.

According to NS, this neighborhood has an income level higher than 66 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. The percentage of children here living under the poverty level is 3.6, a lower rate than in 81.9 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area’s Crime Index is 28.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 13

• Property: 187

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 2.62

• Property: 37.74

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 381

• Property: 1 in 26

4. BIG LAKE RD./ W. TANK FARM RD.

safest-4-big-lake-rd-w-tank-farm-rdWhere It’s Located:

From the intersection of Hwy. 385 (Gulf Hwy.) and Hwy. 401, goes north on 385 to W. Lincoln Rd., west on Lincoln, north/northwest to Hwy. 3092/W. Gauthier Rd., west to Nelson Rd., north on Nelson to Ham Reid Rd., west on Ham Reid to Weaver Rd., north to Country Club Rd., west to Ponderosa Dr., north on Ponderosa to the Calcasieu River, follows the river around Rose Bluff, then back to the south/southwest around to Moss Lake, around Devil’s Elbow, along Black Bayou to Mud Lake, across E. and W. Calcasieu Passes, to Cleve Miller Rd./Hwy. 401, then east to the intersection with Gulf Hwy.

What It’s Like:

Again, for such a popular area, NeighborhoodScout doesn’t rate this region as hip, giving it a 4.5 percent rating. It is quiet (65.2 percent), but not very walkable (3.7 percent).

The area has more college-educated residents than our previously listed neighborhoods, with 28.9 percent holding degrees, and 10.3 percent have advanced degrees.

Residents in the area are more likely to be married than not, at 59 percent. Single residents make up 27.2 percent of the population, and divorcees make up 8.2 percent.

Per capita income is $36,260, and median household income is $67,042. The unemployment rate is 2.7 percent.

This, also, is an upper middle class neighborhood, with an income level higher than 72.5 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. The percentage of children living under the poverty level is 12.6, a lower rate than in 58.4 percent of neighborhoods in the U.S.

The area’s Crime Index is 29.

Annual Crime Rate:

• Violent: 37

• Property: 355

Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals:

• Violent: 3.70

• Property: 35.45

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim:

• Violent: 1 in 271

• Property: 1 in 28

3. PRIEN LAKE

safest-3-prienWhere It’s Located:

This neighborhood encompasses the region around Prien Lake and the Calcasieu River around I-210. From W. Prien Lake Rd., goes to Sale Rd., follows Contraband Bayou north past 210, back east to the river, back east past the casinos, then back south to Prien Lake.

What It’s Like:

This area’s where it’s happening, according to NS, which gives it a 43.1 percent Hip rating. It’s nice and quiet (74.4 percent), but not very walkable (17.4 percent).

The residents here are well educated; 49.6 percent hold college degrees, and 17.7 percent have earned advanced degrees.

The majority of the population here is married (56.6 percent). Singles make up 24.9 percent of the population, and 10.4 percent of residents are divorced.

Per capita income in this region is $48,149; median household income is $77,227. The unemployment rate is 1.5 percent.

The income level in this area is higher than in 81 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, according to NS. The percentage of children living below the poverty level here is 13.3, a lower rate than in 56.7 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area has a Crime Index rating of 33.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 4

• Property: 101

Average Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 1.37

• Property: 34.67

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 728

• Property: 1 in 29

2. GILLIS

safest-2-gillisWhere It’s Located:

This is the area, basically, north of Moss Bluff, on either side of Hwy. 171. From the intersection of Clyde Delaney Rd. and 171, goes east on Hwy. 378 (SH Jones Pkwy.) past North Perkins Ferry Rd.; then follows Indian Bayou to the west fork of the Calcasieu River; winds south then back north, around Sam Houston Jones State Park; north to Hickory Branch off the Calcasieu, follows Hickory Branch northeast, then cuts east across Marsh Bayou, and Welcome Rd., to Jersey Dr. and Briar Marsh Rd., then south past Topsy Bel Rd., follows the river again to Goos Ferry Rd., then north on Clyde Delaney to 171.

What It’s Like:

It’s an area bordered more by water and marsh than pavement, but it’s still favored by urban sophisticates, according to NS; the place gets a 61.6-percent Urban Sophisticates rating. It gets only a .5 percent Hip rating, however. If you’re looking for quiet, this it it; NS gives this neighborhood an 83.1 percent rating.

College graduates comprise about 26.4 percent of the population here, and 6.8 percent of residents hold advanced degrees.

Residents here are more likely to be married (67.6 percent). Singles make up 15.9 percent of the population, and 10.3 percent of the population is divorced.

Per capita income is $30,693; median household income is $72, 420. The unemployment rate is 2.5 percent.

The area has a higher income level than that found in 77.3 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, and 4.9 percent of children live below the poverty level, a lower rate than in 77.8 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area has a Crime Index rating of 41.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 23

• Property: 215

Average Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 2.92

• Property: 27.32

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 37

• Property: 1 in 342

1. GRAND LAKE

safest-1-grand-chenier-grand-lakeWhere It’s Located:

This is the coastal area from Calcasieu Lake to just east of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and just west of White Lake. From Cameron, goes east along coats past Rockefeller Refuge, then north along the edge of the refuge, past Hwy. 82, continues north past Hwy. 12 to Parish Rd. 828, then goes east past Hwy. 27, then briefly north along what will eventually become Ward Line Rd., then cuts back east on Hwy. 461, past Big Lake Rd. to the lake, then south to the coast.

What It’s Like:

As you’d expect for such an undeveloped area, this region isn’t rated as very hip (.3 percent — yes, that’s a decimal point). It is, however, like the Gillis area, favored by urban sophisticates; it gets a 54.7 percent rating in that category. And, as you’d also expect, this is one of the quietest regions in the area, rated at 96.4 percent.

There are quite a few college grads in the neighborhood, with 17.7 holding degrees, and 3.2 percent having earned advanced degrees.

Your neighbors here are more likely to be married (62.3 percent), with 19.9 percent of the population comprised of singles, and 10.3 percent divorced.

Per capita income is $27,877; median household income is $64,718. The unemployment rate is 5 percent.

The area has a higher income rate than 69.9 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. The percentage of children living under the poverty level is 11.4, a lower rate than is found in 61.2 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

The area has a Crime Index rating of 62.

Annual Crime Rate

• Violent: 13

• Property: 82

Average Annual Crimes Per 1,000 Individuals

• Violent: 2.74

• Property: 17.26

Your Chances Of Becoming A Victim

• Violent: 1 in 365

• Property: 1 in 58.

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