Home of the Big Easy and the New Orleans Saints football team, Louisiana gets a lot of fame and reputation for its coastal city, New Orleans. However, the state is far bigger than just the harbor and bayou area. Louisiana is really a land of two topographies. The southern area is built on communities that have developed and been surrounded by waterways and bayou. Louisiana depends on tourism for a major component of its economy but natural resources and shipping also contribute significantly. The state has large reserves of natural gas as well as oil reserves, both of which are produced with in-state mining and production. Louisiana also provides one of the major shipping entry points into the U.S., with cargo and materials moving in and out of Louisiana every day. With the rebuilding having cleaned up much of the southern area and the damage that was left from Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana is now getting back to a bit of normal.
Today, the state is home to just over 4.6 million Americans, placing it right near the middle in terms of population. The Louisiana economy produces over $200 billion per year, driven by the seafood industry, farming, and tourism. The Port of South LA is the fourth largest in the world.
In 2013, the average home value in Louisiana was a bit north of $150,000, a 10%+ increase from 2012, making LA one of the more expensive southern states. This is not surprising given its relatively large urban population. According to the median sales price, Covington and Mandeville are the most expensive cities in the state, and Bastrop and Marrero are among the most affordable. If you're looking for a place to raise a family, the website NerdWallet.com named Leesville and Walker the two most attractive cities in LA.
Perhaps better known as the Big Easy or NOLA, New Orleans is one of the American south's marquee destinations. The city is indeed very unique, with popular nightlife spots such as Bourbon Street and antique shops on Magazine Street. Major employers include Ochsner Health System, Tulane University, and Acme Truck Line; as you might expect, NOLA's economy is also heavily reliant on tourism. Here's an interesting page about what it's like to live in New Orleans.
Baton Rogue is the capital of Louisiana and one of the economic centers of the south. In the past 10-15 years, the city has experienced a population boom due to growth in the petrochemical industry. Indeed, a 2010 survey placed Baton Rogue in the top 10 for young adults due to an abundance of well paying jobs.
Shreveport, also called the Port City, is another economic hub, this time of the overlap between Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas (sometimes called the Ark-La-Tex region). Once known for the local oil industry, today Shreveport is a service economy and home to numerous casinos. The top employers are mostly in the public sector - the state, the military - though Caesars casino also employs well over 1,000 people.
Whether you're considering a move or a current Louisiana residence looking for more convenience and better interest rates, it's important to compare all of your options when considering financial institutions. The big, national banks will offer you the best technology and the ability to access your money if you're a frequent traveler across the United States. A community bank or credit union will have a tighter focus on where you live and can offer personalized service that the big guys typically can't match. Below, you'll find some of your choices with links to our reviews when relevant.
Local & community banks:
Local credit unions:
National banks with local branches:
Of course, comparing offers is easy with RateZip's free financial search engine, relevant for CDs, traditional deposit accounts, auto loans, and more.
Buyers looking to move into the state can gain an even better advantage using RateZip.com to find some of the best mortgage rates available in the area as well. Of course the rates are just part of the deal. It's equally important to pick the right product, and consumers in LA have many options to consider. We'll briefly break down fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), jumbo home loans, and FHA & VA mortgages and let you know when you should and should not consider each one.