‘Worst places’ list is wrong

Published 8:57 am Friday, December 18, 2015

I find it somewhat amazing some of the information you can find while surfing the Internet.

Some of the information you come across is totally worthless, while some other info makes you think and go, “hmmm.”

That was the case the other night when I was on Facebook. I saw a list of the worst cities in Louisiana in which to live, along with cities that were considered the “Most Ghetto.”

The lists were brought to us by Roadsnacks.com, an Internet company based out of Durham, N.C. It says it derived its information from data analytics and “a sense of humor.”

I’m sure the citizens of each community aren’t laughing after seeing their city and town on the lists. All 109 cities and towns with populations of at least 5,000 were studied.

Yes, Roadsnacks selected Bogalusa No. 4 on the Top 10 Worst Places to Live list. For the Most Ghetto listing, Bogalusa came in at No. 7.

I suggest no one take these lists seriously. However, they are good to make people think. I would say the latter is the more important aspect of being the lists.

I can think of a lot worse places to live than Ponchatoula, which topped the list. Ponchatoula was followed by Ville Platte and Rayne. Marksville was fifth, followed in order by Hammond, Bastrop, Tallulah, Mansfield and Franklin. I don’t agree with Hammond, either, but that’s my opinion.

The authors said they used information from FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places in gathering information. Studied were population density, highest unemployment rates, adjusted median income, education, housing vacancy and long commutes.

With a population of just over 12,000, the city of Bogalusa had a household income of $25,315 and crime rate was the seventh highest in the state. Unemployment rate was 6 percent per capita, which is on par with the national average.

I had to chuckle over what made Bogalusa “Most Ghetto.” The authors considered something relating to “inner city life.” Considerations included a 32-percent dropout rate, income, crime, the high number of cheap and discounted retail outlets and Twitter’s mention of ghetto.

Bastrop topped the “Most Ghetto” list and Monroe was ninth.

Take all that for what it is worth, but it is something to ponder.

I did notice that there wasn’t a list for the community with the friendliest and most helpful citizens. If there were a list for that, Bogalusa would be at the top by far.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer for The Daily News. Contact him by calling 985-732-2565, or by email at randy.hammons@bogalsusadailynews.com.