Many people believe New Orleans to be a popular party town, but that’s not entirely true. It is also a city of rich history, cultural delights, and mouthwatering cuisine.
If you are wondering if should I move to New Orleans and what living in NOLA is like, we have the perfect guide for you.
Moving to New Orleans will provide you with an opportunity to plunge yourself into a vibrant cultural mix, experience the most delightful music and festivities, and become part of a tight-knit community
What is it like to live in New Orleans?
New Orleans living is a vibrant and culturally rich experience. The city is popular for its lively music scene, diverse cuisine, and festive atmosphere.
The city also has a low cost of living compared to major cities in the country and a high quality of life.
Why do people live in New Orleans?
People move to New Orleans for its beauty, safe neighborhoods, growing economy, and booming job opportunities.
The best neighborhoods in New Orleans are safe, and well-developed, and make this city a great place to live, work, and raise one’s family.
Why is New Orleans called the Big Easy?
New Orleans is called the Big Easy because of the laid-back and easy lifestyle here.
The nickname is believed to have originated as a comparison to the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City, which people popularly call as the “Big Apple”.
1. Is New Orleans a good place to live
Yes, New Orleans is considered a great place to live and raise a family by many because of given reasons.
- Strong sense of community- locals in New Orleans are friendly, warm, and hospitable. They also have a strong sense of community and form tight-knot bonds with their neighbors
- Rich cultural heritage- New Orleans is popular for its Creole and Cajun heritage, which are a fusion of African, French, Spanish, and Caribbean influences. This fusion is seen clearly in the city’s cuisine, music, language, and traditions.
- Outdoor activities- New Orleans offers a range of outdoor activities suitable for families. One can visit parks like City Park and Audubon Park for picnics or to enjoy some quality time with family
- Educational institutions- there are many excellent public and private schools located in the city that provide high-quality education to children.
2. Moving to New Orleans
Moving to New Orleans can be a good choice for individuals looking for a dynamic city with a relatively low cost of living, abundant cultural attractions, and a relaxed lifestyle.
The locals have a strong sense of pride in their city and its rich cultural heritage. They are warm, friendly and have the willingness to provide assistance when needed.
3. Things to Know Before Moving to New Orleans
It is important to understand several aspects of the Big Easy before you finally move to the city.
From its unique culture to its weather patterns and lifestyle, given below are some important things to know about the city
Things to do in New Orleans
The number one attraction in New Orleans is to visit the French Quarter. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city and is considered by many as the soul of the city.
The French Quarter is popular for its beautiful architecture, street musicians, and trendy bars.
The iconic Bourbon Street here is lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants offering live music and a vibrant nightlife.
If you have 3 days to spend in NOLA, you can visit the following places:
On the 1st day, explore the beauty of the French Quarter and try local cuisine at restaurants located on Bourbon Street.
You can also take a cruise on the Mississippi River and enjoy the beauty of the city.
On the second day, visit the Garden District and then the National WWII Museum which showcases the history of World War II.
On the 3rd day, visit the City Park in the morning and then take a streetcar ride that takes you around the beautiful neighborhoods of the city.
Take a swamp tour to learn more about the ecosystem and spot rare wildlife
While New Orleans is famous for many things, the Mardi Gras festival is the most popular among tourists here.
It is an extravagant carnival celebration and includes parades, music, street parties, and beautiful costumes.
Many tourists visit New Orleans every year because of its beauty, iconic attractions, and lively atmosphere.
There are many places to see and explore in New Orleans, and if you are planning to visit the city for just 2 days, you would not be able to really explore the beauty of the Big Eye
The population of New Orleans
A human characteristic of New Orleans is the locals’ welcoming nature, popularly known as “Southern hospitality.”
According to the 2020 US Census, the population of New Orleans is 383997, of which white people constitute 33.4% of the population, whereas African Americans make up 59.22% of the population.
However, the population of New Orleans is shrinking and between 2021-22, the metro area’s population decreased by 15203.
Jobs in New Orleans
The job market in New Orleans is strong with a low unemployment rate, however, the city’s economic growth decelerated and is now recovering slowly since Hurricane Katrina hit the city in 2005.
The most popular job in New Orleans is that of cashier with an average salary of $18200.
The highest-paying job here is of a physician with an average salary of $271349.
There are several good career options available here in various sectors such as tourism and hospitality, healthcare, technology and digital media, and teaching roles in schools and universities.
Cost of living in New Orleans
The cost of living in New Orleans is $1945 which is higher than the average cost of living in Louisiana as well as higher than the national cost of living.
There is no state minimum wage rate and so the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour is followed.
New Orleans is an expensive place to live because of the expensive housing market which is 44% higher than the country’s average.
The average rent in the city for a 2-bedroom apartment is $1878 which is 72% higher than the state’s average.
Because of the high cost of living, a good salary in New Orleans would be $48000 or more.
Below is the comparative cost of living annually between New Orleans and the USA
|Expenses||Average cost New Orleans||Average national cost|
|Grocery||$3479 (this doesn’t include eating out in restaurants)||$3240 (This doesn’t include eating out amount)|
|Housing||$219600 (average house value)||$204900 (average house value)|
|Childcare cost||$10093 (for two children)||$15853|
|Rent||$1878 (2-bedroom apartment)||$1363 (2-bedroom apartment)|
Nightlife in New Orleans
New Orleans is famous for its nightlife which can be best described as lively, crowded, noisy, and energetic.
Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is a popular nightlife destination, and a number of bars, clubs, and live music venues are located there.
You can find everything from traditional jazz clubs to blues bars, rock venues, and hip-hop clubs. Other party areas in New Orleans are Frenchman Street, Franklin Avenue, Canal Street, and Freret.
NOLA is a great city for singles, and it was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as the best city for singles for 2nd time in a row
New Orleans is also a great city for girls’ trips because of the legendary nightlife scene, a large number of shopping boutiques, and vibrant festivals.
Transportation in New Orleans
While a car is the best way to get around New Orleans, the city’s public transportation system is robust and you can use it to explore the city or get from point A to B.
New Orleans has a public transportation system that includes buses and streetcars.
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operates bus routes throughout the city and streetcars along specific routes, including the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.
New Orleans is a walkable city, especially in the more tourist-centric areas like the French Quarter and the Warehouse District.
If you have a bicycle, you can use it to get around as well as New Orleans is a bike-friendly city. You can also use ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft for convenient transportation.
New Orleans Weather
New Orleans experiences hot and humid summers and mild winters. Summers last from June to August and temperature ranges between 80-90 degrees F during that period.
Rain showers are quite common throughout the year because of the semi-tropical climate and the city on average receives 64 inches of annual rainfall.
Winter lasts from December to February, and during that time temperature ranges between 40-60 degrees F.
The best time to visit New Orleans is during March and May (spring) and between October to November (fall) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable
Education in New Orleans
There are several good-quality public as well as private schools located in New Orleans.
However, after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the majority of public schools were changed to charter schools.
Charter schools have greater autonomy than traditional public schools.
These schools have the freedom to design their own curriculum, implement educational approaches, and make decisions related to staffing and budgeting.
About 78.4% of individuals aged 25 and older in New Orleans have a high school diploma degree, whereas about 21% hold a bachelor’s degree.
4. Living in New Orleans Pros and Cons
If you are relocating to Louisiana, and want to move to a great city with high quality of life, New Orleans is a great choice.
There are many advantages of moving to New Orleans, but the city has its shortcomings as well.
Pros of moving to New Orleans
- Vibrant nightlife
- Rich cultural history
- Lively festivals
- Friendly locals
- One of the best places to eat in Louisiana
- Low cost of living
Bad things about living in New Orleans
- Heat and humidity
- High crime rate
- The public education system is not that great
- Hurricane risk
- Large tourist crowd
5. Is New Orleans safe?
While some of the neighborhoods in New Orleans are safe, the crime rate in many parts of the city is high.
Some of the parts of the city are unsafe for girls, and women need to take necessary precautions, be aware of their surroundings, and choose safe neighborhoods while visiting the city.
New Orleans’s crime rate is 70 homicides per 100000 residents, 482 shootings per 100000 residents, 279 carjacking per 100000 residents, and 541 robberies per 100000 residents.
This is higher than the national crime rate which is given as follows: 6.5 homicides per 100000 people, 73.9 robberies per 100000 people, and 13.6 firearm deaths per 100000 people.
New Orleans is safe to go alone, however, one needs to make sure to be aware and only stay in safe neighborhoods.
Areas like downtown New Orleans which include the French Quarter and the Garden District are mostly safe to travel and explore.
6. The best area to stay in New Orleans
The safest place to stay in New Orleans is the French Quarter. Other good areas to stay in NOLA when you are visiting for the first time are:
- Garden District
- Central business district
Living in New Orleans FAQs
Where to live in New Orleans?
Some of the good places to live in New Orleans are the French Quarter, the Garden District, and the Central Business District.
Why is Nola called the big easy?
NOLA is called the Big Easy because of the relaxed and laid-back vibes of the city
What should I avoid in New Orleans?
Avoid walking alone at night and carrying valuables or large amounts of cash while exploring the city
Is New Orleans a good place to retire?
Yes, New Orleans is a good place to retire for people looking for a chilled retirement life in a vibrant city
Why would anyone want to live in New Orleans?
Anyone who wishes to experience the beautiful festivals, electric nightlife, and architectural marvels of the city should visit New Orleans.
New Orleans is a great city to visit as well as to live and retire. Despite its challenges, the city manages to captivate tourists and residents alike.
The beautiful nightlife, delicious food, and friendly locals are what make this city so special and memorable,