New Orleans vs. Baton Rouge: Which is Better?

Not sure about where to move between New Orleans and Baton Rouge?

In this quick comparison, we’ll explore key aspects like cost of living, job opportunities, and quality of life to help you decide about these two cities. Let’s get started!

Cost of Living

You will need to dig deeper down into your pockets to meet your needs when living in New Orleans than in Baton Rouge. The average monthly expenses for a single person without rent are $1,188 in New Orleans and $1,091.5 in Baton Rouge.

The difference in cost of living becomes even more significant when housing is included. The median home price in New Orleans is $647,0603, which is more than three times higher than the median home price in Baton Rouge of $200,9004.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is also much higher in New Orleans ($1,967) than in Baton Rouge ($1,166.67)12. Therefore, housing is the main factor that makes New Orleans more costly than Baton Rouge.

So, if you are looking for a city that offers more affordable housing options and lower costs of living, Baton Rouge is the place to go.

Verdict: Baton Rouge Wins


New Orleans and Baton Rouge have similar annual weather situations but with some variations and both cities may experience extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

New Orleans may be more suitable for you if you prefer a slightly warmer and wetter climate, while Baton Rouge may be more suitable if you prefer a slightly cooler and drier climate.

Verdict: Draw

Public Transportation

New Orleans has a more extensive and diverse public transportation system than Baton Rouge. It has four streetcar lines that run through the city’s popular neighborhoods, such as the French Quarter, St. Charles Avenue, and City Park.

The city also has numerous bus lines and two ferries that connect the East and West banks of the Mississippi River. Besides, it has a new app called Le Pass that allows riders to pay for passes, map their trips, and track the arrival times of streetcars, buses, and ferries in real time.

Baton Rouge, on the other hand, has a more limited public transportation system than New Orleans. It has 21 bus routes that cover the city, but no streetcar or ferry service. Baton Rouge also has a less user-friendly app than New Orleans, which only provides basic information on bus schedules and routes.

Although the city is planning to upgrade its bus tracking application and implement a bus rapid transit line along Plank Road and Nicholson Drive, these projects are facing delays and challenges.

Based on this comparison, we would say that New Orleans has a more favorable public transportation system than Baton Rouge, especially for those who want to explore the city’s culture, history, and attractions.

Verdict: New Orleans Wins

Job Opportunities

Now if you are making a shift due to job opportunities, then you may want to consider moving to New Orleans. 

The city has a more diverse economy than Baton Rouge, with sectors such as tourism, hospitality, entertainment, health care, education, and technology. It is home to many cultural attractions, festivals, and events that attract visitors and create jobs for local residents.

Baton Rouge, on the other hand, has a more limited and concentrated economy than New Orleans, with sectors such as government, petrochemicals, manufacturing, and education. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and the seat of many state agencies and institutions that employ a large number of workers. 

In general, New Orleans has more favorable job opportunities than Baton Rouge, especially if you are looking for a variety of options and industries. However, Baton Rouge may offer more stable and secure jobs if you are interested in working for the government or the industrial sector. 

Verdict: New Orleans Wins

Cuisine & Lifestyle


When it comes to cuisine, both cities have their own unique flavors. New Orleans is famous for its Creole cuisine which is a blend of French, Spanish, African, and Native American influences.

Some of the popular dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys, and beignets. Baton Rouge is famous for its Cajun cuisine which is a blend of French and Southern American cooking styles. Some of the popular dishes include crawfish étouffée, boudin balls, gumbo, and jambalaya.


In terms of lifestyle, both cities offer a relaxed ambiance. Both cities have their own unique charm and attractions. If you’re looking for a city with a great music scene and rich cultural heritage, then New Orleans might be the place for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a city with historic landmarks and museums that offer a glimpse into Louisiana’s past along with delicious Cajun cuisine, then Baton Rouge might be the place for you.

Verdict: Draw

Crime Rates 

According to the data from BestPlaces, the violent crime rate in New Orleans is 49.1 per 100,000 people, while Baton Rouge’s violent crime rate is 47.2 per 100,000 people 2. In terms of property crime, New Orleans has a rate of 56.8 per 100,000 people, while Baton Rouge’s property crime rate is higher at 66.4 per 100,000 people.

Another source, Bayou Justice, reports that in 2020, Baton Rouge had a violent crime rate of 1,091.8 incidents per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average.

The violent crime rate in New Orleans was even higher at 1,214.5 incidents per 100,000 people. HomeSnacks also reports that Baton Rouge has a higher violent crime rate compared to the state average.

Based on these available data, it appears that New Orleans has a slightly higher rate compared to Baton Rouge, but still, New Orleans has its safe neighborhoods.

Verdict: Baton Rouge Wins

Commute Times

The average commute for residents of Baton Rouge is 2.4 minutes shorter than it is for residents of New Orleans. According to BestPlaces, the average commute time in Baton Rouge is 21.4 minutes, while in New Orleans, it is 23.77 minutes.

Commute time isn’t the only factor to weigh when comparing the two cities. The mode of transportation, traffic congestion, and distance to work also play significant roles. Data from Stacker shows that 9.2% of workers in Baton Rouge commute for more than an hour, compared to 6.8% in New Orleans.

36.37% of Baton Rouge workers are employed outside their home county, in contrast to 22.96% in New Orleans. It’s clear that more Baton Rouge workers face long-distance commutes and likely more traffic congestion than those in New Orleans.

Given these factors, New Orleans appears to have a better commuting environment than Baton Rouge, even if the average commute time is a bit longer. New Orleans benefits from a wider variety of transportation options, fewer lengthy commutes, and fewer workers traveling from outside the county.

Quality of Life Index

Data from Numbeo shows that the quality of life index in New Orleans is 144.51, while in Baton Rouge it is 161.02. This means that Baton Rouge has a higher quality of life than New Orleans, according to this source. 

New Orleans offers a high purchasing power index of 88.08 and a very high climate index of 86.501 but the safety index is low at 31.811.

The cost of living index is relatively high at 79.241, but the property price-to-income ratio is very low at 4.601, making homeownership more accessible for many people.

On the other hand, Baton Rouge has a higher Quality of Life Index at 161.022. It also has a very high purchasing power index of 113.19 and a very high climate index of 86.442. Similar to New Orleans, the safety index is low at 28.932.

Baton Rouge has a moderate cost of living index at 71.562 and an even lower property price-to-income ratio at 1.662, suggesting that it’s more affordable to live and own a home in Baton Rouge compared to New Orleans.

Based on the general statistics, we would say that Baton Rouge has a better quality of life Index.

Verdict: Baton Rouge Wins

New Orleans vs. Baton Rouge: Which is Better?

Based on Dollar Sanity findings, it was hard to separate between the two. While living in Baton Rouge had a better Quality of Life Index, lower cost of living, and crime rates, New Orleans on the other hand edged Baton Rouge in factors like a better public transportation system, job opportunities, and convenient commute times.

Overall score,  (3-3).