It’s a known fact that Louisiana is known for its rich culture and food but that isn’t always enough to encourage its residents and outsiders to stay here.
Louisiana was recently ranked 50th for murders and 46th for assault. Those high numbers for crime can be a reason why most of Louisiana’s population is dropping immensely. In 2021, more than 27,000 Louisiana residents left the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Not only does Louisiana rank low in crime, but in education as well. The state is ranked 46th for education where only 81.4% of high school seniors graduate and receive their diploma and there are about 7,000 teenagers that drop out between ninth and 12th grade.
Students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette come from everywhere in the United States, and even from other countries. So with Louisiana’s dwindling ranks of education and crime, the question is why would students choose to come to a university in Louisiana?
Hayley Romero, an in-state student, is a junior majoring in accounting and said that it was a better option cost wise and the available opportunities in Louisiana after she graduates will influence if she stays in Louisiana or moves out of state.
“Attending UL Lafayette was the most cost effective. Additionally, I’m familiar with the area and I knew I could thrive best here,” Romero said. “Several different factors including job opportunities, where I could potentially further my education as well as what job opportunities my partner will have, will influence my decision to stay,”
There are many reasons as to why residents of Louisiana move out of state and some of the most common reasons are lack of job opportunities and the high crime rate.
Madison Champagne, is an out-of-state student, a junior majoring in psychology said that she feels that she will find other opportunities out of state than she wouldn’t find in Louisiana.
“I don’t plan to stay in Louisiana after I graduate. I feel as though other states, such as Texas, will offer me more job opportunities and higher pay,” Champagne said. “It would also allow more ways for me to be able to move up and/or switch my specialities easier than here.”
Many students say that they plan to move out of state due to more job opportunities that aren’t offered in Louisiana and because of this many of the residents move out of Louisiana.
When COVID-19 hit, a lot of companies let their employees go, which in turn left many of those employees without a job and unable to have a steady income. Due to this, many families struggled during this time and some families still do because the job opportunities are dwindling in Louisiana.
According to NOLA.com the energy industry has struggled over the past couple of years due to COVID-19 as the demand in oil and gas fell. The article also mentions that the lack of treatment in healthcare had driven residents to seek medical attention elsewhere in other states.
Though there are many components that are driving residents out of Louisiana, there are many positives that can be seen as to why students find themselves going to UL Lafayette. Some of the reasons can be because they see themselves getting a good education there, cost effective and the area that the university is in.
Jaden Cross, a freshman majoring in music business says that she chose to attend UL Lafayette because of the area and what she can do in the area outside of school that she felt she couldn’t anywhere else.
“Lafayette is a very pretty city and bigger than my hometown. I felt that Lafayette has a lot of things that I could do outside of going to school.”
Lafayette is one of the major cities that make up Louisiana so there are many things to do, such as going skating, watching movies at the theater and even attending events that show the heart of the beautiful culture of Louisiana.
Despite the growing rate of crime and lack of opportunities that cause residents to move out of state, most of Louisianamany residents love being a part of this culturally rich state and try to do what they can to gain new opportunities.
The rate of job opportunities over the past couple of years has increased recently which is allowing more residents to accept job opportunities in the area.
Louisiana is facing many economic issues such as the high crime rate, decreased rate in education and lack of job opportunities, but Louisiana residents as well as UL Lafayette students, make the most of what is offered to them.