Mardi Gras visitors question report calling Louisiana worst state in nation

Mardi Gras visitors question report calling Louisiana worst state in nation
Updated: Mar. 1, 2017 at 4:43 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The news hit like a ton of old beads on Mardi Gras day.

While thousands were having the time of their lives, U.S. News and World report  came out with it's worst states list.

Louisiana ranks number one. Mississippi and Arkansas are the second and third worst.

But for  many today, a sweet Ash Wednesday hangover.

Tens of thousands leave New Orleans, cherishing memories.

"It was a different experience, I enjoyed it immensely, it was absolutely fantastic," said Dennis McBride, a visitor from New York.

The city showed well on Carnival's last weekend, but the reviews from U.S. News, aren't good.

"This is a wake up call, this is embarrassing," said LSU Health criminologist Peter Scharf, PhD.

Louisiana is labeled the worst state by U.S. News. The worst category, corrections, and the country's highest incarceration rate.

"We have 38,000 people in prison, we are five times the national norm, in the number of people incarcerated," said Scharf.

And with a rising murder rate, Scharf says things could get worse.

"Ten per 100,000 compared to seven is our nearest completion," said Scharf.

The state also ranked 46th in education and fiscal stability.

"We need structural reform in this state to get on a progressive path to invest in those things that give us a great quality of life," said FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman. He says an upcoming legislative  tax reform session could be a first step, if there's consensus.

"There is no agreement, not even a hint yet, that this session will see that type of structural reform," said Sherman.

Though Louisiana did score dead last in crime and corrections, the state did score number one, in just one category.

Louisiana ranked number one in child wellness visits

"We have good social service programs that outreach to children," said Scharf.

Those who love Mardi Gras, jazz, moderate temperatures, and hospitable people scratch their heads about the new report on  a city they love.

"False, false, all wrong," said Tony Arias of Los Angeles.

"I don't know where they get that from, but it's wrong, it has a lot to offer," said Kay Richardson of Colorado.

But while fun to visit, they're not sure they can live here.

"I don't think I could handle living here, it's too dangerous, I want to go to the casinos, and there's too many bad temptations," said Arias.

Temptations that some believe may stand in the way of serious needs.

Governor's spokesman Richard Carbo put out a statement today, saying that some report 'data was from out of state sources that pre-date the Edward administration (going back as far as 2013)'.

The report also said, Louisiana ranked second to last in opportunity, on the U.S. News list.

But the state scored well when it came to energy, with the second lowest electricity prices in the country.

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