Two Louisiana cities listed in the top 10 for remote work in the U.S.

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Two Louisiana cities placed in the top 10 for best small cities for remote work based on their library funding, access to high-speed internet and lifestyle factors, according to a study from Forage.

Forage, a virtual platform that helps connect students with potential careers, analyzed data from more than 130 metropolitan statistical areas with populations between 100,000 and 200,000 people. Of those, Lafayette ranked as the fourth-best city for remote work, with Metairie following close behind at No. 5.

In its research, Forage looked at the percentage of residences with high-speed internet access, combined aircraft and road noise, the percentage of residents spending 30% or more of their income on housing, public library funding, the median listing price of homes, price level compared to national price level, the number of arts, entertainment and recreation businesses per 10,000 residents, the number of non-alcoholic beverage bars and coffee shops per 10,000 residents, and the unemployment rate.

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According to the study, around 94.9% of Lafayette residences have high-speed internet access, and its noise level was graded at 40.85, which was higher than many of the rest of the top 10 cities. Less than a third of residents are paying more than 30% of their income on housing, and its public library funding per capita was $96.53.

Lafayette’s median home listing price was $249,000, and its unemployment rate was 4.3%. The city has 4.96 arts, entertainment and recreation venues per 10,000 residents, and 2.73 snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars or coffee shops per person.

Lafayette’s price level was about 91.6% of the national price level, which was lower than 82.8% of the other cities the company analyzed. The city was in the 80th percentile for library funding and the median home price. The unemployment rate was lower than 81.3% of the cities the company looked at.

The city was in the middle of the pack for internet access. Lafayette fell short on noise level, which was higher than 68% of the included cities.

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Metairie, part of the New Orleans metro area, had 99.4% of its residences with high-speed broadband access, which was the highest of all cities included in the data. Around 28.5% of residents spent more than 30% of their income on housing, which was better than 81.7% of included cities.

The city was in the 91st percentile for library funding with about $164.78 per person, and its unemployment rate of 4.1% was lower than 89.2% of cities analyzed. Metairie has around 3.63 arts, entertainment and recreation venues per 10,000 residents, and around 2.52 snack or non-alcoholic bars per 10,000 people.

Like Lafayette, Metairie suffered when it came to road and aircraft noise, with only 14.2% of cities having a higher rating than its 43.71.

The top city on the list was Davenport, Iowa, largely due to its high internet access and inexpensive housing costs. Carmel, Indiana, ranked No. 2, while Topeka, Kansas, was third on the list.

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At No. 6 was Overland Park, Kansas, followed by Columbia, Missouri. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ranked eighth, Fargo, North Dakota, was ninth, and Rochester, Minnesota, rounded out the top 10.