What's it like to live in Shreveport, LA?


Winston Hall

Profile written by local expert:

Winston Hall

The identity of Shreveport, Louisiana, unlike New Orleans, is not rooted in Cajun-Creole traditions, but in a blended Southern culture. Located on the banks of the Red River, Shreveport is the cultural and economic hub of Ark-La-Tex, the convergent point of northeastern Texas, southern Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana.

Living in Shreveport requires a certain acceptance that while you're technically in Louisiana, your city's identity is rooted in three states. That history is reflected in the Alamo-esque street names downtown – Texas, Milam and Crockett streets, for example – and the notion that residents of Shreveport live closer to Little Rock, Arkansas, than they do to their own state capital, Baton Rouge. Additionally, an endless debate arises every fall over which NFL team northwest Louisiana supports the most: the Dallas Cowboys or the New Orleans Saints.

Like many midsize American metro areas, Shreveport struggles with infrastructure issues, income disparity and crime. Its negatives tend to be overshadowed, though, by the many positives – among them, friendly people, great food, beautiful green spaces and a business-friendly economic environment.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Shreveport, Louisiana is ranked:

#122 in Best Places to Live

#114 in Best Places to Retire

5.4

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.6
  • Value
    6.4
  • Job Market
    5.0
  • Quality of Life
    5.2
  • Net Migration
    4.5

Read how we rank places

Shreveport, LA Quick Stats

  • 443,974

    Metro Population

  • $39,400

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.7

    Median Age

  • N/A

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 5.2%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $789

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 21.9 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Shreveport, LA?

Living in Shreveport is more affordable than in many other major metro areas. The cost of living in Shreveport is lower than both the Louisiana average and the national average. Residents tend to spend less than the average American on housing.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.4 /10

How we calculate this.


Shreveport offers a comparable value to similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Shreveport, LA.

What's the weather like in Shreveport, LA?

As a whole, the Ark-La-Tex region experiences pleasant weather year-round. Located roughly 220 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Shreveport avoids most of the hurricane hazards that other regions of Louisiana face. Typically, any hurricane that strikes the coast will lose steam by the time it reaches Shreveport. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are routine in the metro area, which is located on the eastern edge of Tornado Alley, though major tornado events are rare. 

What's the best way to get around Shreveport, LA?

Most people rely on their cars to get around Shreveport. Because of its relatively small geographic size and extensive freeway system, Shreveport is easier to get around than other cities in Louisiana. The average commute is about 22 minutes by car.

The Shreveport Area Transit System, or SporTran, provides public bus service in the metro area with routes that run through downtown and nearby Bossier City. Multiple cab companies serve the city, and ride-sharing services are available. Shreveport is not bicycle-friendly, but city leaders are planning to make improvements that will benefit cyclists.

Shreveport has two airports: the larger Shreveport Regional Airport and the Shreveport Downtown Airport, which is not serviced by any commercial airlines. Shreveport Regional Airport is serviced by Allegiant Airlines, United Airlines, GLO Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, which operate flights to seven destinations: Las VegasOrlando (via Florida’s Orlando Sanford International Airport), Dallas-Fort Worth, HoustonAtlantaNew Orleans and Denver. Amtrak train service is available from the nearby town of Marshall, Texas, to Dallas and points beyond. 

Commuting in Shreveport, LA

Means of Transportation
Driving
94%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

21.9 minutes

4.5 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Shreveport, LA?

Shreveport residents represent a cross section of cultures and identities, and families make up a majority of Shreveport households.

Located squarely in the Bible Belt, Shreveport is home to hundreds of churches from a variety of denominations, mostly Protestant. Shreveport residents also support progressive causes, such as the North Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, which educates the public and raises awareness about LGBT concerns.

Although the Shreveport area is known for being business-friendly, with plenty of commercial space available and enviable real estate prices, unemployment is a concern. More than 24 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


More single people in Shreveport than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Shreveport, LA?

Shreveport is probably best-known for its flashy riverboat casinos, but thanks in part to a progressive downtown development initiative, the city is overflowing with other activities and adventures. The annual Louisiana Film Prize for short films and the Louisiana Music Prize are festivals that attract thousands of visitors to Shreveport. Downtown festivals, such as the Red River Revel, Mudbug Madness and the James Burton International Guitar Festival, anchor Shreveport's entertainment scene. Wine lovers will enjoy the yearly Cork Wine Festival, and every fall, Shreveport hosts the State Fair of Louisiana, which attracts thousands of visitors and participants.

The metro area also features a number of big-city entertainment options and attractions, including the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the oldest continually running professional orchestra in Louisiana. Shreveport also recently announced the development of the $4.3 million Shreveport Aquarium. Other Shreveport attractions include the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Red River District, Robinson Film Center, American Rose Center Gardens and Sci-Port Discovery Center, an award-winning children's science center. Shreveport's crown jewel is the world-famous Municipal Auditorium, once home to "The Louisiana Hayride" radio program. The auditorium launched the careers of many musicians, including Elvis Presley, who performed his first major show there in October 1954.

Regional attractions include the Boom or Bust Byway, a scenic drive on Highway 2 that runs through the area north of Shreveport and offers a glimpse of the oil industry's history. During the early summer, the trail is lined with colorful wildflowers. Additionally, within the city are miles of recreational bicycle trails, walking paths and parks.

A burgeoning microbrewery market has opened up in recent years, thanks to businesses such as Great Raft Brewing and Red River Brewing Co. In line with Shreveport's eclectic identity, the food scene offers a variety of choices, from barbecue and steak to crawfish boils and po'boy sandwiches.