Latest CityStats report finds widespread financial insecurity in EBR

    About two out of every three East Baton Rouge Parish residents have trouble paying their monthly bills, while about three out of four would not feel confident that they could cover an unexpected $2,000 expense, according to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s annual CityStats report. 

    The survey also found that 42% of residents think the parish is headed in the wrong direction—which BRAF says represents the fewest number of people with that opinion since CityStats began asking five years ago—compared to 31% who say it’s going in the right direction and 27% who didn’t answer or said they didn’t know. The survey found 57% of residents feel the pace of progress is too slow, compared to 70% last year. 

    Other takeaways from the report: 

    • For the second year in a row, EBR experienced positive net migration, with 2,131 more people moving into the parish than out in 2022.
    • Unemployment in 2022 was 3.2%, the lowest rate in 20 years.
    • One in four Black residents in the parish is poor, compared to one in 10 white residents. 
    • Only 4% of residents say they expect to inherit $10,000 or more. 
    • Almost 91% of parish residents have at least a high school diploma, while more than 38% have a bachelor’s degree. Both numbers exceed state averages and are about the same as the corresponding national rates.
    • The number of passengers flying into or out of the Baton Rouge Metro Airport jumped 25% year over year.
    • Reducing crime was the most often cited improvement to make Baton Rouge more appealing to newcomers. 
    • The average commute to work is 24 minutes. 
    • About half of 3- and 4-year-olds attended pre-kindergarten, up from last year but well below average enrollment over the past decade. 

    BRAF hired the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to gather public data, while LJR Custom Strategies handled the companion survey, which was conducted in early August and has a 4.3% margin of error. 

    You can read the full report here