Demographer Greg Rigamer says one out of five people continue to live in poverty, despite the state's best efforts to improve economic opportunities for poor people.
"People are aware of the problem," Rigamer said. "There are programs in place to try and address it, but it is not a simple problem, it's very complex."
Louisiana has the third highest poverty rate, according to the latest census numbers. But Rigamer says the Census Bureau also points out that Louisiana's household income is up four-percent from 2000, which is a good sign.
"There a lot of good initiatives in place to bring jobs to Louisiana."
While Louisiana's household income is up, other southern states like Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee experienced a sharp decline.