Is La. among the nation’s 'hardest places to live?' Is La. among the nation’s 'hardest places to live?' Screen grab from www.nytimes.com. Follow the link below to the interactive version. Advocate story July 01, 2014 Comments The New York Times went looking for the “hardest places to live” in the United States, and Louisiana didn’t fare well. Hint: In the map, orange is bad and blue is good. But, it’s not all bad news: Lafayette, Ascension and St. Tammany give South Louisiana a few touches of blue. The six data points considered for each county: education, median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. See the story and interactive map here.