According to the Census Bureau and Harvard University health data, Louisiana ranks 49th among the states in life expectancy, has the second-highest rate of infant mortality, comes in fourth in violent crime, ranks 46th in percentage of people older than 25 with college degrees, and ties for second in percentage of people living below the poverty line.
Oil riches didn't create these problems, of course, but it is striking that they didn't ameliorate them. "We've always been a plantation state," said Oliver Houck, an environmental law professor at Tulane University. "What oil and gas did is replace the agricultural plantation culture with an oil and gas plantation culture."
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