Louisiana (/luˌiːziˈænə/ (listen), /ˌluːzi-/ (listen)) is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state’s capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.
Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, and the alluvial along the coast.
The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km). This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi (970 km)) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the Red River; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams (some of which are called bayous).
The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles (15 to 100 km), and along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles (15 km) across. The Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits (known as a levee), from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile (3 m/km). The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features.
The higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles (65,000 km). They consist of prairie and woodlands. The elevations above sea level range from 10 feet (3 m) at the coast and swamp lands to 50 and 60 feet (15–18 m) at the prairie and alluvial lands. In the uplands and hills, the elevations rise to Driskill Mountain, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level. From years 1932 to 2010 the state lost 1,800 sq. miles due to rises in sea level and erosion. The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) spends around $1 billion per year to help shore up and protect Louisiana shoreline and land in both federal and state funding.
Besides the waterways already named, there are the Sabine, forming the western boundary; and the Pearl, the eastern boundary; the Calcasieu, the Mermentau, the Vermilion, Bayou Teche, the Atchafalaya, the Boeuf, Bayou Lafourche, the Courtableau River, Bayou D’Arbonne, the Macon River, the Tensas, Amite River, the Tchefuncte, the Tickfaw, the Natalbany River, and a number of other smaller streams, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long.
The state also has political jurisdiction over the approximately 3-mile (4.8 km)-wide portion of subsea land of the inner continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. Through a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States, this is substantially less than the 9-mile (14 km)-wide jurisdiction of nearby states Texas and Florida, which, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines.
The southern coast of Louisiana in the United States is among the fastest-disappearing areas in the world. This has largely resulted from human mismanagement of the coast (see Wetlands of Louisiana). At one time, the land was added to when spring floods from the Mississippi River added sediment and stimulated marsh growth; the land is now shrinking. There are multiple causes.
Artificial levees block spring flood water that would bring fresh water and sediment to marshes. Swamps have been extensively logged, leaving canals and ditches that allow saline water to move inland. Canals dug for the oil and gas industry also allow storms to move sea water inland, where it damages swamps and marshes. Rising sea waters have exacerbated the problem. Some researchers estimate that the state is losing a land mass equivalent to 30 football fields every day. There are many proposals to save coastal areas by reducing human damage, including restoring natural floods from the Mississippi. Without such restoration, coastal communities will continue to disappear. And as the communities disappear, more and more people are leaving the region. Since the coastal wetlands support an economically important coastal fishery, the loss of wetlands is adversely affecting this industry.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Louisiana was 4,659,978 on July 1, 2018, a 2.79% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The population density of the state is 104.9 people per square mile.
The center of population of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parish, in the city of New Roads.
According to the 2010 United States Census, 5.4% of the population aged 5 and older spoke Spanish at home, up from 3.5% in 2000; and 4.5% spoke French (including Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole), down from 4.8% in 2000.
According to the US census estimates, the population of Louisiana in 2014 was:
The major ancestry groups of Louisiana are African American (30.4%), French (16.8%), American (9.5%), German (8.3%), Irish (7.5%), English (6.6%), Italian (4.8%) and Scottish (1.1%).
As of 2011, 49.0% of Louisiana’s population younger than age 1 were minorities.
The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Catholic Church with 1,200,900; Southern Baptist Convention with 709,650; and the United Methodist Church with 146,848. Non-denominational Evangelical Protestant congregations had 195,903 members.
As in other Southern states, the majority of Louisianians, particularly in the north of the state, belong to various Protestant denominations, with Protestants comprising 57% of the state’s adult population. Protestants are concentrated in the northern and central parts of the state and in the northern tier of the Florida Parishes. Because of French and Spanish heritage, and their descendants the Creoles, and later Irish, Italian, Portuguese and German immigrants, southern Louisiana and the greater New Orleans area are predominantly Catholic.
Since Creoles were the first settlers, planters and leaders of the territory, they have traditionally been well represented in politics. For instance, most of the early governors were Creole Catholics. Because Catholics still constitute a significant fraction of Louisiana’s population, they have continued to be influential in state politics. As of 2008 both Senators and the governor were Catholic. The high proportion and influence of the Catholic population makes Louisiana distinct among Southern states.
Jewish communities are established in the state’s larger cities, notably New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The most significant of these is the Jewish community of the New Orleans area. In 2000, before the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, its population was about 12,000. Louisiana was among the southern states with a significant Jewish population before the 20th century; Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia also had influential Jewish populations in some of their major cities from the 18th and 19th centuries. The earliest Jewish colonists were Sephardic Jews who immigrated with English colonists from London. Later in the 19th century, German Jews began to immigrate, followed by those from eastern Europe and the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Prominent Jews in Louisiana’s political leadership have included Whig (later Democrat) Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884), who represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate before the American Civil War and then became the Confederate secretary of state; Democrat-turned-Republican Michael Hahn who was elected as governor, serving 1864–1865 when Louisiana was occupied by the Union Army, and later elected in 1884 as a US congressman; Democrat Adolph Meyer (1842–1908), Confederate Army officer who represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1891 until his death in 1908; Republican secretary of state Jay Dardenne (1954–), and Republican (Democrat before 2011) attorney general Buddy Caldwell (1946–).
Zip Code Map
Louisiana neighborhoods include: Abbeville, Addis, Alexandria, Ama, Anacoco, Angie, Arnaudville, Avondale, Ball, Barataria, Barksdale Afb, Basile, Bastrop, Baton Rouge, Belcher, Bell City, Belle Chasse, Belmont, Benton, Bethany, Bogalusa, Bonita, Bossier City, Bourg, Boyce, Braithwaite, Branch, Breaux Bridge, Bridge City, Broussard, Bunkie, Buras, Calhoun, Carencro, Carville, Center Point, Chauvin, Cheneyville, Choudrant, Church Point, Clifton, Colfax, Collinston, Columbia, Converse, Cottonport, Cotton Valley, Coushatta, Covington, Crowley, Darrow, Dequincy, Deville, Donaldsonville, Downsville, Doyline, Dry Prong, Dulac, Duson, Effie, Egan, Elmer, Elm Grove, Erath, Eros, Eunice, Evangeline, Evergreen, Fisher, Flatwoods, Florien, Folsom, Forest Hill, Franklinton, Frierson, Geismar, Gibson, Gilliam, Glenmora, Gonzales, Grand Isle, Gray, Greenwood, Gretna, Grosse Tete, Harahan, Harvey, Haughton, Hessmer, Hineston, Hornbeck, Hosston, Houma, Ida, Iota, Iowa, Jackson, Jennings, Jones, Keatchie, Keithville, Kenner, Lafayette, Lafitte, Lake Charles, Lecompte, Leesville, Lena, Lockport, Madisonville, Mandeville, Mansura, Many, Maringouin, Marksville, Marrero, Marthaville, Maurepas, Maurice, Mer Rouge, Metairie, Monroe, Montegut, Mooringsport, Mora, Moreauville, Morgan City, Morrow, Morse, Moss Bluff, Mount Hermon, New Iberia, New Orleans, Noble, Oakdale, Oak Grove, Oak Ridge, Oil City, Otis, Parks, Pierre Part, Pineville, Pitkin, Plain Dealing, Plaquemine, Plaucheville, Pleasant Hill, Pollock, Port Allen, Port Sulphur, Prairieville, Princeton, Provencal, Ragley, Rayne, River Ridge, Robeline, Rodessa, Rosedale, Saint Amant, Saint Francisville, Saint Gabriel, Saint Martinville, Schriever, Scott, Shreveport, Sieper, Simmesport, Slidell, Sorrento, Springhill, Starks, Sterlington, Stonewall, Sulphur, Sunset, Sunshine, Terrytown, Theriot, Thibodaux, Varnado, Venice, Ville Platte, Vinton, Vivian, Westlake, West Monroe, Westwego, White Castle, Woodworth, Youngsville, Zachary, Zwolle
For more information, see Louisiana wiki