U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip Header


Basic Information

2010 Census Population: 4,533,372 (25th)
Land Area: 43,203.9 square miles (33rd)
Density: 104.9 persons per square mile (24th)
Capital: Baton Rouge
Became a State: April 30, 1812 (18th)
Bordering States: Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas
Abbreviation: LA
ANSI Code: 22


The United States acquired the area of Louisiana from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, although the area east of the Mississippi River and north of Lake Pontchartrain and the southwestern boundary were disputed with Spain until 1812. Orleans Territory, which included the greater part of Louisiana, was organized on March 26, 1804. (The Louisiana Territory, organized on March 3, 1805, did not include any of the present-day state of Louisiana; the Louisiana Territory was the portion of the Louisiana Purchase that was north of the 33rd parallel, which is the current northern boundary of the state of Louisiana.) Louisiana was admitted to the Union on April 30, 1812, as the 18th state, with generally the same boundary as the present state.

Census data for Louisiana are available beginning with the 1810 census. The 1810 population is for Orleans Territory, which conformed to the present-day state boundary.

Data for the legally established state of Louisiana are available beginning with the 1820 census.

About the Geographic Areas

American Indian Areas

Louisiana has four federally-recognized American Indian reservations, two with off-reservation trust land. There are also five state designated tribal statistical areas (SDTSAs).

Metropolitan And Micropolitan Statistical Areas And Related Statistical Areas

Louisiana has 8 metropolitan statistical, 17 micropolitan statistical areas, and 7 combined statistical areas.


There are 64 county equivalents in Louisiana known as parishes. Four parishes are not considered to be functioning governmental units because they have consolidated their functions with an incorporated place.  East Baton Rouge Parish and Baton Rouge city are partially consolidated governmentally at the parish level.  Baton Rouge city retains separate boundaries and some municipal functions.  Lafayette Parish and Lafayette city are partially consolidated governmentally at the parish level.  Lafayette city maintains separate boundaries and some municipal functions.  Orleans Parish and New Orleans city are governmentally consolidated at the city level.  Terrebonne Parish and Houma city are governmentally consolidated at the parish level but are not coextensive.  Houma city is a nonfunctioning geographic entity with separate boundaries within the consolidated government.  The governing body of each parish is the police jury, except for Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes which each have parish councils.

County Subdivisions

There are 579 county subdivisions in Louisiana known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 578 parish governing authority districts, which are nongovernmental, nonfunctioning subdivisions of the parish used for conducting elections.  New Orleans city is independent of any MCD and serves as an MCD equivalent.


There are 473 places in Louisiana; 304 incorporated places and 169 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 69 cities, 128 towns, and 107 villages.  Houma city, though a legal entity, does not have a functioning government.  The minimum population threshold for incorporation in Louisiana is 300.  Villages have a population of up to 999, towns have a population of between 1,000 and 4,999, and cities have a minimum population of 5,000.

Census Tracts/Block Groups/Blocks

There are 1,148 census tracts, 3,471 block groups, and 204,447 census blocks in Louisiana.

Congressional Districts

For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Louisiana had seven congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Louisiana has six congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census.

School Districts

Louisiana has 69 unified school districts.

State Legislative Districts

There are 39 state senate districts and 105 state house districts in Louisiana.  In addition, there is one state house district and one state senate district not defined which encompasses water area.

Urban Areas

Louisiana has 75 urban areas; 11 urbanized areas and 64 urban clusters.

Zip Code Tabulation Areas

There are 516 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Louisiana.

Centers of Population

Year North Latitude West Longitude
20106 30° 43′ 22″ 91° 30′ 32″
20006 30° 41′ 57″ 91° 27′ 26″
19905 30° 42′ 33″ 91° 27′ 53″
19804 30° 43′ 04″ 91° 27′ 56″
19703 30° 43′ 44″ 91° 28′ 41″
19603 30° 46′ 43″ 91° 31′ 20″
19503 30° 48′ 23″ 91° 34′ 05″
19402 30° 55′ 13″ 91° 34′ 38″
19302 30° 55′ 40″ 91° 33′ 50″
19201 30° 51′ 28″ 91° 36′ 40″
19101 30° 48′ 47″ 91° 33′ 50″
19001 30° 48′ 56″ 91° 31′ 46″
18901 30° 50′ 40″ 91° 29′ 24″
18801 30° 49′ 29″ 91° 21′ 08″

1  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1923
2  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, recomputation for historical county level data which relied upon aggregate county level population data with an estimated county centroid resulting in a possible error of up to one mile.
3  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Centers of Population for States and Counties, 1974
4  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group/enumeration area data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
5  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
6  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, computation from national block-level data

Most Populous, Largest, and Dense Areas

Population Land Area
(square miles)
Population Density
(Persons per square mile)

Name Population Name Area Name Density
County East Baton Rouge Parish 440,171 Vernon Parish 1,327.91 Orleans Parish 2,029.4

 - Inc Place New Orleans city 343,829 New Orleans city 169.42 Harahan city 4,613.9
 - CDP Metairie CDP 138,481 Chackbay CDP 28.52 Timberlane CDP 6,840.3

List of Entities

See the Gazetteer Files for a list of geographic entities. See the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas page for a list of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas and related statistical areas.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header