Lafayette, Louisiana

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Lafayette, Louisiana
Ville de Lafayette, Louisiane
City
City of Lafayette
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, oak-lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Cajundome, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, oak-lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Cajundome, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
Nickname(s): The Hub City
Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country
Lafayette, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Location of Lafayette in Louisiana
Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033
CountryUnited States
StateLouisiana
ParishLafayette
Founded1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed1884 as Lafayette
Founded byJean Mouton
Named forGeneral Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette
Government
 • TypeConsolidated City-Parish
 • City-Parish PresidentJoey Durel (Republican)
Area
 • City Total49.2 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Land49.1 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  auto%
 • Metro5,252 sq mi (13,600 km2)
Elevation36 ft (11 m)
Population (2011)
 • City Total120,687
 • Density2,482.3/sq mi (958.4/km2)
DemonymLafayettiens
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes70501–9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s)337
Twin cities
 • Le CannetFrance
 • Longueuil, QuébecCanada
 • Moncton, New BrunswickCanada
 • PoitiersFrance
 • NamurBelgium
 • AgnibilékrouCôte d'Ivoire
Websitewww.lafayettela.gov
 
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Lafayette, Louisiana
Ville de Lafayette, Louisiane
City
City of Lafayette
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, oak-lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Cajundome, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, oak-lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Cajundome, and University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
Nickname(s): The Hub City
Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country
Lafayette, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Location of Lafayette in Louisiana
Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033
CountryUnited States
StateLouisiana
ParishLafayette
Founded1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed1884 as Lafayette
Founded byJean Mouton
Named forGeneral Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette
Government
 • TypeConsolidated City-Parish
 • City-Parish PresidentJoey Durel (Republican)
Area
 • City Total49.2 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Land49.1 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  auto%
 • Metro5,252 sq mi (13,600 km2)
Elevation36 ft (11 m)
Population (2011)
 • City Total120,687
 • Density2,482.3/sq mi (958.4/km2)
DemonymLafayettiens
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes70501–9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s)337
Twin cities
 • Le CannetFrance
 • Longueuil, QuébecCanada
 • Moncton, New BrunswickCanada
 • PoitiersFrance
 • NamurBelgium
 • AgnibilékrouCôte d'Ivoire
Websitewww.lafayettela.gov
This city should not be confused with the former city of Lafayette in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; that city was absorbed into New Orleans in 1852.

Lafayette (/ˌlæfiˈjɛt/; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city located along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 120,623 at the 2010 census. The combined statistical area of Lafayette–Opelousas-Morgan City was 611,774 according to 2012 estimates.[1] Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.[2] Its nickname is The Hub City.

The European-American city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by Jean Mouton, a French-speaking man of Acadian descent. In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War.[3] The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industries became dominant. Lafayette is considered the center of Acadiana, the area of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States, which developed following the relocation of Acadians after their expulsion by the British from eastern Canada in the late 18th century following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War. There is a Louisiana Creole influence in the area. Most Creoles of color and their descendants originated to the east in New Orleans, descendants first of French colonists and African slaves, then a third class of free people of color, French speaking and Catholic.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Geography[edit]

Lafayette is located at 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033 (30.2139, -92.0294)[4] and has an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.2 square miles (127 km2), of which 49.1 square miles (127 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.19%) is water.

Lafayette is located on the West Gulf Coastal Plain. What is now Lafayette was part of the seabed during the earlier Quaternary Period. During this time, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. This valley was filled and is now the Atchafalaya Basin. Lafayette is located on the western rim of this valley.

This land, called the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace, is higher up and not made of wetland like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Because of this, Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems. The Vermilion River runs through the center of Lafayette. Other significant waterways in the city are Isaac Verot Coulee, Coulee Mine, Coulee des Poches and Coulee Ile des Cannes, which are natural drainage canals that lead to the Vermilion River.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. Lafayette is typical of areas along the Gulf of Mexico in that it has hot, humid summers and mild winters. (See table below for average temperatures for Lafayette.)


Climate data for Lafayette, Louisiana
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)89
(32)
87
(31)
93
(34)
93
(34)
98
(37)
106
(41)
107
(42)
103
(39)
101
(38)
96
(36)
92
(33)
89
(32)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C)64
(18)
66
(19)
72
(22)
79
(26)
86
(30)
91
(33)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
82
(28)
72
(22)
64
(18)
79.1
(26.2)
Average low °F (°C)43
(6)
45
(7)
51
(11)
57
(14)
64
(18)
70
(21)
72
(22)
72
(22)
67
(19)
57
(14)
48
(9)
43
(6)
57.4
(14.1)
Record low °F (°C)10
(−12)
2
(−17)
24
(−4)
32
(0)
42
(6)
53
(12)
57
(14)
53
(12)
41
(5)
27
(−3)
21
(−6)
14
(−10)
6
(−14)
Precipitation inches (mm)5.0
(127)
4.5
(114)
4.2
(107)
4.3
(109)
4.8
(122)
5.5
(140)
6.7
(170)
5.6
(142)
4.1
(104)
3.3
(84)
3.9
(99)
5.4
(137)
57.3
(1,455)
Source: Weatherbase[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
18902,106
19003,31457.4%
19106,39292.9%
19207,85522.9%
193014,63586.3%
194019,21031.3%
195033,54174.6%
196040,40020.4%
197068,90870.6%
198081,96118.9%
199096,02217.2%
2000110,25714.8%
2010120,6239.4%

As of the census[7] of 2010, there were 120,623 people, 43,506 households, and 27,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,316.7 people per square mile (894.5/km²). There were 46,865 housing units at an average density of 984.7 per square mile (380.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.23% White, 28.51% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.88% of the population. In 2010, 84.2% of the population over the age of five spoke English at home, and 11.5% of the population spoke French or Cajun French, a dialect that developed in Louisiana.[8]

There were 43,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. Nearly 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,996, and the median income for a family was $47,783. Males had a median income of $37,729 versus $23,606 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,031. About 11.6% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education and healthcare[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools

See Lafayette Parish School System for more information.

The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System. The system has 33 schools, 21 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and seven high schools. The LPSS offers nine career academies at the high school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.[9]

The nine academies are:

The LPSS also offer schools of choice, a program to improve racial diversity at schools. Accepted students are allowed to attend schools outside their school zone (but still within the parish) to receive their state-mandated core curriculum using specialized themes or programs. This is available at all levels, elementary, middle, and high schools, and is designed to provide a more interesting learning experience for the students in the program.[10]

Private schools

See Lafayette Parish Private Schools for list of schools.

Lafayette is home to a large Roman Catholic population and, because of this, Lafayette Parish has many private parochial schools, with grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Universities and colleges[edit]

Lafayette has one university, one community college, and two vocational colleges. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is part of the University of Louisiana System. It is the second-largest university in the state, with an enrollment of approximately 16,000. Schools and colleges related to the institution have been located in Lafayette since 1898. Today it is one of the top-ranked universities in the South. It has a nationally ranked business college along with noted nursing, architecture, biology, and computer sciences departments.

One of the newest college systems in Louisiana, South Louisiana Community College is headquartered in Lafayette. SLCC partnered with Acadian Ambulance to form the National EMS Academy, which offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic certification. SLCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.[citation needed]

Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College system,[11] which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical college system. It offers associate degrees in several fields.[12] is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's degree programs, many associate degree programs, along with a few diploma programs.

Public library system[edit]

Healthcare[edit]

Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:

Government and politics[edit]

See also Notable local politicians

Since the consolidation of city and parish governments, Lafayette has had a city-parish president as its chief executive, rather than a mayor. The current city-parish president is Republican Joey Durel.

On election day, October 22, 2011, Lafayette parish voters rejected a proposal to separate parish and city governments. Under consolidation, the City of Lafayette and Parish of Lafayette have a common representative body and executive officer. Public Works and other services, such as Land Use and Plat Review, are operated by Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) to serve the City of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish, and by contract to some, but not all of the area municipalities. Zoning Rules apply only within the City of Lafayette.[citation needed] Some neighboring municipalities have adopted their own planning and zoning protocols. The suburban and rural cities and towns maintain independent city councils, local executives, police and fire departments, as well as other public services. The Lafayette Parish School System operates independently of any municipality, and its jurisdiction is coterminous with the Parish of Lafayette.[citation needed]

Law enforcement[edit]

Lafayette is served by five police agencies:

Military[edit]

Lafayette is home to the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of more than 3,000 soldiers, which served in Iraq in the years of 2004-2005. The brigade was deployed again in January 2010. Lafayette is also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion commanded by Captain Cole Clements. This unit has been on several deployments, many related to the Iraq War.[citation needed]

Utilities[edit]

Electricity, water, and waste water service Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System, a city-parish government-run, publicly owned utility company. Started over 100 years ago as an electrical company, LUS has expanded into a full-service utilities company. It provides electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment throughout the City of Lafayette, as well some unincorporated parts of the parish, along with bulk sales to the water systems of most surrounding municipalities. In 2009 LUS installed infrastructure for a fiber telecommunications network. Called LUSFiber, the network provides digital cable, telephone service, and high speed internet to all households in Lafayette.[13]

Natural gas service Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.

Telephone service Local land line telephone service is served by AT&T. Cox Communications and LUS Fiber provide Voice over Internet Protocol phone service.

Television Cable television service in Lafayette is provided by Cox Communications. Lafayette Utilities System provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

Downtown Lafayette from the air
Lafayette is the location of the last remaining Borden's Ice Cream outlet in the United States.

Lafayette has some manufacturing and fabrication businesses, including Frank's Casing Crew and CIS Hammers.

Information technology[edit]

The city has an IT community including such businesses as:

Culture and contemporary life[edit]

Cultural Organizations and Institutions[edit]

Cultural organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, The Lafayette Concert Band, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana.

Sports[edit]

Lafayette is home to the Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is home to the Louisiana Hurricanes, a semi-pro football team that plays at STM Stadium. Between the years of 1995 and 2005, Lafayette was home to the Louisiana IceGators ECHL hockey team; in 2009, the IceGators returned as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League. As of 2009, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League. It is also home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semi-pro football program that started in 2003. Lafayette is home to three sports venues: the Cajundome, Cajun Field and Blackham Coliseum.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers playing at the Blue Moon Saloon

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

Television[edit]

Currently, Lafayette is served by Cox Communications, as well as Lafayette Utilities System's LUSFiber.[14]

Lafayette is home to:

Lafayette is also served by:

Radio[edit]

See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list. Popular radio stations in Lafayette:

Places of interest[edit]

Events[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Lafayette has six sister cities:[15]

Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 (CBSA-EST2007-02)" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Niles' Weekly Register, BALTIMORE, June 26, 1824; LAFAYETTE
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Historical Weather for Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America". Weatherbase.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ http://www.mla.org/cgi-shl/docstudio/docs.pl?map_data_results
  9. ^ "LPSS Career Academies". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Lafayette Schools of Choice". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) website; accessed July 2, 2014.
  12. ^ Remington College (Lafayette campus) website; accessed July 2, 2014.
  13. ^ "LUS Services". Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  14. ^ "LUSFiber". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Lafayette's six sister cities". Retrieved October 16, 2009. 

External links[edit]