|Lafayette, Louisiana |
De Lafayetta en, Louisiane
|City of Lafayette|
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, Oak lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, The Cajundome, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
|Nickname(s): The Hub City|
|Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country|
|Founded||1821 as Vermilionville|
|Renamed||1884 as Lafayette|
|Founded by||Jean Mouton|
|Named for||General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette|
|City-Parish President||Joey Durel (Republican)|
|City Total||49.2 sq mi (127 km2)|
|Land||49.1 sq mi (127 km2)|
|Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2) auto%|
|Metro||5,252 sq mi (13,600 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|Density||2,482.3/sq mi (958.4/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||70501 9, 70593, 70596, 70598|
|Longueuil, Qu bec||Canada|
|Moncton, New Brunswick||Canada|
|Agnibil krou||C te d'Ivoire|
Lafayette (//; French: [lafaj t]) 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. Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.
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 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, the French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industries became dominant. In recent years, health care and related services have become increasingly important.
Lafayette is considered the center of Acadiana, the area of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. It developed after Acadians were relocated here following their expulsion by the British from eastern Canada in the late 18th century following the defeat of France in the Seven Years War. There is also 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. The Creole and Cajun cuisines are among the most famous regional cuisines of the United States.
Lafayette is located at  and has an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m). 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.(30.2139, -92.0294)
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.
Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using K ppen 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|
|Record high °F (°C)||89 |
|Average high °F (°C)||64 |
|Average low °F (°C)||43 |
|Record low °F (°C)||10 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||5.0 |
As of the census 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/km ). There were 46,865 housing units at an average density of 984.7 per square mile (380.2/km ). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College system, which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical college system. It offers associate degrees in several fields. Remington College (Lafayette campus) is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's degree programs, many associate degree programs, along with a few diploma programs.
Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:
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. 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.
Lafayette is served by five police agencies:
Lafayette is the home of 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.
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.
Natural gas service Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.
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.
The city has an IT community including such businesses as:
Cultural organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana.
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.
Lafayette is home to:
Lafayette is also served by:
See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list. Popular radio stations in Lafayette:
Lafayette has six sister cities:
Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.
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