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.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
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.
Interactive Map of Louisiana Parishes | Static Overview Map of Louisiana Parishes
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.
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places)
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.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
Louisiana Civil Features
Louisiana Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas
There are 9 Metropolitan and 8 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Louisiana. LA Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
Louisiana ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 516 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Louisiana. View Louisiana ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
Louisiana has 69 unified school districts. View Louisiana Public and Private Schools.
Louisiana has 6 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each Louisiana district. View Map of Louisiana Congressional 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.
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).