Louisiana Geography, Population, Business and History

Louisiana is a state of the United States, at the Mississippi outlet in the Gulf of Mexico. The name is abbreviated LA or La., But the state is also often called The Pelican State. The state has an area of ​​134,273 km2 and has 4,684,333 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital is Baton Rouge. Louisiana was part of the Louisiana Territory, which the United States purchased from France in 1803. The name is after the French king Louis 14.

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Louisiana is a lowland with river plains, marshes and lakes, and along the coast there are a number of large lagoons with brackish water. Mississippi and its bees are taller than the surrounding country, and it has therefore been necessary, in the Netherlands, to build dikes for flood protection. The climate is humid subtropical with hot summers and relatively cool winters. The annual average temperature varies between 18 °C in the far north to 21 °C at the mouth of the Mississippi. In New Orleans the average temperature is 12 °C in the coldest month (January), 27 °C in the warmest month (July – August). The annual rainfall varies between approx. 1220 mm in the north and 1625 mm in the south. The growing season is 320 days in the south and 220 in the north. Especially from May to November, the coast is exposed to tropical hurricanes.


Ethnic variation is greater than in most other Southern states. Some of the white population are descendants of French colonists (see cajun), partly by French expelled by British from Nova Scotia in the latter part of the 18th century, and partly by royalist refugees of the French Revolution. French is spoken daily in some areas, and Code Napoléon is still the basis of the state’s law. Mardi gras (Fetish Tuesday) is a popular folk festival, especially in New Orleans. Black / African Americans make up 32.6 percent of the population (US Census, 2017), a percentage only surpassed by Mississippi and District of Columbia. 5.2 percent are Hispanic (Hispanic or Latino), while 58.7 percent are considered white. The state’s largest city, New Orleans, was submerged and suffered enormous damage in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005.


Agriculture, which was previously dominated by cotton, is based today on the cultivation of rice, soybeans and sugarcane as well as the production of meat and dairy products. Almost half of the area is wooded, and the forest provides the basis for a large timber and paper industry. Catching of shellfish (shrimp, oysters), musk rats, mink and otters also yields substantial revenue. After Texas, Louisiana is the largest natural gas producer in the state, and only Texas, Alaska and California produce more oil. Production of sulfur and salt is also significant. By the way, the industry is dominated by petrochemicals and the chemical, textile, clothing and food industries.

Among higher education institutions are five universities, including Baton Rouge State University, and Tulane, Dillard and Catholic Loyola University, all in New Orleans. Huey Long and his brother Earl Long strongly influenced Louisiana’s political life in the 1930s and 1940s, both as governors.

Louisiana sends two senators and six representatives to Congress. The State Senate has 39 members, the House of Representatives 105.


Louisiana originally encompassed the entire Mississippi waterway and got its name after Louis 14, when French explorer Robert de La Salle sailed down to the estuary in 1682 and took possession of France. Around 1540 Hernando De Soto and other Spaniards had traveled in the area.

Emigration and deportations laid the foundations for a French population, and many slaves were brought out. New Orleans was founded in 1718. In 1763, the land east of the Mississippi was surrendered to England, the west to Spain. Napoleon acquired the Spanish part in 1800, but sold it to the United States in 1803 for $ 27 million.

Louisiana was organized as two territories and in 1812 the present area was occupied as the 18th state of the United States. Large sugar and cotton plantations grew, and in 1840 New Orleans became America’s most important port after New York.

Louisiana Population 2019

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