Lafayette is a city located in Lafayette Parish Louisiana. Lafayette has a 2023 population of 121,322. It is also the county seat of Lafayette Parish.Lafayette is currently declining at a rate of -0.18% annually and its population has decreased by -0.55% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 121,996 in 2020.
The average household income in Lafayette is $82,752 with a poverty rate of 19.48%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Lafayette is 36.3 years, 35 years for males, and 37.6 years for females.
Louisiana is located in the southwestern region of the state and is the principal city of the Lafayette Metropolitan area.
About 11.5% of the population speaks French or Creole French, while over 84% speak English.
Manufacturing and fabrication are essential industries in Lafayette, with employers including Frank’s Casing Crew and CIS Hammers. There is also a thriving IT community which includes businesses such as the Center for Business and Information Technologies and CGI.
Lafayette’s population has only gone up since the census taken in 1860. A community that was under 500 people in 1860 had grown to over 14,000 by 1930. The population only continued to grow larger, reaching 40,000 in 1960 and nearing 70,000 at the time of the next census. In 2000, the city had over 100,000 residents. This number has since gone up considerably. Recent estimates show that the population has grown by almost 6% since the 2010 census. Based on this data, it seems as though this Louisiana city is quickly on its way to a population of 150,000.
The area that is now Lafayette was originally inhabited by Atakapa Indians. The area at the time was known as the Atakapa and Opelousas districts. Things began to change with the arrival of the Europeans in the 1760s. Acadians were also being settled in the area.
In the early 1800s, the area was split into St. Martin and St. Mary parishes. Lafayette was planned in 1821 and was initially called St. Jean du Vermilionville, which was shortened to simply Vermilionville. A charter in 1836 outlined the boundaries of the village, although these borders were expanded in 1869.
In 1823, the St. Martin parish was divided, and the Lafayette parish was born. The city name remained as Verminionville because an area already took the name Lafayette outside of New Orleans. The suburb was later incorporated by New Orleans, which is when Vermilionville’s name was changed.
Agriculture was a primary driver of the economy during the city’s earliest days, but petroleum and national gas industries grew in importance during the 1940s.
Today, the city’s economy revolves around manufacturing and fabrication. In recent years, the IT industry has also grown significantly. The city is also very culturally diverse and is considered to be the center of Cajun and Creole culture.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Lafayette was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
91.16% of Lafayette residents speak only English, while 8.84% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 3.79% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Lafayette is Black, with 36.59% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Lafayette is Asian, with 8.91% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.59%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.81%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 29.59%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Lafayette
97.87% of Lafayette residents were born in the United States, with 82.36% having been born in Louisiana. 3.92% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.