Lafayette is a city located in Lafayette County, Louisiana. With a 2020 population of 124,561, it is the 4th largest city in Louisiana (after New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport) and the 227th largest city in the United States. Lafayette is currently declining at a rate of -0.63% annually but its population has increased by 3.26% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 120,623 in 2010. Lafayette reached it's highest population of 127,156 in 2016. Spanning over 56 miles, Lafayette has a population density of 2,245 people per square mile.
The average household income in Lafayette is $76,540 with a poverty rate of 19.35%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $874 per month, and the median house value is $190,800. The median age in Lafayette is 35.1 years, 34.3 years for males, and 36.1 years for females. For every 100 females there are 95.4 males.
Louisiana is located in the southwestern region of the state and is the principal city of the Lafayette Metropolitan area.
Lafayette Population andn Economy Statistics
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 Population Growth
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.