Introduction to Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette is located in the southern central part of Louisiana, at the intersection of Highways 10 and 49. It is the fourth largest city in Louisiana and is the only major city in Louisiana that has grown in population since the year 2000. Lafayette resides in an area called Acadiana, which is known as the Cajun Heartland, and is the unofficial Cajun Capitol of the south. Lafayette lies 15 miles west of the Atchafalaya Basin and 35 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and is surrounded by bayous, swamps and marshes along with forests and prairies. The city got its name in 1844 when it was named after the French Marquis de Lafayette.

Lafayette has a history almost as colorful as the history of the state of Louisiana, which actually was governed by 10 different flags from the period of time beginning 1541 until 1803 when it became a possession of the United States. The rich French heritage of Lafayette was mainly due to "Le Grand Derangement" in 1755. That year, thousands of French Canadians were forced from their homes because they refused to renounce their Catholic religion for the Anglican Church and pledge allegiance to the British flag. More than half of the Acadians lost their lives as their homes and crops were burned by the British and they floundered at sea. Most of the survivors ended up in Louisiana after the King of Spain allowed them to settle in South Louisiana. They eventually ended up in the areas around Lafayette, where they could raise their own crops and fish and trap according to their traditions. Thus, the Cajun culture was born. Interestingly, the word Cajun originated when the French of noble ancestry would call the Acadians "le Cadiens," dropping the "A." Later, the Americans who could not pronounce "Cadien" shortened the term and just called them "Cajuns". These Cajun people were known for their unique culture. They are deeply religious, hard working but enthusiastic and fun people. Their food, spicy and flavorful, became famous throughout the country and still is a favorite among the visitors of the "Bayou Country."

In 1803, Louisiana had become a part of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon because of the region's importance to the trade and security of the American mid-west. Much of the produce of the mid-west traveled down the Mississippi River so this area became vital for America. The fertility of the land in this region gave rise to important crops such as sugar and cotton, making the planters of Lafayette some of the richest in America. After the Civil War, sulfur was discovered in 1869 and oil was discovered in 1901. Now Louisiana has become one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas in the country.

Lafayette Points of Interest

Lafayette has a strong tourism industry, attracted by the wonderful Cajun food of this region. It has more restaurants per capita of any city in the entire area. The city has a thriving arts community, consisting of theatre, visual arts, and especially music. Cajun music is a combination of bluegrass and French with a little European folk music thrown in. Almost every weekend, there is a music, dance or street festival and the city is known for its great Mardi Gras celebrations when Lafayette explodes with color and wild costumes.

Because of its year-long warm climate, Lafayette is known as "The Sportsman's Paradise". The bayous and swamps are great places for canoe rides and the fishing is very popular. In addition, there are championship golf courses nearby and lots of hiking and biking trails to explore. The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns is the team name of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1960, the name referred only to the football team which was formerly called the Bulldogs, but now the name refers to all the sports of the university, including basketball and baseball. And, since 2003, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, its semi pro football team.

Lafayette has a diversified and interesting college life. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the largest campus within the eight-campus University of the Louisiana System and the second largest university in Louisiana. It is recognized mostly for its excellence in computer science and its graduate courses in environmental biology. In addition, Lafayette is home to the South Louisiana Community College and the Louisiana Technical College at Lafayette.

Located only 135 miles from New Orleans, Lafayette is a popular destination for tourists looking for the flavor of New Orleans; the food, music and festivals rival its famous neighbor and the warm climate is perfect for a relaxing southern vacation. As the Cajuns say, ""Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez," or "Let the Good Times Roll!"



Total Population126,515
Male Share of the Population48.8%
Female Share of the Population51.2%
Senior Citizens13.9%
Employed Population 16+63,015
Age of the Population35


% of people married38.5%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher31.4%
Median Earnings25+$35,854
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$16,173
Median Earnings With High School Degree$26,841


Median Family Income$69,663
% Above Poverty Level80.6%
% Below Poverty Level19.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time22 minutes
% Working from Home3.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work3.3%
% Using Public Transportation1%


People Living Alone35%
Median Gross Rent$874
Median House Value$190,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)40.1%
French Except Basque19.3%
West Indian0.2%
Trinidad Tobago0.1%
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Lafayette Almanac

CountyLafayette Parish
Standard Zip Codes70501, 70507, 70503, 70506, 70508
P.O. Box Zip Codes70505, 70509, 70593, 70502, 70596, 70598
Company Zip Codes70504
Phone Area Codes337
Time ZoneAmerica/Chicago
Approximate Latitude30.24
Approximate Longitude-91.99

Lafayette Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance2.7 miles
Jan Temp42 to 62 F
Apr Temp58 to 78 F
Jul Temp74 to 91 F
Oct Temp58 to 81 F
Annual Precip62.1 inches
Distance14.5 miles
Jan Temp41 to 62 F
Apr Temp56 to 79 F
Jul Temp72 to 93 F
Oct Temp57 to 82 F
Annual Precip63.2 inches
Distance21.8 miles
Jan Temp41 to 61 F
Apr Temp58 to 78 F
Jul Temp73 to 91 F
Oct Temp59 to 80 F
Annual Precip60.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Breaux Bridge8,299$50,033

Lafayette Public Libraries

Lafayette Public Library
Lafayette, Louisiana
(337) 261-5781

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Lafayette Hospitals

Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
1000 W Pinhook Rd Ste 100
(337) 289-8088
Optima Specialty Hospital
1131 Rue De Belier
(337) 991-0571
Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
1101 Kaliste Saloom Road
(337) 769-4100
Community Specialty Hospital
408 Se Evangeline Trwy
(337) 234-4031
Park Place Surgical Hospital
4811 Ambassador Caffery Parkway
(337) 237-8119
Lafayette - Amg Specialty Hospital
310 Youngsville Hwy
(337) 839-9880
University Medical Center
2390 W Congress St
(337) 261-6000
Lafayette Physical Rehabilitation Hospital
307 Polly Ln
(337) 314-1111
Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge Blvd
(337) 289-7991
Our Lady Of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
4801 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
(337) 470-2000
Acadia Vermilion Hospital
2520 N University Ave
(337) 234-5614
The Regional Medical Center Of Acadiana
2810 Ambasssador Caffery Parkway
(337) 981-2949
Women's & Children's Hospital
4600 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy
(337) 521-9100
Heart Hospital Of Lafayette
1105 Kaliste Saloom Road
(318) 449-1370
Lafayette Behavioral Health Unit
302 Dulles Dr
(337) 262-4100
Louisiana Extended Care Hospital-lafayette
1214 Coolidge Street
(337) 289-8180
Post Acute Specialty Hospital Of Lafayette
204 Energy Drive Parkway
(337) 232-1905

Lafayette Public Schools

Alice N. Boucher Elementary School
400 Patterson Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7610
Total Enrollment 665
David Thibodaux Stem Magnet Academy
805 Teurlings Drive
ZIP: 70501
(337) 262-5962
Total Enrollment 746
J.w. Faulk Elementary School
711 East Willow Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7680
Total Enrollment 426
N. P. Moss Preparatory Academy
801 Mudd Ave.
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7590
Total Enrollment 325
Northside High School
301 Dunand Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7990
Total Enrollment 762
Paul Breaux Middle School
1400 South Orange Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7860
Total Enrollment 616
Truman Elementary School
200 Clara Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7810
Total Enrollment 454
W. D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center
200 18th Street
ZIP: 70501
(337) 521-7570
Willow Charter Academy
1818 Northeast Evangeline Thro
ZIP: 70501
(337) 534-8218
Total Enrollment 483
Broadmoor Elementary School
609 Broadmoor Boulevard
ZIP: 70503
(337) 521-7620
Total Enrollment 671
Edgar Martin Middle School
401 Broadmoor Boulevard
ZIP: 70503
(337) 521-7910
Total Enrollment 706
L.j. Alleman Middle School
600 Roselawn Boulevard
ZIP: 70503
(337) 521-7850
Total Enrollment 1067
Woodvale Elementary School
100 Leon Drive
ZIP: 70503
(337) 521-7830
Total Enrollment 609
Acadiana High School
315 Rue Du Belier
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-7950
Total Enrollment 1785
Early College Academy
320 Devalcourt Drive
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-8956
Total Enrollment 260
Lafayette High School
3000 West Congress Street
ZIP: 70506
(337) 984-5284
Total Enrollment 2456
Lafayette Middle School
1301 West University Avenue
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-7900
Total Enrollment 452
Myrtle Place Elementary School
1100 Myrtle Place Boulevard
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-7760
Total Enrollment 396
Prairie Elementary School
2910 Ambassador Caffery Parkwa
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-7790
Total Enrollment 866
S.j. Montgomery Elementary School
600 Foreman Drive
ZIP: 70506
(337) 521-7750
Total Enrollment 522
Acadian Middle School
4201 Moss Street
ZIP: 70507
(337) 521-7840
Total Enrollment 456
Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy
205 Vienne Lane
ZIP: 70507
(504) 919-1040
Total Enrollment 675
Carencro High School
721 West Butcher Switch Road
ZIP: 70507
(337) 521-7960
Total Enrollment 1092
Evangeline Elementary School
610 East Butcher Switch Road
ZIP: 70507
(337) 521-7670
Total Enrollment 572
Live Oak Elementary School
3020 N University Ave
ZIP: 70507
(337) 521-7730
Total Enrollment 683
Ossun Elementary School
400 Rue Scholastique
ZIP: 70507
(337) 521-7770
Total Enrollment 818
Milton Elementary School
222 W. Milton Avenue
ZIP: 70508
(337) 521-7740
Total Enrollment 974
O. Comeaux High School
100 West Bluebird Drive
ZIP: 70508
(337) 521-7970
Total Enrollment 1934
Plantation Elementary School
1801 Kaliste Saloom Road
ZIP: 70508
(337) 521-7780
Total Enrollment 534

Lafayette Private Schools

Ascension Episcopal School
1030 Johnston St
ZIP: 70501
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 662
Cathedral Carmel School
848 Saint John St
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 721
First Baptist Christian School
201 W Convent St
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 175
Gethsemane Christian Academy
701 E Pinhook Rd
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 39
Holy Family Catholic School
200 Saint John St
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 143
Immaculate Heart Mary School
800 12th St
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 91
St Genevieve Elementary School
201 Elizabeth Ave
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 492
St Genevieve Middle School
91 Teurlings Dr
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 177
Sts Leo-seton Catholic School
502 Saint Leo St
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 498
Teurlings Catholic High School
139 Teurlings Dr
ZIP: 70501
Total Enrollment 653
Our Lady Of Fatima School
2315 Johnston St
ZIP: 70503
Total Enrollment 845
Family Life Christian Academy
2223 Dulles Dr
ZIP: 70506
Total Enrollment 119
Lafayette Christian Academy
220 Portland Ave
ZIP: 70507
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 696
St Pius Elementary School
205 E Bayou Pkwy
ZIP: 70508
Total Enrollment 644
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