Louisiana is divided into sixty-four parishes. On March 31, 1807, the territorial legislature divided the state into 19 parishes, without getting rid of the
old counties (which continued to exist until 1845). In 1811, a constitutional convention organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of
parishes. In 1816, the first official map of the state used the term, as did the 1845 constitution. Since then, the official term has been parishes.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Jefferson Parish Education, Geography, and History
Jefferson Parish is a parish in the state of Louisiana. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 432,552. The parish seat is Gretna.
Jefferson Parish is included in the New Orleans-Metairie, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Etymology - Origin of Jefferson Parish Name
Jefferson Parish was named in honor of U. S. President Thomas Jefferson of Virginia when the parish was established by the Louisiana
Legislature on February 11, 1825, a year before Jefferson died. A bronze statue of Jefferson stands at the entrance of the General Government
Complex on Derbigny Street at the parish seat in Gretna. The parish seat was in the City of Lafayette, until that city was annexed by New
Orleans in 1854.
Jefferson Parish was created on 1825, from Orleans Parish and the parish was named in honor of Founding Father
Thomas Jefferson. The Parish seat is Gretna.
Geography: Land and Water
As reported by the Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 665 square miles (1,720 km2), of which 296 square miles (770 km2) is
land and 370 square miles (960 km2) (56%) is water.
Lake Pontchartrain is situated in the northern part of Jefferson Parish with the parish line several miles north of the southern shore, with
St. Tammany Parish at its northern shore. The Mississippi River is located around the midpoint of Jefferson Parish flowing generally in a
north-west to south-east direction.
Surrounding parishes include St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana at the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, St. Charles Parish upriver to the west,
Orleans Parish downriver to the east, and Plaquemines Parish downriver to the south-east. The majority of the southern half of Jefferson
parish is uninhabited marshland with one of the exceptions being the town of Grand Isle; the only roads connecting Grand Isle to the rest of
Jefferson Parish run through Lafourche Parish and St. Charles Parish.
Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:
North: Lake Pontchartrain
Northeast: Orleans Parish
East: Plaquemines Parish
South: Gulf of Mexico
West: Lafourche Parish; St. Charles Parish
The parish's public schools are operated by Jefferson Parish Public Schools.