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Louisiana Parishes

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.

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Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Orleans Parish Education, Geography, and HistoryOrleans Parish, Louisiana Courthouse

New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city was 343,829 as of the 2010 US Census. The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area) had a population of 1,167,764 in 2010 and was the 46th largest in the United States. The New Orleans-Metairie-Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area, a larger trading area, had a 2010 population of 1,452,502

Etymology - Origin of Orleans Parish Name

The city is named after the Duke of Orleans, who reigned as Regent for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723, as it was established by French colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture. It is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Orleans County History

Orleans Parish was created on 1807, as an Original Parish and the parish was named in honor of city of New Orleans is named after the Duke of Orleans, the regent of France. The Parish seat is New Orleans

Geography: Land and Water

New Orleans is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 105 miles (169 km) upriver from the Gulf of Mexico. As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 350 square miles (910 km2), of which 169 square miles (440 km2) is land and 181 square miles (470 km2) (52%) is water. Orleans Parish is the smallest parish by land area in Louisiana.

The city is located in the Mississippi River Delta on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River and south of Lake Pontchartrain. The area along the river is characterized by ridges and hollows.

New Orleans was originally settled on the natural levees or high ground, along the Mississippi River. After the Flood Control Act of 1965, the US Army Corps of Engineers built floodwalls and man-made levees around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp. Whether or not this human interference has caused subsidence is a topic of debate. A study by an associate professor at Tulane University claims:

  • ?#8364;œ While erosion and wetland loss are huge problems along Louisiana's coast, the basement 30 to 50 feet (15 m) beneath much of the Mississippi Delta has been highly stable for the past 8,000 years with negligible subsidence rates. ?#8364;?
    On the other hand, a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers claims that "New Orleans is subsiding (sinking)":
  • ?#8364;œ Large portions of Orleans, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes are currently below sea level - and continue to sink. New Orleans is built on thousands of feet of soft sand, silt, and clay. Subsidence, or settling of the ground surface, occurs naturally due to the consolidation and oxidation of organic soils (called "marsh" in New Orleans) and local groundwater pumping. In the past, flooding and deposition of sediments from the Mississippi River counterbalanced the natural subsidence, leaving southeast Louisiana at or above sea level. However, due to major flood control structures being built upstream on the Mississippi River and levees being built around New Orleans, fresh layers of sediment are not replenishing the ground lost by subsidence.

Neighboring Parishes

Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:

  • North: Lake Pontchartrain
  • Northeast: St. Tammany Parish
  • East: Lake Borgne
  • South: St. Bernard Parish; Plaquemines Parish
  • West: Jefferson Parish


    Colleges and universities

    Tulane University, a major research university founded in 1834.
    Loyola University New Orleans, a Jesuit university founded in 1912.
    University of New Orleans, a large public research university in the city.
    Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Catholic university in the United States.
    Southern University at New Orleans, an historically black university in the Southern University System.
    Dillard University, a private, historically black liberal arts college founded in 1869.
    Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
    Our Lady of Holy Cross College, a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1916.
    Notre Dame Seminary
    New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
    Delgado Community College, founded in 1921.
    William Carey College School of Nursing
    Herzing College
    New Orleans Culinary Institute

    Primary and secondary schools

    New Orleans Public Schools (NOPS) is the name given to the city's public school system.

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