97 Interesting Facts About Louisiana

Last updated on October 29th, 2023

Louisiana is the 25th most populous and the 31st most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the southeastern region of the United States. The state attained statehood on April 30, 1812, becoming the 18th state to join the union. It shares its border with three states (Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.) See the full list of the 50 states and their borders here. Louisiana (nicknamed the Sugar State, the Bayou State, the Creole State, the Child of the Mississippi, the Pelican State) has 64 parishes. The state’s capital is Baton Rouge. The abbreviation for Louisiana is LA. With these 97 facts about Louisiana, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, economy, etc.

Facts about Louisiana

1. The influence of early French and Spanish settlers is still present in the culture and food of the state.

2. The Louisiana State Capitol Building is the tallest state capital in the United States. The building was inaugurated on May 16, 1931. It is 450 feet tall and has 34 stories. In September of 1935, Long was assassinated in the State Capitol, which was built under his direction.

3. The nickname of the state “the Pelican State” comes from the many pelicans that used to inhabit the state’s Gulf Coast. (see the table at the end of the article for state symbols and nicknames)

Pelican in Louisiana
Pelican in Louisiana. Facts about Louisiana. 

4. The Louisiana black bear was designated the official state mammal of Louisiana in 1992.

5. Once threatened with extinction, the Louisiana black bear has made a remarkable recovery and was removed from the endangered species list in 2016.

6. Louisiana has the highest alligator population in the U.S. (approximately 2 million). The highest population of the alligator occur in coastal marshes. The state harvests less than 2% of the wild population annually.

Alligator, Louisiana. facts about Louisiana
Alligator, Louisiana.

7. The state of Louisiana also has the highest number of alligator hunters in the United States. Over 2,000 daring individuals venture into the swamps each year to catch between 30,000 and 35,000 of these impressive creatures.

8. Louisiana is among the country’s leading oil and gas-producing states.

9. With an average annual temperature of 68.5°F, Louisiana is the second warmest state in the United States. Florida tops the list with an average temperature of 73.4°F.

10. Hurricane Katrina (as a Category 3 storm) devastated some parts of Louisiana in August 2005. The hurricane eroded 73 square miles of the Louisiana coastland. The hurricane caused the death of an estimated 1500 Louisianans. Moreover, the state endured more than $100 billion in damages. Louisiana witnesses hurricane season between June and November each year.

Flag of Louisiana
Flag of Louisiana. Image in public domain.

11. The official flag of Louisiana was adopted in 1912, one hundred years after Louisiana became a state.

12. “Louisiana My Home Sweet Home,” the state’s official march, was written by songwriter Sammie McKenzie and adopted as the state march in 1952.

13. Louisiana has been governed under ten different flags since 1541.

14. Between 1682 and 1763, Louisiana was a colony of the kingdom of France.

15. In November 1762, France handed over Louisiana and the Isle of Orleans to Spain.

16. Louisiana was named by René-Robert Cavelier in mid-1600’s to honor King Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715.

17. President Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803. The purchase encompassed 530,000,000 acres of territory in North America that the U.S. purchased for $15 million. The purchase doubled the size of the United States.

18. Native American tribes such as the Natchez, Bayougoula, and Chitamacha were the first inhabitants of what is now Louisiana.

19. Did you know the original Louisiana territory is now divided into 13 states?

Lousiana on the map


20. Interestingly, the shape of the state resembles the shape of the capital letter “L” or a boot.

21. The geographic center of Louisiana is located in Avoyelles Parish, 3 miles SE of Marksville. The state is about 380 miles long and 130 miles wide.

22. The Mississippi River borders and runs through the state.

23. Because of the presence of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, Baton Rouge has become an important inland port.

24. The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi River, is the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere and has more than 40 liquid and dry bulk terminals.

25. Launched in 1975, the iconic steamboat Natchez offers scenic cruises along the Mississippi River, providing visitors with a glimpse into the area’s riverboat history.

26. According to the NOAA, Louisiana has the third longest coastline out of all the states in the United States. It stretches for around 7,721 miles along the Gulf of Mexico.

27. Louisiana is known for its unique wetlands and swamps, including the iconic Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States. The Atchafalaya Basin stretches over almost 1 million acres.

28. Abita Springs in Louisiana has its own natural artesian spring, which has been used as a source of freshwater since the 1800s. Since 1986, the water from this spring has been used to brew the popular Abita Beer.

29. The beautiful Kisatchie National Forest is the only designated National Forest in Louisiana, offering over 600,000 acres of outdoor recreation opportunities.

30. Tammany Trace is a popular recreational trail spanning 31 miles and was once a railroad line. It now offers scenic biking, walking, and horseback riding opportunities.

31. The beautiful Lake Charles is home to the Charpentier Historic District, featuring over 40 blocks of well-preserved Victorian-era homes.

32. Driskill Mountain – 535 feet (163 m) above sea level is the highest point in the state. And New Orleans – 8 feet (2.5 m) below sea level is the lowest point in Louisiana.

33. The territory of Louisiana can be divided into three types of regions: lowlands, terraces, and hills.

34. In 1823, the first natural gas field was discovered in Louisiana. It was found at a depth of 400 feet.

35. Louisiana, because of the fertility of its land, was once one of the richest regions in America. Indigo, sugar, and cotton helped make the statesmen some of the richest Americans.

36. Louisiana does not have an official language. English, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese are the languages that are spoken in Louisiana.

37. Louisiana is one of the wettest states in the U.S. Hawaii overall is the rainiest state in the U.S.

38. Baton Rouge is the site of an important battle during the American Revolution — the only one that happened outside of the original 13 colonies. US forces forged an alliance with the Spanish forces to take down the British colony here. The decisive victory ended the British hold of the Mississippi River.

39. The Battle of New Orleans, fought in January 1815, was a significant American victory during the War of 1812 and solidified Andrew Jackson’s reputation as a military hero.

40. In 1861, during the Civil War, Louisiana left the Union. It rejoined the United States in 1868.

41. In Natchitoches, Louisiana, you can find the oldest grocery store in the state. The Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile store has been serving customers since 1863.

42. Vieux Carré, or the French Quarter, in New Orleans, is the oldest neighborhood in the city and showcases French and Spanish colonial architecture. The French founded this part of the city in 1718.

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA
St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA. Facts about Louisiana. Image credit – Nicolas Henderson

43. The St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, built in 1789, is the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.

44. Natchitoches is an enchanting town that was founded in 1714 and is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory.

45. The unique architecture of shotgun houses, characterized by their narrow structure and rooms laid out in a single line, has been a part of the Louisiana landscape since early in the 19th century.

46. In 1853, the Cabildo Building became the home of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

47. Founded in 1906, the Louisiana State Museum, located in the historic French Quarter, preserves and showcases the state’s diverse cultural heritage.

48. The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve encompasses six different sites, highlighting the region’s cultural and ecological significance.

49. The Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo building in New Orleans housed the Spanish municipal government during the late 18th century. It was built from 1795 to 1799 and was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer.

50. The Louisiana Museum of Natural History, located at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, houses over 8 million specimens, making it one of the largest natural history collections in the South.

51. There are 11 recognized Native American tribes in Louisiana, making the state home to the largest number of Native American tribes east of the Mississippi River, including the Choctaw, Chitimacha, and Houma tribes.

52. Louisiana is home to several significant Native American mound sites, including Poverty Point, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back over 3,000 years. 

53. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans is one of the oldest and most famous above-ground cemeteries in the United States. This historic cemetery was established in 1789.

54. Louisiana is one of the top 10 largest producers of crude oil in the United States, producing around 97,000 barrels per day.

55. More than 1,600 farmers produce crawfish across more than 11,000 acres of ponds in the state of Louisiana.

Homemade Southern Crawfish Boil with Potatoes Sausage and Corn. Facts about Louisiana. 
Homemade Southern Crawfish Boil with Potatoes Sausage and Corn.

56. In 1959, Breaux Bridge, a city in the St. Martin Parish, was designated as the “Crawfish Capital of the World.” This was done to honor the region which was known for its crawfish farming and cooking. Louisiana is the largest producer of crawfish in the United States, accounting for over 90% of the nation’s total production.

57. Louisiana also made important contributions to the United States space exploration program. The state facilitated the production of the C-5 boosters used in the Apollo moon landing program.

58. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The state has 64 parishes. Note that Jefferson Parish is the largest parish-based on population, while Cameron Parish is the largest by land area.

59. Alexandria: contrary to popular belief, the city was not named after the famous ancient Egyptian center of scholarship. Rather it takes its name from the daughter of the Pennsylvania businessman Alexander Fulton who organized the first settlement here back in 1785.

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