Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette (/ˌlɑːfˈɛt, ˌlæf-/, French: [lafajɛt]) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and the most populous and parish seat of Lafayette Parish,[3] located along the Vermilion River. It is Louisiana's fourth largest incorporated municipality by population and the 234th-most populous in the United States, with a 2020 census population of 121,374;[4] the consolidated city–parish's population was 241,753 in 2020.[5] The Lafayette metropolitan area was Louisiana's third largest metropolitan statistical area with a population of 478,384 at the 2020 census,[6] overtaking the Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan area in 2015.[7] The Acadiana region containing Lafayette is the largest population and economic corridor between Houston, Texas, and New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Lafayette, Louisiana
City of Lafayette
Flag of Lafayette, Louisiana
The Hub City
The Heart of Cajun Country
Interactive maps of Lafayette
Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033Coordinates: 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033
CountryUnited States
Founded1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed1884 as Lafayette
Founded byJean Mouton
Named forGeneral Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
 • TypeConsolidated city–parish
 • MayorJosh Guillory (R)
 • Total55.65 sq mi (144.13 km2)
 • Land55.57 sq mi (143.92 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.20 km2)  auto%
 • Metro
3,408.5 sq mi (8,828 km2)
49 ft (15 m)
 • Total121,374
 • RankUS: 234th
 • Density2,270.78/sq mi (876.75/km2)
 • Urban
252,720 (US: 148th)
 • Metro
 • CSA
627,146 (US: 77th)
 • Consolidated
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
70501–9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s)337
FIPS code22-40735

Originally established as Vermilionville in the 1820s and incorporated in 1836,[8] Lafayette developed as an agricultural community until the discovery of oil in the area in the 1940s. Since the discovery of oil, the city and parish have had the highest number of workers in the oil and natural gas industry in Louisiana as of 2018.[9] With the establishment of the University of Louisiana System's Lafayette campus, and the diversification of its economy, Lafayette and its metropolitan area have experienced population growth and was promptly nicknamed "The Hub City."[10] The city and parish of Lafayette are also known as the "Heart of Acadiana."[11] As a result of its growth, the city and region have become major centers for the technology industry;[12][13] Lafayette also became a major center for health care and social services, aerospace, banking and retail.[14] Notable corporations with headquarters or a large presence in the Lafayette area have included Amazon,[15][16] Brookshire Grocery Company,[17] CGI,[18] JP Morgan Chase, Ochsner Health System,[19] Petroleum Helicopters International,[20] and Rouses Market.[21]

Lafayette is home to a diverse population from Louisiana Creole and Cajun backgrounds,[22] and was named the "Happiest City in America" in 2014.[23][24] The city and region's cultural icons include Alexandre Mouton House, Brandt House, Charles H. Mouton House, the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Daigle House, First United Methodist Church, Holy Rosary Institute, Hope Lodge No. 145, and Old Lafayette City Hall. Its educational institutions include the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, South Louisiana Community College, and Remington College.


Lafayette is named after Marquis de Lafayette.[25] Little is known about early settlements or if the area had a different name prior to European colonization. The city was originally founded in 1821 as Vermilionville.


Colonization and settlementEdit

The Attakapa Native Americans inhabited this area at the time of the first European encounter. French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post along the Vermilion River.[26] In the mid-to-late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area,[27] after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War.[28] They intermarried with other settlers, forming what became known as Cajun culture, which maintained use of the French language and adherence to the Roman Catholic Church.[29][30]

Municipal incorporationEdit

Jean Mouton, an Acadian settler, donated land to the Roman Church for construction of a small Catholic chapel at this site. In 1824, this area was selected for the Lafayette Parish seat and was named Vermilionville,[8] for its location on the river; in 1836, the Louisiana State Legislature approved its incorporation.

The area was initially developed by Europeans for agriculture, primarily sugar plantations, which depended on the labor of numerous enslaved Africans and African Americans. They made up a large percentage of the antebellum population.[26] According to U.S. census data in 1830, some 41 percent of the population of Lafayette Parish was enslaved.[31] By 1860, the enslaved population had increased to 49.6 percent. Some free people of color lived in Lafayette Parish, as well;[32][33] they made up 3 percent to a low of 2.4 percent between 1830 and 1860.

In 1884, Vermilionville was renamed for General Lafayette, a French aristocrat who had fought with and significantly aided the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.[34] The city and parish economy continued to be based on agriculture into the early 20th century. After the American Civil War, most of the labor was done by freedmen, who worked as sharecroppers. From the 1930s, mechanization of agriculture began to reduce the need for farm workers.[35]

Growth and consolidationEdit

By 1898, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was established in the city as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute. It opened in 1901, and changed its name to the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1960.[36] The university's current name was chosen in 1999.

In the 1940s, after oil was discovered in the parish, the petroleum and natural gas industries expanded to dominate the economy. By 2018, Lafayette had the highest number of oil and natural gas industry workers in the state.[9]

Since the latter half of the 20th century, Lafayette has hosted the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, and was candidate as site for the New Orleans Pelicans NBA G League team in 2017.[37]

In 1996, the city and parish consolidated;[38][39][40][41] the governments of the city and parish were merged, though five other incorporated municipalities continued to operate with their own municipal governments and departments. Since the beginning of the 21st century, a committee proposed the deconsolidation of the city and parish.[42][43][44]

In 2015, the city of Lafayette gained international attention for a mass shooting and murder-suicide at Grand 16 Theater;[45][46] this mass shooting spurred further discussion and debate on gun control in the United States.[47]


The city of Lafayette is located at 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033 (30.2139, −92.0294),[48] in southern Louisiana's Acadiana region on the Gulf Coast of the United States. It was part of the seabed during the earlier Quaternary period. During this time, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. This valley was filled and is now the Atchafalaya Basin. The city is located on the western rim of this valley.

The Lafayette area is part of the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace; it is higher and not made of wetlands like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems, outside of local flash flooding. Lafayette has developed on both sides of the Vermilion River. Other significant waterways in the city are Isaac Verot Coulee, Coulee Mine, Coulee des Poches, and Coulee Ile des Cannes, which are natural drainage canals that lead to the Vermilion River.[49]

Lafayette lies approximately 135 miles (217 km) from New Orleans,[50] 59 miles (95 km) from the state capital of Baton Rouge,[51] 75 miles (121 km) from Lake Charles,[52]and 89 miles (143 km) from Alexandria.[53] The city has an elevation ranging from 36 feet (11.0 m) to 49 feet (15 m) above sea level.[54][55] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 55.65 square miles (144.1 km2), of which 55.57 square miles (143.9 km2) is land and 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2) (0.19 percent) is covered by water.[56]


Lafayette's architecture is diverse, with a collection of more than eight downtown structures listed within the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown Lafayette landmarks include Old Lafayette City Hall and the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist. Near these structures, Chase and Doubletree have been the area's tallest buildings at 15 and 16 stories; with the announcement of the latest addition to the city in over 40 years, two high-rise towers were planned and would stand 4 stories higher.[57] In October 2021, it was announced only one high-rise tower would be constructed citing lack of interest in condominiums within the area.[58] This follows efforts to redevelop the downtown area in the 2010s.[59][60]


Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. It has year-round precipitation, especially during summertime. Lafayette's highest temperature was 107 °F (42 °C); it has hot, moist summers and warm, damp winters.

Climate data for Lafayette Regional Airport, Louisiana (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1893–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 87
Average high °F (°C) 62.2
Daily mean °F (°C) 52.8
Average low °F (°C) 43.5
Record low °F (°C) 10
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.92
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.0 9.3 8.7 7.5 8.4 12.2 14.1 12.2 9.4 7.6 8.3 9.8 117.5
Source: NOAA[61][62]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[63]
Racial and ethnic composition 2019[64] 2010[65] 2000[65]
White 65.3% n/a n/a
—Non-Hispanic 62.5% 63.78% 68.50%
African Americans 29.6% 31.11% 28.25%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 3.5% 3.76% 1.88%
Asian Americans 2.7% 1.81% 1.42%
Two or more races 1.6% 1.68% 0.98%

Attakapa Native Americans were the primary residents of the Lafayette area before French colonization, concentrated along the Vermilion River.[26] After the Louisiana Purchase, American settlers began moving into the area and intermarrying among the French, enslaved Africans, and free people of color. Since 1860, Lafayette has grown from 498 to 121,374 residents at the 2020 U.S. census.[4][66]

With the migration and population growth of European, African, and multiracial Americans since early settlement, the racial and ethnic makeup of the city has been predominantly non-Hispanic or Latino white, Black or African American, multiracial, and Asian.[67][68] French, German, English, American, Irish, and Italian were the largest European ancestry groups among the non-Hispanic or Latino white population.[69] Asian settlers arrived during the establishment of Filipino communities along the coast of Louisiana, primarily in the Greater New Orleans area; and the city and area's Hispanic and Latino American population have existed since Spanish colonization of Louisiana.

According to 2021 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, its non-Hispanic or Latino white population have been prevalent throughout the city proper's geographic foothold with exception to its northern neighborhoods.[70] More than 34% of its Hispanic and Latino American population lived in the central-west portion of the city, and Black and African Americans primarily dominated the northern half of Lafayette city proper. Its Asian American community was dispersed throughout the whole city alongside multiracial Americans, and people of other races and ethnicities primarily lived near downtown or the city's border with Carencro.

Having historic growth from the 20th and 21st centuries attributed primarily to the oil and gas industry, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Acadiana tourism,[71] an estimated 3.8 percent of the city's population was foreign-born from 2014 to 2019; of the foreign-born population, 33.6 percent were naturalized U.S. citizens.[69] Altogether English, French, and Spanish were the most spoken languages at home among the native and foreign-born populations.[72]

Poverty remaining an issue in the city with an estimated 18.6 percent at or below the national poverty threshold in 2019,[73] the median income for a family was $51,477; Lafayettiens had a mean household income of $51,073;[74] among non-family households, the median income stood at $31,995. The city had an employment rate of 60.4 percent, up from the state's 55.4 percent from 2014 to 2019.[75]

Sexual orientation and gender identityEdit

While in the predominantly conservative southern U.S., Lafayette has maintained a substantial lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community since at least 1969 with the coming of the Krewe of Apollo from New Orleans.[76] The area's LGBT population have described Acadiana as "welcoming" though some members of the community in the 1970s reserved themselves from photography at public and private events.[77] Though regarded as welcoming, Lafayette's government was under the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's focus regarding non-discrimination in city employment; a local government spokesperson responded with reports of no complaints among the community.[78]


In common with Louisiana's religious demographic as part of the Bible Belt, Lafayette and its metropolitan area are predominantly religious, dominated by Christianity.[79] As of 2020 according to Sperling's BestPlaces, the Catholic Church was the single largest Christian denomination, and Protestants were the largest collective Christian group. Among Protestant Christians, Evangelical Protestantism was the largest transdenominational body and historically Black or African American churches were the second largest. Mainline Protestantism remained a minority, mainly supported by the Episcopal Church in the United States and its Diocese of Western Louisiana.[80]

Owing in part to Spanish and French colonialism and missionary work, Christians have historically affiliated with the Latin Church's Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana was founded in 1918 and its see is the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.[81] Within the local Protestant traditions, Baptists were the second largest individual Christian denomination, and the most historically prominent Evangelical Baptist denomination has been the Southern Baptist Convention.[82] The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and National Baptist Convention of America have been the city and region's historically Black or African American Baptist denominations.

Pentecostals, making up the third largest Christian community in Lafayette, have been primarily served by the Church of God in Christ and Assemblies of God USA.[83][84] Methodists, Mormons, Lutherans, and Presbyterians formed the remaining Christian population of Lafayette and its metropolitan area. Christians of other faiths including the Jehovah's Witnesses and united and uniting churches have been present in the city's metropolitan area since the 20th century.[85] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the oldest nontrinitarian Christian denomination in Lafayette, and has one church in the city limits; the closest LDS churches outside of Lafayette are in New Iberia and Opelousas.[86] Within the "other Christian" dynamic, there has been one Antiochian Orthodox jurisdiction operating since 2004;[87] there is also a Coptic Orthodox mission under the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.[88] Altogether, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and non-mainstream Protestantism have constituted a significant minority.

Judaism and Islam were tied as the second largest non-Christian religions within Lafayette and its metropolitan area. Jews began immigrating to the area in the 1800s,[89] and one of Louisiana's oldest continuously-operated synagogues (Temple Shalom) has been present in the city since 1869. The historic synagogue of Temple Shalom originally functioned as an Orthodox Jewish congregation before joining the Reform Judaism movement.[90] Lafayette's Jewish community has assisted in economic and cultural development of the area since their arrival.[91]


Chase Bank tower, downtown Lafayette

Established and occupied as an agricultural community until the 1940s, Lafayette became a center of the oil and natural gas industry in Louisiana.[9] In addition, the city and its metropolitan area became major centers for technology, health care and social services, aerospace, banking and retail from the latter 20th- and early 21st centuries.[10][12][13][14] As of 2021, the consolidated city–parish's top employers have been the Lafayette Parish School System, Lafayette General Health, Wood Group Production Services, Lafayette Consolidated Government, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, WHC, Inc., Walmart, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Schlumberger, and Stuller, Inc.[92] The University of Louisiana System's other institutions and its Lafayette campus have contributed to a $10.9 billion impact on the state's economy.[93] As one of the primary employers in Lafayette, the local university has made a statewide impact of $379 million in 2015.[94]

Prominent corporations with headquarters or a large presence in Lafayette have included or currently include Albertsons,[95] Amazon,[15][16] Brookshire Grocery Company,[17] CGI,[18] First Horizon Bank, JP Morgan Chase, the Ochsner Health System,[19] Petroleum Helicopters International,[20] Perficient, and Rouses Market.[21] Among these corporations, the Tennessee-based First Horizon Bank absorbed IberiaBank (a former Louisiana-based banking institution) in 2020.[96] Other notable corporations stimulating the city and metropolitan economies have been Lowe's,[97] Costco,[98] and various national retail and department stores in the Mall of Acadiana.

Ranking as one of the best places to retire in Louisiana according to Forbes in 2018,[99] Lafayette was also ranked one of the best places for businesses and careers in 2019; according to Forbes, it was #25 in the cost of doing business, #200 in job growth, and #175 in education nationwide.[100] Per U.S. News & World Report, its cost of living has contributed to it being ranked as the second best place to live in Louisiana.[101]


Located in Acadiana, Lafayette is a diverse city with a large and growing metropolitan population as of 2015.[7] The Lafayette metropolitan area—being home to more than 478,384 residents according to the 2020 census—has a large Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and substantial foreign-born population; an estimated 14,676 Lafayettiens were foreign-born residents in 2019.[102] Additionally, more than 36% of foreigners came from Asia from 2014 to 2019.

Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Lafayette. Notable cultural gatherings have included the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles,[103] Festival International de Louisiane,[104] Boudin Cookoff and Bacon Fest,[105] the Cajun Heartland State Fair,[106] and Le Festival de Mardi Gras à Lafayette. Residents also celebrate celebrate their cultural identities through visiting Acadian Village or Vermilionville Historic Village. Highly regarded for its diverse food and restaurant culture, Lafayette has been regarded as having the fourth-most restaurants per capita in Louisiana since 2015.[107]

Home to the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, the Lafayette Concert Band, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana; as well as the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Acadiana Center for the Arts and Heymann Performing Arts Center, Lafayette has hosted Tyler Perry's Madea's Farewell play in 2019.[108]

The 2018 television film, The Christmas Contract, set in Lafayette, features many Cajun Christmas customs. In the story line, Jolie Guidry (Hilarie Burton) dreads returning to her home town when she learns that her former boyfriend, Foster Broussard (Hunter Burke) will be present at social gatherings with his new love interest. Jolie persuades Jack (Robert Buckley) to be her "contracted" escort in Lafayette. Then romance blossoms between Jolie and Jack. Bruce Boxleitner plays Jolie's father, Tim.[109]


Lafayette is home to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.[110] Between 1995 and 2005, Lafayette was home to the Louisiana IceGators ECHL hockey team. In 2009, the IceGators returned as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League until 2016.[111] Also from 2009 to 2012, Lafayette was home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League.[112] It also became home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semipro football program started in 2003. The Lafayette SwampCats (1997–1999) and Lafayette Swamp Cats (2000–2004) soccer teams played in the city. The Cajun Soccer Club of the Gulf Coast Premier League was founded in 2013; Louisiana Krewe FC played in the Gulf Coast Premier League before joining USL League Two for its 2022 season.[113]

The Lafayette area is home to multiple sports venues: Blackham Coliseum, Cajundome, Cajun Field, Earl K. Long Gymnasium, Evangeline Downs, and Planet Ice Skating and Hockey Arena.

Lafayette was home to minor-league baseball teams in various seasons from 1907 to 2000. Lafayette was an affiliate of the St. Louis Browns 1936–1941, Chicago Cubs (1955-1957) and San Francisco Giants (1975-1976). The Lafayette Browns (1907), Lafayette Hubs (1920), Lafayette White Sox (1934-1942), Lafayette Bulls (1948-1953), Lafayette Oilers (1954-1957), Lafayette Drillers (1975-1976) and Bayou Bullfrogs (1998-2000) all played in Lafayette. The teams were members of the Gulf Coast League (1907), Louisiana State League (1920), Evangeline League (1934-1942, 1948–1953, 1954-1957), Texas League (1975-1976) and Texas-Louisiana League (1998-2000). Lafayette teams played at Parkdale Park (1934-1942), Clark Field (1945-1957, 1975-1976) and Tigue Moore Field (1998-2000).[114][115][116]


Lafayette has a consolidated city–parish government, known as the Lafayette Consolidated Government;[117] parish voters agreed to consolidation of the city and parish governments in 1996.[38][42] Lafayette's chief executive was initially called the city-parish president, but is know known as the mayor-president for the Lafayette Consolidated Government. Republican Josh Guillory was elected to this office most recently.[118]

Consolidation has been the subject of continuous public debate over the years. In 2011, a Charter Commission recommended deconsolidation, though parish voters rejected the recommendation. In 2018, voters separated the single City-Parish Council into a City Council to represent the City of Lafayette and a Parish Council to represent the Parish of Lafayette. The mayor-president is still elected parishwide. In 2021, the City Council passed a resolution calling for another Charter Commission to look at amendments to the Charter and, if necessary, deconsolidation. The Parish Council did not agree to the Charter Commission proposal. Public works and other services, such as land use and plat review, are operated by the Lafayette Consolidated Government to serve the City of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish, and by contract some of the area municipalities. Zoning rules apply only within the city and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish.[119]

Some neighboring municipalities have adopted their own planning and zoning protocols. The suburban and rural cities and towns maintain independent city councils, local executives, police and fire departments, and other public services. The LPSS operates independently of any municipality, and its jurisdiction is coterminous with the Parish of Lafayette.[120]

Lafayette is also home to a regional office of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the headquarters of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, the state agency that oversees preservation and documentation of Louisiana French for tourism, economic development, culture, education, and the development of international relations with other Francophone regions and countries.[121]

Law enforcementEdit

Lafayette is served by four local police agencies:

Note: City Police and Parish Sheriff's office were not combined during consolidation.


Lafayette is home to the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of more than 3,000 soldiers. The unit served in Iraq in 2004–2005. The brigade was deployed again in January 2010.[122]

Until 2014, Lafayette was also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion commanded by Captain Cole Clements. This unit went on several deployments, many related to the Iraq War. In 2014, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion was decommissioned, to be replaced with H&S Co. Det. 4 4th Tanks Tow and Scouts, 4th MARDIV.[122]


  • Electricity, water, and waste water

Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System (LUS), a city-parish government-run, publicly owned utility company. This water and electricity utility was created in 1897.[123][124]

Both electricity and water services have been continuously provided by LUS to the residents of the City of Lafayette since that time. LUS has expanded to provide electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment throughout the City of Lafayette, and to some unincorporated parts of Lafayette Parish. LUS also provides bulk sales to the water systems of most surrounding municipalities.

In 2009, LUS installed infrastructure for a fiber telecommunications network. Called LUSFiber, the network provides digital cable, telephone service, and high-speed internet to all households in Lafayette.[125]

  • Natural gas

Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.

  • Telephone

Local land-line telephone service is provided by AT&T. Cox Communications and LUS Fiber provide Voice over Internet Protocol phone service.

  • Television

Cable television service in Lafayette is provided by Cox Communications. LUS provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.[citation needed]

Downtown Lafayette from the air
Lafayette is the location of the last remaining Borden's Ice Cream outlet in the United States.



  • The Daily Advertiser, daily Gannett broadsheet-style newspaper
  • 337 magazine, regional lifestyle publication
  • The Advocate, daily newspaper with local coverage from Baton Rouge
  • The Independent, monthly locally owned newspaper (compact style)
  • The Times of Acadiana, weekly Gannett tabloid format
  • AcadianaMoms magazine
  • Acadiana Gazette, weekly newspaper published by Ron Gomez
  • Acadiana Profile magazine, established in 1968 by Robert Angers
  • The Vermilion, University of Louisiana at Lafayette student newspaper
  • Acadiana Catholic, monthly Catholic magazine of the Lafayette Diocese


Lafayette is served by Cox Communications and by LUS's LUSFiber.[126]

Lafayette is home to:

Lafayette is also served by:


See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list

Popular radio stations in Lafayette:

Record labelsEdit

See List of Lafayette record labels for full list

Education and healthcareEdit

Primary and secondary schoolsEdit

Public schoolsEdit

The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS). The system has 45 schools: 25 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and eight high schools. The LPSS offers nine career academies at the high-school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.[128]

Private schoolsEdit

Lafayette is home to a large Roman Catholic population. They support many private parochial schools, including kindergarten through 12th grade.

Universities and collegesEdit

Lafayette has one university, one community college, and two vocational colleges.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is part of the University of Louisiana System. It is a national research institution, home to more than 18,000 students, over 100 programs, and home of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. It is the second-largest university in the state. Schools and colleges related to the institution have been located in Lafayette since 1898.

One of the newest college systems in Louisiana, South Louisiana Community College (SLCC), is headquartered in Lafayette. SLCC partnered with Acadian Ambulance to form the National EMS Academy, which offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic certification. SLCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.[129] Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College System,[130] which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. It offers associate degrees in several fields.[131] is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's-degree programs, many associate-degree programs, and a few diploma programs.

It is also home to the Lafayette campus of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, a technical college that specializes in video game programming, art and animation, and SFX.

Public library systemEdit


Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:

  • Lafayette General Medical Center
  • Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
  • Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
  • University Hospital and Clinics (formerly University Medical Center, and now part of the LGH system)- As of October 1, 2020 University Hospitals and Clinics merged with Ochsner Medical Center to become Ochsner University Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital (formerly the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
  • Heart Hospital of Lafayette
  • Park Place Surgical Hospital
  • Cardiovascular Institute of the South

Places of interestEdit

  • Acadiana Center for the Arts
  • Acadian Village is a reconstructed Cajun bayou community (of moved and reassembled authentic buildings) and has a representative collection of Cajun furnishings.
  • Alexandre Mouton House Museum – a historic house museum, the home of Louisiana's first Democratic governor, Alexandre Mouton; contains a collection of antiques, historical documents, and old Mardi Gras costumes
  • Borden's Ice Cream – the last Borden's Ice Cream location in the United States
  • Caillouet House
  • Children's Museum of Acadiana
  • Cité des Arts
  • Cypress Lake is a two-acre swamp-like lake in the heart of the UL campus that is a unique university landmark and a habitat for native irises, alligators, turtles, birds and fish, as well as a hangout for students and a point of interest for tourists visiting the city.
  • Downtown Lafayette
  • Girard Park
  • Heymann Center – performing arts center
  • Acadian Cultural Center of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Katog Choling Tibetan Cultural Center
  • Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium
  • Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) – a 70,000-square-foot facility at the Research Park; owns the world's first six-sided, digital virtual reality cube as well as the world's largest digital 3-D auditorium
  • Mouton Plantation Bed and Breakfast – originally built by Governor Charles Mouton (1797-1848), son of Lafayette's founder, Jean Mouton (1754-1834)
  • Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
  • Vermilionville Historic Village – one of the world's largest Cajun and Creole living history museums, with seven restored historic structures from the 1765–1890 era
  • Zoosiana – located nearby in Broussard



  • Air: Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on US Highway 90 (future Interstate 49), on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services nonstop to Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and effective April 2, 2021 to Charlotte. Charter services also depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter flights and cargo jets. A new airline passenger terminal at the Lafayette airport is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2021.[132]
  • Interstate Highways: I-10 and I-49 (Lafayette currently serves as I-49's southern terminus at its intersection with I-10 with plans for I-49 to be extended to New Orleans).
  • Passenger rail: The Amtrak Sunset Limited offers service three days a week from New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California with selected stops in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Connections are available in New Orleans to Chicago and to the East Coast via Atlanta. Service eastward to Orlando, Florida remains suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Intercity passenger bus: Greyhound operates a station downtown on Lee Avenue with destinations east and west on I-10, north on I-49 and southeast on US Hwy 90
  • Public transit: Lafayette Transit System (formerly City of Lafayette Transit (COLT)) provides bus service. Public transportation is provided only within Lafayette City Limits.
  • Bicycle facilities: There are certain areas within the city of Lafayette dedicated to growing into a bicycle-friendly community. The Lafayette MPO Bicycle Subcommittee meet once a month and has developed long-term goals for bicycling in the area. BikeLafayette is the area's bicycle advocacy organization which is very active in promoting bicycle awareness, safety, and education in Acadiana. TRAIL is an organization that promotes bicycling, canoeing, and pedestrian activities. Right now Lafayette has a growing number of dedicated commuter and recreational bicycling facilities, including a bicycle lane on each side of Johnston Street from UL-Lafayette area at Lewis Street to near Ambassador Caffery, ending at Ridge Road. Henderson Levee has opened a 55-mile trail, and there is a mountain bike park in Acadiana Park. UL-Lafayette has installed an off-road paved bicycle path beginning at its Horticultural Center on Johnston Street extending up Cajundome Boulevard to Eraste Landry Road. A number of out of use bicycle/pedestrian sidewalk paths remain from the 1970s and 1980s but are unsigned. A recreational trail extending from Downtown Lafayette into the Cypress Island region of Saint Martin Parish is under development. This path will connect neighboring Breaux Bridge and Saint Martinville with Lafayette.
  • Main road arteries: U.S. Routes 90 (co-signed with Evangeline Thruway, Mudd Avenue and Cameron Street within the city limits) and U.S. Route 167 (co-signed with I-49, Evangeline Thruway and Johnston Street). Ambassador Caffery Parkway, named for Jefferson Caffery, serves as a partial loop connecting I-10 at Exit 100 on the west and US 90 on the south. Other arterial roads include Verot School Road (LA 339), West Congress Street, Kaliste Saloom Road (LA 3095), Ridge Road, Carmel Drive/Breaux Bridge Highway (LA 94), University Avenue (LA 182), Pinhook Road (LA 182), Camellia Boulevard, Guilbeau Road, Moss Street, Willow Street, Louisiana Avenue, Pont Des Mouton Road, Eraste Landry Road, and South College Road.

Notable peopleEdit

Sister citiesEdit

Lafayette has seven sister cities:[134]

Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit