According to the 2000 national census, Louisiana ranked 22nd among the states, with a total population of 4,468,976. This figure represented an increase of 5.9 percent over the 1990 census figure of 4,219,973.
Urban areas are home to 73 percent of Louisiana’s population. The state has an average population density of 38 persons per sq km (98 per sq mi). In much of rural northern and western Louisiana there are fewer than 12 persons per sq km (30 per sq mi), and in Cameron Parish, on the Gulf Coast, there are 3 persons per sq km (7 per sq mi).
In 2000 whites made up 63.9 percent of the population and blacks 32.5 percent. In parts of eastern Louisiana blacks constitute a majority of the population. Additional ethnic groups in the state were Asians, who were 1.2 percent of the people, Native Americans, 0.6 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race, 1.8 percent. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 1,240. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 2.4 percent of the population.
A unique element of the state’s population is a group of people known as Creoles. Creole people are the American-born descendants of European settlers who came to the colony beginning in the 18th century. By the 19th century Creoles were generally considered of two types: white Creoles and Creoles of color (also known as Afro-Creoles). White Creoles were of French, Spanish, and sometimes German heritage, while Creoles of color were of mixed European and African ancestry.
Today, the Creole population in Louisiana is most often characterized as a group of mixed-race, French-speaking, and Roman Catholic people. A unique Creole language, derived from French, also emerged from this population, although it is no longer commonly spoken by Creoles in Louisiana today.
The French-speaking people of Acadia, most of which is now part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, were ousted from their homes by the British in 1755. Some of them relocated to Louisiana beginning in the 1760s. Their descendants, called Cajuns (a word derived from Acadians), live mostly in the southwestern part of the state. The Creoles and the Cajuns, who have partly merged, retain much of their original culture, including the French language and the Roman Catholic religion. "Louisiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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