Louisiana

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About Louisiana

Louisiana (Standard French √Čtat de Louisiane (listen), or La Louisiane in Spanish) is a state located in the Deep South and South Central areas of the United States. It is the 20th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by Texas to its west, Arkansas to its north, Mississippi to its south, and the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast. The Mississippi River forms a large portion of Louisiana’s eastern boundary. Louisiana is the only U.S. State with political subdivisions called parishes. These are equivalent to counties and make it one of two states that are not subdivided into a county (the other being Alaska with its boroughs). The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge. New Orleans is the state’s largest city.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by a mixture of 18th century French, Saint Dominican, Spanish, French Canadian, Acadian, Native American, and African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the U.S. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, the present-day U.S. state of Louisiana had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported various African peoples as slaves in the 18th century. Many of them came from the same West African region, concentrating their culture. Filipinos also arrived in colonial Louisiana. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, and the state constitution enumerates “the right of the people to preserve, foster, and promote their respective historic, linguistic, and cultural origins.”

Based on national averages, Louisiana frequently ranks low among the U.S. in terms of health, education, development, and high in measures of poverty. In 2018, Louisiana was ranked as the least healthy state in the country, with high levels of drug-related deaths and excessive alcohol consumption, while it has had the highest homicide rate in the United States since at least the 1990s.

Louisiana
Louisiana