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Louisiana: An Overview

Louisiana is a state in the southern area of the United States.  With a population of over 4 million citizens, it remains the 25th most populous state in the nation. Though its capital is Baton Rogue, its most recognizable and some say beloved city is New Orleans.

State Origin

Often called the “child of Mississippi”, Louisiana is composed primarily of sediment from the Mississippi River.  As such, there is much swamp and marshes in Louisiana, with some unique wildlife as well.  Influenced strongly by French, Spanish, Native American and African cultures, Louisiana is a prime melting pot of different experiences.  Named after Louis XIV after its foundation, Louisiana is a classic symbol of French influence in North America.  Unfortunately, the southern coast of Louisiana is subject to erosion and disappearance due to rising sea waters and human pollution.  Louisiana is known for its humid, tropical climate; with long, sticky summers and short winters.  All of the bayous, swamps, and low lying land get hit particularly hard during hurricane season.  Louisiana is also unique in that it is the only state in the country to be divided into parishes, which are equivalent to counties in other states.

State Economy and Culture

Louisiana is known for its seafood, and is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world.  Cotton, rice, beans, and eggs are also popular, and New Orleans relies heavily on its tourism industry.  Lots of goods get exported through the Port of South Lousiana, one of the world’s biggest port sites.  Rich in natural gas and petroleum where other places are not, this is a plus for Louisiana as well economically. The culture of Louisiana is a giant melting pot of Creole, Cajun, Spanish, French, African and Native American.  All of these peoples bring an element that makes up Louisiana culture.  There are several dialects of Cajun and Creole, with a sprinkling of French being spoken as well in the state.  The main religions are Christian Protestant denominations, with Jewish groups mostly centered in New Orleans. 

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