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Ascension Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Ascension Parish
Parish of Ascension
Ascension Parish Courthouse in Donaldsonville
Ascension Parish Courthouse in Donaldsonville
Flag of Ascension Parish
Map of Louisiana highlighting Ascension Parish
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Founded 1807
Named for Ascension of Jesus Christ
Seat Donaldsonville
Largest city Prairieville
 • Total 303 sq mi (780 km2)
 • Land 290 sq mi (800 km2)
 • Water 13 sq mi (30 km2)  3.75%
 • Total 126,500
 • Density 417.5/sq mi (161.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 2nd, 6th

Ascension Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Ascension, Spanish: Parroquia de Ascensión) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2020 census, the population was 126,500. Its parish seat is Donaldsonville. The parish was created in 1807. Ascension Parish is part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area.

Early European settlers of the area that was developed as Ascension and Gonzales were, for the most part, of French and Spanish ancestry. They settled among the Houma Indians who lived in the area.

Among the projects and plans carried out by Luis de Unzaga 'le Conciliateur' while he was governor of Louisiana between 1769 and 1777 was the promotion of new settlements by Europeans, among them were French Acadians and Malaga in the fertile Mississippi region and more specifically in the Unzaga Post or 'Puesto de Unzaga' that he created in 1771 in Pointe Coupee, the parish of Saint Gabriel in 1773 and Fort Manchac in 1776; the Ascension people occupied land at the confluence of the aforementioned European settlements.

During the American Civil War, desertions had been of major concern to the Confederate States Army. Henry Watkins Allen, before he was governor, reported more than eight thousand deserters and draft-dodgers about Bayou Teche. There were some 1,200 deserters in Livingston, St. Tammany, and Ascension parishes.

Planters in Ascension Parish later complained of raids by guerrillas. In 1864, planter W.R. Hodges requested soldiers to protect the planted fields from such attacks. Union soldiers were accused of "wandering about at will, and helping themselves . . . to whatever could be found," explains the historian John D. Winters in his The Civil War in Louisiana (1963).

During the historic 2016 Louisiana Floods, around one-third of all homes in Ascension Parish were flooded. 15,000 homes and businesses took on water, mostly in the Galvez-St. Amant area, prompting a visit to St. Amant by then-presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump.

Ascension Parish is one of the 22 parishes that make up Acadiana, the heartland of the Cajun people and their culture. This is exhibited by the prevalence of the French or Cajun French language heard throughout the parish, as well as the many festivals celebrated by its residents, including the Boucherie Festival, Lagniappe Music and Seafood Festival, Crawfish Festival, and the world-famous Jambalaya Festival. The largest city in Ascension Parish, Gonzales, is celebrated as the "Jambalaya Capital of the World".


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 303 square miles (780 km2), of which 290 square miles (750 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (4.2%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest parish in Louisiana by total area.


  • Alligator Bayou
  • Amite River
  • Amite River Diversion Canal
  • Anderson Canal
  • Babin Canal
  • Bayou Antoine
  • Bayou Manchac
  • Bayou Narcisse
  • Bayou Pierre
  • Bayou Reponds Pas
  • Bayou Conway
  • Bayou Francois
  • Bayou Lafourche
  • Bayou Napoleon
  • Bayou Verret
  • Bayou Vicknair
  • Black Bayou
  • Blind River
  • Boudreau Bayou
  • Boyle Bayou
  • Braud Bayou
  • Cocodrie Bayou
  • Cotton Bayou
  • Crowley Ditch
  • Duckroost Bayou
  • Flat Lake
  • Grand Goudine Bayou
  • Hackett Canal
  • Heath Bayou
  • Henderson Bayou
  • Jim Bayou
  • Johnson Bayou
  • Lake Millet
  • Lake Villars
  • Laurel Ridge Canal
  • McCall Bayou
  • Mississippi River
  • Muddy Creek
  • New River
  • New River Canal
  • Old New River
  • Panama Canal
  • Pipeline Canal
  • Rocky Canal
  • Roddy Bayou
  • Saveiro Canal
  • Sides Bayou
  • Smith Bayou
  • Spanish Lake
  • Welsh Gully

Major highways

  • I-10.svg Interstate 10
  • US 61.svg U.S. Highway 61
  • Louisiana 1.svg Louisiana Highway 1
  • Louisiana 16.svg Louisiana Highway 16
  • Louisiana 18.svg Louisiana Highway 18
  • Louisiana 73.svg Louisiana Highway 73
  • Louisiana 22.svg Louisiana Highway 22
  • Louisiana 30.svg Louisiana Highway 30
  • Louisiana 42.svg Louisiana Highway 42
  • Louisiana 44.svg Louisiana Highway 44
  • Louisiana 70.svg Louisiana Highway 70

Adjacent parishes


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 2,219
1820 3,728 68.0%
1830 5,246 40.7%
1840 6,951 32.5%
1850 10,752 54.7%
1860 11,484 6.8%
1870 11,577 0.8%
1880 16,895 45.9%
1890 19,545 15.7%
1900 24,142 23.5%
1910 23,887 −1.1%
1920 22,155 −7.3%
1930 18,438 −16.8%
1940 21,215 15.1%
1950 22,387 5.5%
1960 27,927 24.7%
1970 37,086 32.8%
1980 50,068 35.0%
1990 58,214 16.3%
2000 76,627 31.6%
2010 107,215 39.9%
2020 126,500 18.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2020 census

Ascension Parish racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 79,645 62.96%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 30,296 23.95%
Native American 266 0.21%
Asian 1,681 1.33%
Pacific Islander 32 0.03%
Other/Mixed 4,197 3.32%
Hispanic or Latino 10,383 8.21%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 126,500 people, 44,267 households, and 32,305 families residing in the parish.

2010 census

At the 2010 United States census, there were 107,215 people living in the parish; 73.3% were White, 22.2% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% of some other race and 1.2% of two or more races. 4.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 26.3% were of French, French Canadian or Cajun, 7.9% American, 7.3% German, 5.7% English, 5.5% Italian and 5.5% Irish ancestry.

National Guard

The 922nd Engineer Company (Horizontal), a unit of the 769th Engineer Battalion and the 225th Engineer Brigade. The 1021st Vertical Engineer Company also resides in Gonzales, Louisiana.


Map of Ascension Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Ascension Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Ascension Parish School Board operates the local public schools.

The parish is also home to private schools and — since 1998, to River Parishes Community College.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Parroquia de Ascension para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic aviators
Manuel J. Fernandez
Robert Cardenas
Richard G. Candelaria
Oscar F. Perdomo
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