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Central Louisiana facts for kids

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Louisiana regions map
The Central Louisiana region is shaded in green.

Central Louisiana (Cenla), also known as the Crossroads region, is the part of Louisiana that includes the following parishes: Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, La Salle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, and Vernon.

The largest communities in the region as of the 2010 Census were Alexandria (47,893), Natchitoches (18,323) and Pineville (14,555).

Central Louisiana is a land of physical and cultural diversity. Extensive prairies, piney hill country, minor swamplands and deciduous forests make up its geography. It also has clear streams with sandy bottoms and large rivers that carry waterborne freight.

Metro/Micropolitan areas

There is one Combined Statistical Area, one Metropolitan Statistical Area, and four Micropolitan Statistical Areas that include Central Louisiana parishes.

  • Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area (Rapides and Grant parishes)
  • Fort Polk South-DeRidder Combined Statistical Area
    • Fort Polk South Micropolitan Statistical Area (Vernon Parish)
    • DeRidder Micropolitan Statistical Area (Beauregard Parish)
  • Natchez, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area (Concordia Parish and Adams County, MS)
  • Natchitoches Micropolitan Statistical Area (Natchitoches Parish)


The economic region is Kisatchie-Delta, described as the Sixth State Planning District for the State of Louisiana, including parishes collectively bordered on the east by the Mississippi River and on the west by the Sabine River. These crossroads initially began in the 1800s as settlers migrated West and have designation as the Louisiana Colonial Trails Scenic Byways, including the historic El-Camino Real East-West Corridor.

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