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St. Mary Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Saint Mary Parish
Parish of St. Mary
Main street in Franklin.
Main street in Franklin.
Map of Louisiana highlighting Saint Mary 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 1811
Named for Saint Mary
Seat Franklin
Largest city Morgan City
Area
 • Total 1,119 sq mi (2,900 km2)
 • Land 555 sq mi (1,440 km2)
 • Water 564 sq mi (1,460 km2)  50%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 54,650
 • Estimate 
(2018)
49,774
 • Density 48.838/sq mi (18.857/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

St. Mary Parish (French: Paroisse de Sainte-Marie) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 54,650. The parish seat is Franklin. The parish was created in 1811.

St. Mary Parish comprises the Morgan City, LA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City, LA Combined Statistical Area.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 6,442
1840 8,950 38.9%
1850 13,697 53.0%
1860 16,816 22.8%
1870 13,860 −17.6%
1880 19,891 43.5%
1890 22,416 12.7%
1900 34,145 52.3%
1910 39,368 15.3%
1920 30,754 −21.9%
1930 29,397 −4.4%
1940 31,458 7.0%
1950 35,848 14.0%
1960 48,833 36.2%
1970 60,752 24.4%
1980 64,253 5.8%
1990 58,086 −9.6%
2000 53,500 −7.9%
2010 54,650 2.1%
2018 (est.) 49,774 −8.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 53,500 people, 19,317 households, and 14,082 families residing in the parish. The population density was 87 people per square mile (34/km2). There were 21,650 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the parish was 62.79% White, 31.79% Black or African American, 1.39% Native American, 1.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. 2.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 5.43% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home, while 2.45% speak Spanish and 1.59% Vietnamese.[1]

There were 19,317 households, out of which 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.00% were married couples living together, 16.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the parish the population was spread out, with 29.70% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $28,072, and the median income for a family was $33,064. Males had a median income of $31,570 versus $18,341 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,399. About 20.60% of families and 23.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.30% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.

Education

St. Mary Parish School Board operates local public schools.

The Chitimacha Day School, affiliated with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), is in the Charenton community of unincorporated St. Mary Parish.

It is in the service area of Fletcher Technical Community College.

Notable people

  • Bret Allain (born c. 1958), sugar cane farmer and the current District 21 state senator from St. Mary Parish
  • Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock (1915–1987), state House Speaker from 1952 to 1956 and lieutenant governor from 1960 to 1972
  • Carl W. Bauer (1933-2013), attorney-lobbyist; former member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature
  • Ralph Norman Bauer (1899-1963), attorney; former Speaker of the Louisiana House; a leader of the impeachment forces against Governor Huey P. Long, Jr., in 1929
  • V.J. Bella (born 1927), former state representative (1972–1990) and state fire marshal (1990–1992; 1996–2004)
  • Elizabeth Bisland (1861–1929), noted journalist and author
  • Sally Clausen, former president of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammoned and Louisiana commissioner of higher education; reared in St. Mary Parish
  • Thomas G. Clausen, Louisiana education superintendent from 1984 to 1988; reared in St. Mary Parish
  • Murphy James "Mike" Foster, Jr. (born 1930), governor of Louisiana from 1996 to 2004
  • Sam S. Jones, state representative for St. Mary Parish since 2008
  • William Joseph Seymour (born 1870), considered to be the most influential African American minister of the twentieth century and pastor of the famous Azusa Street Revival
  • Lester Vetter, reared in St. Mary Parish; mayor of Coushatta prior to 1952 and state representative for Red River Parish from 1952 until his death in office in 1960
  • Warren Wells, Pro football player for the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders
  • Dale Hawkins, (born 1936, died 2010) pioneer of swamp rock boogie

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