Rapides Parish, Louisiana

Infobox U.S. County
county = Rapides Parish
state = Louisiana

founded year = 1807
founded date =
seat wl = Alexandria
largest city wl = Alexandria
area_total_sq_mi = 1362
area_total_km2 = 3527
area_land_sq_mi = 1323
area_land_km2 = 3425
area_water_sq_mi = 39
area_water_km2 = 102
area percentage = 2.89%
census yr = 2000
pop = 126337
density_sq_mi = 96
density_km2 = 37
time zone = Central
UTC offset = -6
DST offset = -5
footnotes =
web = http://www.rppj.com
named for = The local river rapids

Rapides Parish ( _fr. Paroisse des Rapides) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Alexandria is the parish seat. It encompasses the Alexandria, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. "Rapides" is the French spelling of "rapids."


In 1763, the land that is now Rapides Parish became the new home of Apalachee, who were settled there with the permission of Governor Kerlerec. These Native Americans had come to Mobile after fleeing the British and their Creek Indian allies from what is now from Leon County, Florida. Many of their descendants remain in Natchitoches Parish.

The first French settler was Vincent Porei, who was granted a small tract of land in July 1764 by the Civil and Military Commander of Natchitoches. Nicolas Etienne Marafret Layssard arrived in December 1766 with the permission of Aubrey and Foucault to establish a "tar works" in the pineries of Rapides, for naval stores. He was later appointed the first Civil Commander of Rapides Parish. During the 1760s, it was still a dependency of Natchitoches [AGI, PPC, Legajo 187a, 384-384v.]

Rapides Parish was formed in 1807 by the government of the Orleans Territory.


The parish has a total area of 1,362 square miles (3,527 km²), of which, 1,323 square miles (3,425 km²) of it is land and 39 square miles (102 km²) of it (2.89%) is water.

Major highways


Adjacent parishes

*Grant Parish (north)
*La Salle Parish (northeast)
*Avoyelles Parish (east)
*Evangeline Parish (southeast)
*Allen Parish (southwest)
*Vernon Parish (west)
*Natchitoches Parish (northwest)

National protected area

* Kisatchie National Forest (part)

Military Installations

*Camp Beauregard
*England Air Force Base (defunct)

National Guard

*225th Engineer Brigade


1900= 39578
1910= 44545
1920= 59444
1930= 65455
1940= 73370
1950= 90648
1960= 111351
1970= 118078
1980= 135282
1990= 131556
2000= 126337
estimate= 130201
estyear= 2006
estref= [cite web|url=http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/22/22079.html|title=Rapides Parish Quickfacts|author=United States Census Bureau|accessdate=2008-02-02]
footnote=Rapides Parish Census Data [cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/la190090.txt|title=Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990|author=United States Census Bureau|accessdate=2008-02-02]
As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 126,337 people, 47,120 households, and 33,125 families residing in the parish. The population density was 96 people per square mile (37/km²). There were 52,038 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 66.51% White, 30.43% Black or African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47,120 households out of which 34.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.70% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the parish the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.00 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $29,856, and the median income for a family was $36,671. Males had a median income of $29,775 versus $20,483 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $16,088. About 16.40% of families and 20.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.30% of those under age 18 and 16.30% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

ee also


External links

* [http://www.rppj.com/ Rapides Parish government's website]

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