Natchitoches, Louisiana

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The city of Natchitoches (pronounced [ˈnækətəʃ]) is the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, in the US state of Louisiana. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 17,865.



Location of Natchitoches, Louisiana

Natchitoches is located at 31°45'15" North, 93°5'42" West (31.754123, -93.095085)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.1 km² (25.1 mi²). 55.8 km² (21.6 mi²) of it is land and 9.2 km² (3.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 14.21% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 17,865 people, 6,113 households, and 3,631 families residing in the city. The population density is 319.9/km² (828.5/mi²). There are 6,731 housing units at an average density of 120.5/km² (312.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 43.72% White, 53.00% African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.30% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 6,113 households out of which 30.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.3% are married couples living together, 21.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% are non-families. 30.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.18.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 27.2% from 18 to 24, 21.8% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 24 years. For every 100 females there are 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 80.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $23,111, and the median income for a family is $30,396. Males have a median income of $28,601 versus $17,859 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,642. 34.8% of the population and 26.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 45.0% of those under the age of 18 and 19.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Educational Institutions


Natchitoches was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. It is the oldest permanent settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico, with the French presence beginning as early as 1699. The settlement's site was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians.

After the Louisiana Purchase, Natchitoches experienced a population boom, and several plantations were built along the river. The river eventually changed its course, bypassing Natchitoches and cutting off its lucrative connection with the Mississippi. What was once known as the Red River is now Cane River Lake, a 30-something mile body of water that runs from the city’s downtown historic district through Plantation Country.


The 1989 film Steel Magnolias was filmed in Natchitoches.

The film Man in the Moon, starring Reese Witherspoon and Sam Waterston, was also filmed in Natchitoches.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, a boarding school for accelerated students from Louisiana and the high school with the twelth most difficult curriculum in the nation, is also located in Natchitoches.

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