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Lafayette, LA

Lafayette is a modern city with its share of cosmopolitan flare and a vibrant downtown. It is also the cultural center of Acadiana, the name given to the large area of Southern Louisiana that has been strongly influenced by Cajun and Creole culture.

Lafayette is located 50 miles southwest of Baton Rouge and 125 miles west of New Orleans. The population is about 130,000.

As the center of this region, Lafayette is nicknamed the Hub City. Lafayette has become a popular tourist destination, with a variety of Acadiana tourist attractions, plentiful shopping, and a reputation for excellent restaurants. The city is known for its festivals, especially the Festival International de Louisiane, a five-day event that draws about 300,000 people and is the largest outdoor Francophile festival in the world.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

The economy of Lafayette is strong, thanks to its two main industries: petroleum and natural gas (which is pumped from the nearby Gulf of Mexico) and tourism.

Major employers in the area include:

The cost of living in Lafayette is lower than the national average, but high for Louisiana. The city has an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Lafayette accommodates around 47,000 houses, out of which, a little less than 43,500 are occupied. The ratio of renter-occupied houses for the city is substantially higher than the state average. Lafayette has grown in recent years because thousands of Katrina evacuees have moved to the area.

The walkability of the city is fairly good, however, a car or some other mode of transport is needed to travel to some places such coffee shops and movie theatres.

Downtown Lafayette is the historic heart of the city, home to many of the key Acadiana building structures from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Today, the area is the cultural center of Lafayette, hosting several festivals and offering dining, shopping and the arts.

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