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Lake Charles

  •   State: 
    Calcasieu Parish
    Lake Charles
      County FIPS: 
    30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W
      Area total: 
    48.60 sq mi
      Area land: 
    45.73 sq mi (118.44 km²)
      Area water: 
    2.87 sq mi (7.43 km²)
    15 ft (5 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Lake Charles, LA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,855.98 residents per square mile of area (716.59/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Lake Charles (French: Lac Charles) is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state. The city and metropolitan area of Lake Charles is considered a regionally significant center of petrochemical refining, gambling, tourism, and education. It is home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. In 2020, it was battered by two hurricanes, Category 4 Hurricane Laura on August 2627, and Hurricane Delta on October 9, 2020. The southern portion of the city was damaged by an EF2 tornado on October 27, 2021.Lake Charles is located on a level plain about 30 miles (48 km) from the Gulf of Mexico, has an elevation of approximately 13 feet (4.0 m) above sea level. It borders both Lake Charles and Prien Lake, Contraband Bayou, Henderson Bayou, and English Bayou flow through the city. Oak trees and pine trees dot the landscape; the lumber industry was once the main economic engine of the area. The Calcasie Ship Channel, which allows large ocean-going vessels to sail up from the gulf, also borders theCity. The average annual precipitation is 57.49 inches (1,460 mm, at 57,49 inches per year) in Lake Charles, and 72.7 inches (7.7 km²) in the metropolitan area.


Lake Charles is the primary city name, but also Moss Bluff are acceptable city names or spellings. The town was first incorporated in 1857 as Charleston, after an early settler, Charles Sallier. The Great Fire of April 1910 devastated much of the city. During and after World War II, Lake Charles experienced industrial growth with the arrival of petrochemical refineries. In 1985, the city was identified as a potential Strategic Homeport to support Navy Secretary John Lehman's desire for a 600-ship Navy. By 1991, the incomplete base was dropped from the program and shuttered. In 2020, it was battered by two hurricanes, Category 4 Hurricane Laura on August 2627, and Hurricane Delta on October 9, 2020. The southern portion of the town was damaged by an EF2 tornado on October 27, 2021. The city grew to a high of some 75,000 people in the early 1980s, but with local economic recession, the population declined and stagnated. The town is named after Marco Eliche, a Sephardic Jewish trader of either Basque-Spanish or Venetian-Italian origins. There are also urban tales he had planned to name the settlement Nouveau Cadix (New Cádiz) after the city in Spain, but this is uncertain. He was invited onto a Spanish vessel due to his determination and loyalty to volunteer and work freely for the Spanish Empire. He had also founded other outposts and towns in Louisiana prior, most notably Marksville, which is named for him. He died in 1867 and was buried in Lake Charles.


Lake Charles is tied with Port Arthur, Texas, and Astoria, Oregon, as the most humid city in the contiguous United States. Average annual precipitation is also high among U.S. cities, at 57.49 inches (1,460 mm) per year. Hurricane Laura devastated the city in 2020, with one-minute sustained wind speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) Numerous trees were blown down. The city has a total area of 44.8 square miles (116.0 km²), of which 42.0 sq miles (108.9 km²) is land and 2.7sq miles (7.1km²), or 6.12%, is water. The Calcasieu Ship Channel, which allows large ocean-going vessels to sail up from the Gulf, also borders the city. It borders both Lake Charles and Prien Lake. Oak trees and pine trees dot the landscape; the lumber industry was once the main economic engine of the area. The average relative humidity in Lake Charles is 90% in the morning, and 72 per cent in the afternoon. It is the second-most humid measured location behind unincorporated Quillayute, Washington, with an average humidity of 90%. The city is located on a level plain about 30 miles (48 km) from the gulf of Mexico. It has an elevation of approximately 13 feet (4.0 m) above sea level, and is on the banks of theCalcasieu River in southwestern Louisiana.


Lake Charles is the principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings combined statistical area, with a population of 225,235. The 2010 population of the five-parish region of Southwest Louisiana was 292,619. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the racial and ethnic makeup for Lake Charles was 46.2% Black or African American, 42.5% non-Hispanic white, and 5.6% Hispanic or Latino American of any race. Christianity is the predominant religion in the Lake Area, followed by non-denominational Protestant churches. For every 100,000 people, 13.11 daily crimes occur in Lake Charles. Lake Charles is safer than 13% of cities in the United States. For the city proper of Lake Charles at the 2020 census, it had a population. of 84,872. The average commute time was 22.4 minutes. In 2010, the median income for a household in the city was $36,001. The per capita income was $22,855. 20.9% of the population was below the poverty line. In 2018, the violent crime rate in theLake Charles area was of the highest in theUnited States, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked include rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. There were an estimated 354 adherents of Islam. According to Dwellics and Sperling's BestPlaces, there is also a small Jewish population.


The top employer is the Calcasieu Parish School System, which employs approximately 5,000 workers. The second-largest employer is L'Auberge Casino Resort, which has 2,400 workers. Several petrochemical plants and an oil refinery are located nearby. The Trunkline LNG terminal, immediately southwest of Lake Charles, is one of the United States' few liquified natural gas terminals. Lake Charles serves as the shopping and retail hub of the five-parish area. The Cottage Shop District supports approximately a dozen small businesses. AAR Corp services airplanes, and a Northrop Grumman facility manufactures and exports parts for nuclear power plants. The Lake Charles Power Center is a shopping area that has 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of shopping space. It is anchored by three department stores: Dillard's, Kohl's, and JCPenney. The 18-story casino resort hotel has more than 740 guest rooms, a casino, golf course, meeting space, retail corridor and a private beach and marina. The Golden Nugget Lake Charles opened in 2014 next to L' auberge du Lac. The city has Louisiana's biggest casino market. It forms part of the city's gambling market along with Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana and Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana. It has over 80 retail options. Retailers include Talbots, Gap, Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, Ulta Beauty, American Eagle, Buckle, Spencer's and Hollister.

Arts and culture

Lake Charles has a Creole and Cajun culture because of its location in Southwest Louisianaan extension of Acadiana. The city has its own symphony orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony, which was founded in 1938. Mardi Gras in Lake Charles regularly draws in crowds of 150,000. The Louisiana Pirate Festival (formerly Contraband Days), is a twelve-day annual festival held during the first two weeks of May. It is regularly attended by more than 200,000 people, making it one of the largest celebrations in Louisiana. Lake Charles has four libraries, with the largest, with 400,000 volumes, is Frazar Memorial Library, on the McNeese State University campus. It also houses the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library, which is part of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library. It has 13 locations, which include the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, Central School Art Gallery, and the Black Heritage Art Gallery. The Lake Charles Little Theatre, the Artists Civic Theatre and Studio (ACTS), and the Children's Theatre are located in the historical Charpentier District, owned by the city. There are also several museums and art galleries in the city, the largest of which is the Imperial Calcasie Museum, which features a permanent historical exhibit with artifacts and an art gallery. Other studios and cultural activities include the Art Associates Gallery, Studio 347 Gallery, Lake Charles symphony, and Lake Charles Community Band. Some of the city's cultural events include Chuck Fest, Martin Luther King Festival, Livestock Show & Rodeo, Black Heritage Festival, Garden Festival.


Lake Charles is home to the McNeese Cowboys, whose football team hosts games at Cowboy Stadium which has a seating capacity of 17,410. Burton Coliseum hosts the Mc Neese basketball teams. Golf is popular at the city's Mallard Cove Golf Course. Gray Plantation Golf Course is featured on Louisiana's Audubon Golf Trail. South Lake Charles Little League has had nationally winning teams televised on ESPN. Lake Charles has been home to minor-league baseball teams, indoor football teams, a minor-League ice hockey team and soccer teams. The Lake Charles Lakers are a professional baseball team based in the city. The city also has a professional soccer team, the Lake Charles Stars, which plays in the Louisiana Premier League. The City of Lake Charles is the home of the Louisiana State Police, which is based in Lake Charles and has a force of about 1,000 officers. The town has a population of about 4,000. The mayor of LakeCharles, Louisiana, has a net worth of more than $1.5 million. The lake has a reputation for being a great place to play golf, especially in the summer. It is also home to a number of other sports teams, including the Lousiana Stars, who play in the National Lacrosse League and the Louisiana Stars of the Southern Professional Baseball Association. It has a history of hosting major-league minor league baseball and ice hockey teams, as well as a minor league ice hockey and soccer team. It was the site of the World Series of Little League Baseball in the 1950s and 1960s.

Parks and recreation

The city has 31 parks, many of which include playground equipment, athletic facilities, and walking paths. Shiver-Me-Timbers Millennium Park, located downtown, was built entirely by volunteers in 2000. Adventure Cove, a state-of-the-art park, was also built by volunteers, and is specifically designed for handicapped children. Hunting and fishing are popular with both residents and visitors to the Lake Area. An All-American Road, the Creole Nature Trail "Louisiana's Outback" brings tourists to Lake Charles and throughout Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. The city also has a lakefront promenade, which is open to the public. The lake is also home to the Louisiana State Museum and the Louisiana Museum of Natural History, which houses a collection of art and historical artifacts from the Louisiana and Texas areas. The Lake Area is home to a number of tourist attractions, including the Louisiana National Guard, the Louisiana Wildlife Center, and the Lake Charles Visitor's Center, as well as other attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the National Park Service. The City of Lake Charles is located on the Louisiana-Texas border and has a population of about 8,000. The town is located in the central part of the state. It is the largest city in Southwest Louisiana, and one of the largest cities in the state in terms of landmass. It also has the largest population of African-Americans in the United States, with more than 1,000,000 people living in Lake Charles.


Lake Charles has a mayor-council government. Each council member represents a district within the city limits. The police chief is appointed to a six-year term, and the fire chief is also appointed. The Lake Charles City Court's jurisdiction covers the city and Ward 3 in Calcasieu Parish. The Fourteenth Judicial District Court, in downtown Lake Charles, includes nine judges who preside over family, juvenile, civil, and criminal trials. The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals is headquartered in the city. Lake Charles is represented by Clay Higgins of Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. Most of the city isrepresented by Senator Jeremy Stine of District 27 in the Louisiana State Senate. The city is home to a United States District Court. McNeese State University also has its own police department, the McNeESE State University Police Department. It has eight stations and 15 companies. The mayor appoints the city attorney, who is also the city's clerk of court. The current mayor is Nic Hunter, who serves a four-yearterm. The fire department has eight station and 15 company companies. It is based in the downtown area of Lake Charles and covers Ward 3 of Calcasie Parish. It also has a fire station in the north of the town, which is in the town of Beauregard. The Fire Department has a station in Lake Charles in the parish of St. John the Evangelist. It was founded in 1883. The department was established to provide fire protection for the town and parish.


The city has one university and one community college. McNeese State University is a four-year public university in the University of Louisiana System. Sowela Technical Community College offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificate programs, and general education courses. There are two charter schools and several private schools. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles operates and/or is affiliated with private Roman Catholic schools. Lake Charles is home to the Louisiana Environmental Research Center, the Burton Coliseum, the 503-acre MSU Farm, and nearly 1,600 acres (6.5 km²) of donated farm property used for research, farming, and ranching. The city is also the home of the Louisiana Museum of Natural History, the Louisiana State Museum of Art, and the Louisiana National Museum of Science and History. It is the birthplace of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who was elected to a second term in 2006. The Louisiana State University of Technology is located in Lake Charles and offers a variety of degrees. The University of Texas at Austin has a campus in the town of Austin, Texas, which was founded in 1883. It was the first state university to be accredited by the accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers over 80 majors, and includes the colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Science, Honors College and the Doré School of Graduate Studies. It also has a 65-acre (260,000 m2) athletic plant and student apartment complex. The Calcasieu Parish Public School System operates public schools.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana = 46.3. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 40. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 40. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Lake Charles = 6 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 84,872 individuals with a median age of 36 age the population dropped by -3.17% in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,855.98 residents per square mile of area (716.59/km²). There are average 2.35 people per household in the 28,057 households with an average household income of $36,313 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.40% of the available work force and has dropped -4.30% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 25.00%. The number of physicians in Lake Charles per 100,000 population = 180.7.


The annual rainfall in Lake Charles = 57.1 inches and the annual snowfall = 0.3 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 108. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 213. 92 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 42.7 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 24, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana which are owned by the occupant = 50.25%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 41 years with median home cost = $72,670 and home appreciation of 1.21%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $2.47 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,451 per student. There are 15 students for each teacher in the school, 450 students for each Librarian and 212 students for each Counselor. 3.78% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 13.08% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 7.67% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Lake Charles's population in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana of 6,680 residents in 1900 has increased 12,71-fold to 84,872 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.12% female residents and 47.88% male residents live in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

    As of 2020 in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana are married and the remaining 48.68% are single population.

  • 18.2 minutes is the average time that residents in Lake Charles require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    81.15% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 12.68% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.66% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 1.93% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, 50.25% are owner-occupied homes, another 37.05% are rented apartments, and the remaining 12.70% are vacant.

  • The 63.54% of the population in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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