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Lake Charles (French: Lac Charles) is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state. As of the 2020 census, Lake Charles's population was 84,872. It is considered a regionally significant center of petrochemical refining, gambling, tourism, and education, being home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is often called the Lake Area.
Acadia Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Acadie) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. At the 2020 U.S. census, the population was 57,576. The parish seat is Crowley. The parish was founded from parts of St. Landry Parish in 1886, and later an election was held to determine the parish seat, ending when Crowley beat Rayne and Prairie Hayes. Acadia Parish is included in the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area.
Vermilion Parish (French: Paroisse de Vermillion) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana, created in 1844. The parish seat is Abbeville. Vermilion Parish is part of the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area, and located in southern Acadiana. At the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 57,999; the 2019 American Community Survey estimated its population was 59,865.Vermilion and neighboring Cameron parishes are represented in the Louisiana State Senate by the Republican Jonathan W. Perry of Kaplan. In the past several decades, much of the southern portion of the parish has been swept away by water erosion, especially after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Lafayette (, French: [lafajɛt]) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The city is the most populous and parish seat of Lafayette Parish, and is located along the Vermilion River. It is Louisiana's fourth largest incorporated municipality by population and the 234th-most populous in the United States, with a 2020 census population of 121,374; the consolidated city–parish's population was 244,390 in 2019. The Lafayette metropolitan area was Louisiana's third largest metropolitan statistical area with a population of 489,759 at the 2020 population estimates program, overtaking the Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan area in 2015.Originally established as Vermilionville in the 1820s and incorporated in 1836, Lafayette developed as an agricultural community until the discovery of oil in the area in the 1940s; since the discovery of oil, the city and parish have had the highest number of workers in the oil and natural gas industry in Louisiana as of 2018. With the establishment of the University of Louisiana System's Lafayette campus, and the diversification of its economy, Lafayette and its metropolitan area have experienced population growth and became nicknamed "The Hub City". Culturally, the city and parish of Lafayette are also known as the "Heart of Acadiana".The city, metropolitan area and Acadiana region are major centers for the technology industry, and home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the second largest public research university in Louisiana. Lafayette is also a major center for health care and social services, aerospace, banking and retail. Notable corporations with headquarters or a large presence in the Lafayette area include the Ochsner Health System, IberiaBank, Rouses Market, Petroleum Helicopters International, Amazon, Brookshire Grocery Company, JP Morgan Chase, Albertsons, Perficient, and CGI. The Lafayette area is home to a diverse population from Louisiana Creole and Cajun backgrounds, and was named the "Happiest City in America" in 2014.