According to the 1990 Census, Louisiana's population totaled 4,219,973--approximately 1.7% of the entire American population.
Louisiana's population climbed significantly during the early 1980s, but this growth was largely offset by outmigration spurred by the state's economic downturn in the second half of the decade. As a result, Louisiana experienced a net population growth of only .3% between 1980 and 1990. In contrast, the average change in all state populations during that time was a 9.8% increase; the southern/south central states averaged a 9.1% population rise.
Six of Louisiana's eight metropolitan areas experienced net population increases between 1980 and 1990. However, both New Orleans (the state's largest metropolitan area) and Alexandria (the state's smallest metropolitan area) suffered net population losses.
During the 1980s, 37 of Louisiana's parishes lost population. Particularly large population reductions occurred throughout the northeastern and central parts of the state. The number of residents in Madison parish decreased 22% during the decade. East Carroll, LaSalle and Tensas each had population losses greater than 15% of their respective 1980 counts. Orleans parish lost over 10% of its population.
Most of the parishes experiencing high growth were located in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans metropolitan areas. St. Tammany continued to be the state's fastest growing parish with more than 30% growth during the past decade. Other parishes experiencing high growth include St. John the Baptist with 25% growth, Livingston with 20% growth, and Ascension and Vernon with 16% growth.
Population by Age Group
In keeping with the national trend, Louisiana's population is getting older. The median age in Louisiana rose from 27.3 in 1980 to 31 in 1990; at the national level, median age climbed from 30 to 32.9. Median age among Louisiana's nonwhite ethnic populations is lower than that of whites; this parallels both national and southern patterns.
The portion of Louisiana's population under the age of 18 fell from 31.6% in 1980 to 29.1% in 1990. The state's population aged under 5 years dropped by 7.6%. Nonetheless, Louisiana has higher percentages of population 0-4 years and 5-17 years than both the national figure and the southern average.
Between 1980 and 1990 Louisiana's population aged 65 and older grew by 16.1%. However, Louisiana's elderly population increased more slowly than that of both the nation as a whole and the southern average. Further, the portion of Louisiana's population that is aged 65 and older remains smaller than both the national figure and the southern average.
Population by Sex
Between 1980 and 1990 the distribution of Louisiana's population by sex changed very little-- less than 1%.
Females comprise 51.9% of Louisiana's total population--slightly higher than the national distribution of 51.25% female.
In Louisiana women outnumber men in all ethnic groups except Indian (which includes American Indian, Eskimo and Aleutian populations) and Other Races.
Although males make up the larger portion of the state's total population under age 18, women outnumber men in every age group from age 18 to over age 65. The male/female population disparity becomes especially evident in the 65+ age group.
Population by Race and Hispanic Origin
Louisiana's white and Hispanic populations are decreasing while other racial groups are growing. Between 1980 and 1990 Louisiana's white population fell by 2.5%. In contrast the state's nonwhite population groups posted increases ranging from 4.9% to 72.8%. Hispanic population (of any race) declined by 6.2%.
Slightly more than two-thirds of Louisiana's total population is composed of whites. Blacks comprise 30.8% of the state's population. Louisiana has the second largest black population among all states. Persons of Hispanic origin (of any race) account for 2.2% of Louisiana's population.
Six parishes had black populations totaling 50% or higher in 1990. Limited concentrations of residents of Asian or Hispanic origin were posted in the New Orleans area in 1990, and the Native American populations were clustered in the southeast coastal parishes.
The number of households in Louisiana increased from 1,411,788 in 1980 to 1,499,269 in 1990. However, average household size in Louisiana shrank from 2.91 persons in 1980 to 2.74 persons in 1990. Although this reduction paralleled a national decrease from 2.75 persons per household in 1980 to 2.63 persons in 1990, Louisiana household size remains higher than the national level.
In 1990, 97.3% of all Louisianians lived in households (86% in family households and 11.3% in nonfamily households); 2.7% lived in group quarters. Louisiana's distribution of household versus group quarters populations was the same as the national distribution.
In 1990, 99.6% of persons under age 18 lived in households; only .4% lived in group quarters.
In 1990, 22.7% of Louisiana households contained one or more persons aged 65 years or over. The majority (62.9%) of persons 65 and older lived in family households; 29.4% lived alone in nonfamily households; and 6.2% were in group quarters (mainly institutions).
In 1990 more than one-half of all Louisianians 15 years or older were married.
Louisiana family size averaged 3.28 persons in 1990--somewhat smaller than the 1980 average of 3.44 persons.
Fewer Louisiana family households are headed by married couples and more are headed by single householders--particularly female single householders. The percentage of total Louisiana family households headed by married couples dropped from 79.7% in 1980 to 73.7% in 1990 and the percentage of family households headed by single householders rose from 20.3% (3.7% male and 16.6% female) to 26.3% (4.8% male and 21.5% female).
In 1990 white family households had a higher percentage of married couple families and a lower percentage of single family households than other racial and Hispanic origin groups. Among black family households, the majority of households were headed by a single householder--7% by male single householders and 45.6% by female single householders.
In 1980, 71.4% of all persons under 18 years of age in Louisiana lived with two parents; in 1990 62.4% of persons under 18 lived in a married couple family.