Ascension Parish, Louisiana
|Ascension Parish, Louisiana|
Location in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Ascension of Our Lord Church in Donaldsonville|
303 sq mi (784 km²)
292 sq mi (755 km²)
11 sq mi (29 km²), 3.75
263/sq mi (101/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Ascension Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Ascension) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is one of the fastest growing parishes in the state. Its population is 107,215 which is 39.9% greater than the 2000 census.
During the American Civil War, desertions had been of major concern to the Confederacy. Henry Watkins Allen, before he was governor, reported more than eight thousand deserters and draft-dodgers about Bayou Teche. There were some 1,200 deserters in Livingston, St. Tammany, and Ascension parishes. Planters in Ascension Parish later complained of raids by guerrillas. In 1864, planter W.R. Hodges requested soldiers to protect the planted fields from such attacks. Union soldiers were accused of "wandering about at will, and helping themselves . . . to whatever could be found," explains the historian John D. Winters in his The Civil War in Louisiana (1963).
Law and government
Long a Democratic bastion, Ascension Parish has become fertile ground for Republicans as the indigenous traditionalism has grown less comfortable with the Democratic Party on a national scale and as immigration has brought in new residents who are politically conservative. Since 2000, nearly 14,000 new voters have registered in Ascension Parish, and fewer than 1,000 of those are official Democrats.
Democrats still lead in registrants with 28,181; Republicans follow with 16,218. There are also 13,052 "No Party" registrants, as permitted under Louisiana law. Robert Poche, Ascension Parish voter registrar told the Advocate (Baton Rouge) in 2007 that "History tells us that those with no party affiliation have been voting conservatively."
Ascension Parish also had a small number of voters registered as upper case Independents. As of April 2007 there were 31 Libertarian Party members and 33 Reform Party registrants. The total registrants in April 2007 stood at 58,221.
Republican Eddie J. Lambert, an attorney in Gonzales who resides in Prairieville, has represented Ascension Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives since 2004 and is a candidate for reelection in 2011.
The parish has a total area of 303 square miles (784.8 km2). 292 square miles (756.3 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28.5 km2) (3.75%) is water.
- Interstate 10
- U.S. Highway 61
- Louisiana Highway 1
- Louisiana Highway 16
- Louisiana Highway 18
- Louisiana Highway 73
- Louisiana Highway 22
- Louisiana Highway 30
- Louisiana Highway 42
- Louisiana Highway 44
- Louisiana Highway 70
- East Baton Rouge Parish (north)
- Livingston Parish (northeast)
- St. John the Baptist Parish (east)
- St. James Parish (southeast)
- Assumption Parish (southwest)
- Iberville Parish (west)
||East Baton Rouge Parish||Livingston Parish|
|Iberville Parish||St. John the Baptist Parish|
|Assumption Parish||St. James Parish|
|Ascension Parish Census Data|
As of the census of 2000, there were 76,627 people, 26,691 households, and 20,792 families residing in the parish. The population density was 263 people per square mile (101/km²). There were 29,172 housing units at an average density of 100 per square mile (39/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 77.39% White, 20.28% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 2.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 94.46% of the population spoke only English at home, while 2.76% spoke French or Cajun French, and 2.41% spoke Spanish.
There were 26,691 households out of which 42.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.10% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.10% were non-families. 18.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the parish the population was spread out with 30.10% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 32.60% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.50 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $44,288, and the median income for a family was $50,626. Males had a median income of $41,109 versus $23,054 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $17,858. About 10.70% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 15.40% of those age 65 or over.
Cities, towns, and villages
Ascension Parish School Board operates local public schools. The parish is also home to private schools.
Two newspapers are based in Ascension Parish's two cities, Donaldsonville and Gonzales. The Gonzales Weekly Citizen is a bi-weekly newspaper formed after the merger of The Gonzales Weekly (founded 1920) and The Ascension Citizen (founded 1996). The Donaldsonville Chief, founded in 1871, is the parish's longest continually published newspaper.
KKAY 1590 AM is headquartered in Donaldsonville on historic Railroad Ave. KKAY 1590 AM and www.globalradiokkay.com is a local radio station that airs programs from local ministers and churches and airs local high school softball and football.
- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 306
- Winters p. 394
- John McMillan, Advocate (Baton Rouge), River Parishes Bureau, April 29, 2007, p. 1B.
- "Eddie Lambert's 2011 Seafood Fundraiser". eddielambert.com. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- McCulloh, R. P., P. V. Heinrich, and J. Snead, 2003, Ponchatoula 30 x 60 minute geologic quadrangle. Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Ascension Parish government's website
- Ascension Parish Sheriff's website
- Weekly Citizen newspaper
- Ascension Parish Library
- Explore the History and Culture of Southeastern Louisiana, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
- Census shows shift