New Iberia, Louisiana

New Iberia is the largest city in and the parish seat of Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States.[3] It is located 21 miles (34 kilometers) southeast of Lafayette.

New Iberia, Louisiana
City of New Iberia
Location in Louisiana
New Iberia
Location in Louisiana
New Iberia
New Iberia (the United States)
Coordinates: 30°0′13″N 91°49′6″W
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (city)1839
  Total11.25 sq mi (29.14 km2)
  Land11.14 sq mi (28.85 km2)
  Water0.11 sq mi (0.29 km2)
  Density2,727.89/sq mi (1,053.26/km2)
FIPS code22-54035

In 1900, 6,815 people lived in New Iberia; in 1910, 7,499; and in 1940, 13,747. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census and 30,617 in 2010, a decrease of 2,006, or 6.2 percent, over the previous decade.[4]

New Iberia is a part of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area.


New Iberia dates from mid-1779, when a group of some 500 Malagueños colonists led by Lt.Col. Francisco Bouligny came up Bayou Teche and settled around Spanish Lake. In 1814, the federal government opened a post office, and it was officially known as "New Iberia," but postmarks shortly thereafter reveal that the town was being called "Nova Iberia" (with Latin for "new"). The town was incorporated as "Iberia" in 1839, but the state legislature resolved the situation in 1847, naming the town New Iberia.

During the American Civil War, New Iberia was occupied by Union forces under General Nathaniel P. Banks. The soldiers spent the winter of 1862–1863 at New Iberia and, according to historian John D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University in his The Civil War in Louisiana, "found the weather each day more and more severe. The dreary days dragged by, and the men grumbled as they plowed through the freezing rain and deep mud in performing the regular routines of camp life."[5] Banks' men from New Iberia foraged for supplies in the swamps near the city.[6]

In 1868, Iberia Parish (county) was established, and New Iberia became the seat of parish government. At first, only rented space served for the courthouse, but by 1884 a new courthouse stood on a landscaped lot in downtown New Iberia, at the present-day site of Bouligny Plaza. That courthouse served Iberia Parish until 1940, when the current courthouse was built along Iberia Street, two blocks from the New Iberia downtown commercial district.

In September 2008, New Iberia was struck by Hurricane Ike, the lakes overflowed and filled the city, flooding it under several feet of dirty, brown water.[7]


New Iberia is located at 30°0′13″N 91°49′6″W (30.003577, −91.818454)[8] and has an elevation of 20 feet (6.1 m).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.4 km²), all land.

New Iberia enjoys a sub-tropical climate with above average rainfall. Among the lakes is Lake Peigneur, which was formerly a 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake until a 1980 disaster involving oil drilling and a salt mine. The lake is now a 1,300-foot (400 m) deep salt water lake, having been refilled by the Gulf of Mexico via the Delcambre Canal. There is also Lake Tasse, better known as Spanish Lake. This region has many natural features of interest, such as Avery Island, famous for its Tabasco sauce factory, deposits of rock salt, and Jungle Gardens.


Historical population
Est. 201829,099[2]−5.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 32,623 people, 11,756 households, and 8,335 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,088.8 people per square mile (1,192.8/km²). There were 12,880 housing units at an average density of 1,219.5 per square mile (470.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.99% White, 38.42% African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,756 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,079, and the median income for a family was $30,828. Males had a median income of $30,289 versus $16,980 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,084. About 24.9% of families and 29.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 20.8% of those age 65 or over.


  • Shadows-on-the-Teche historic former residence and plantation, now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[12]
  • Avery Island, home of Tabasco sauce and claims to be the oldest salt mine in North America. In operation since 1862.[13]
  • Jungle Gardens, botanical garden and bird sanctuary located in Avery Island.[14]
  • Jefferson Island, a wooded "island" atop a large column of salt. Located on Jefferson Island is a former salt mine, botanical garden, rookery, nursery, as well as the historic Victorian Jefferson Mansion.[15]
  • Conrad Rice Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places, oldest rice mill in operation since 1912, sometimes offering public tours.[16]
  • The Iberia Community Band hosts four public concerts throughout the year and is open to amateur, student, and professional band instrumentalists of all ages and skill levels.
  • The Iberia Performing Arts League, also known as IPAL, is a community theater organization. It generally presents five major productions per year and a summer youth play or activity.
  • The city used to hold a statue of Roman emperor Hadrian. It was located on the corner of Weeks and St. Peter Streets.[17]


  • New Iberia hosts the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival[18] in September. Sugar Cane Festival, celebrates the commencement of the sugar cane harvest, locally referred to as grinding. Sugar cane is a principal crop grown by New Iberia farmers.
  • El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia, in November.[19]
  • World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off, on the second full weekend in October.[20]
  • Cajun Hot Sauce Festival, in April, includes hot sauce competition, jambalaya cook-off, and the Cajun hot sauce festival queen pageant.
  • Great Gator Race
  • Acadiana Dragon Boat Races (previously The Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival), in March.[21]
  • Blitz Dance Competition


Public schools

Iberia Parish School System serves the city.

High schools

Middle schools

  • Anderson Middle School
  • Belle Place Middle School
  • Iberia Middle School

Elementary schools

  • Caneview Elementary
  • Center Street Elementary
  • Coteau Elementary
  • Daspit Elementary
  • Dodson Elementary
  • Jefferson Island Road Elementary
  • John Hopkins Elementary
  • Magnolia Elementary
  • North Lewis Elementary
  • North Street Elementary
  • Park Elementary
  • Pesson Elementary
  • Sugarland Elementary

Private schools

  • Assembly Christian School is a private, Pentecostal K-12 School in New Iberia.[23]
  • Catholic High School is a private, Catholic high school in New Iberia.
  • Highland Baptist Christian School is a private, baptist K-12 school in New Iberia.[24]

Notable people

This is a list of notable people from New Iberia, Louisiana. It includes people who were born/raised in, lived in, or spent portions of their lives in New Iberia, or for whom New Iberia is a significant part of their identity, as well as music groups founded in New Iberia. This list is in alphabetical order.


Authors and journalists

Artists and designers


Politics and civil service




Sister cities

Alhaurín de la Torre Andalusia Spain
Fuengirola Andalusia Spain
Saint-Jean-d'Angély Nouvelle-Aquitaine France
Woluwe-Saint-Pierre Brussels-Capital Region Belgium

See also


  1. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 2, 2017.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. "New Iberia (city), Louisiana". Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  5. John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963; ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 300
  6. Winters, p. 237
  7. "2008- Hurricane Ike". Hurricanes: Science and Society. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. "The Shadows". The Shadows. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
  13. "Avery Island". NESTA. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
  14. "Jungle Gardens". City of New Iberia, Louisiana. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
  15. "Jefferson Island". Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  16. "Konriko Rice Mill and Company Store". City of New Iberia, Louisiana. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  17. "Hadrian statue ready for sale" (article), Daily Iberian
  18. 'Welcome to the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival Web Site"
  20. 'Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce"
  21. "Acadiana Dragon Boat Races". on-tap. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  22. "James Lee Burke - Official Website" Archived 2008-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  23. "About". Acadiana Christian School. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  24. "Home". Highland Baptist Christian School. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  25. "Yvonne Levy Kushner Obituary". Washington Post. 1990-02-09. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  26. "Living Legends: Glen Conrad". The Acadian Museum. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  27. Kelly, John (2017-07-05). "Perspective, Remembering when politicians didn't seem to hate journalists quite so much". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  28. "The World Today". The Pittsburgh Courier. May 19, 1962. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  29. Bookhardt, D. Eric (2008-04-03). "Image Conscious". Gambit. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  30. "The Press: Color Bar". Time Magazine. 1955-01-31. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  31. "Legends of Fine Art | Alyce Frank - Southwest Art Magazine". Southwest Art Magazine. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  32. "Owen J. Southwell Papers". Edith Garland Dupré Library. University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  33. "2016 Louisiana Legends Honorees". Louisiana Public Broadcasting. 2016. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  34. Farkas, David; Ramos, Bethany. "Conceptual Thinking: P.F. Chang's Founder Forges Ahead in Restaurant Innovation". BuyerZone., LLC. A Purch Brand. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  35. "Jimmy Carter: United States Ambassador to Kenya and Seychelles - Nomination of Wilbert J. Le Melle". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  36. "Bunk Johnson". Know Louisiana. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities at Turners' Hall. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  37. "Eulis 'Soko' Richardson Obituary". The Daily Iberian. 2004-02-06. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  38. "Diontae Spencer". Ottawa Redblacks. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  39. "Norman Carnahan". Acadian Museum. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
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