Geography The parish has a total area of 1,223 km^{2} (472 mi^{2}). 1,221 km^{2} (471 mi^{2}) of it is land and 2 km^{2} (1 mi^{2}) of it is water. The total area is 0.19% water.
Demographics As of 2000, there are 42,509 people, 15,235 households, and 9,689 families residing in the parish. The population density is 35/km^{2} (90/mi^{2}). There are 17,000 housing units at an average density of 14 persons/km^{2} (36 persons/mi^{2}). The racial makeup of the parish is 57.42% White, 39.84% African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 15,235 households out of which 30.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.50% are married couples living together, 15.30% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 36.40% are nonfamilies. 27.00% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.01.
In the parish the population is spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 25.70% from 18 to 24, 23.20% from 25 to 44, 17.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.30% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 26 years. For every 100 females there are 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.90 males.
The median income for a household in the parish is $26,977, and the median income for a family is $38,972. Males have a median income of $32,376 versus $20,877 for females. The per capita income for the parish is $14,313. 26.50% of the population and 18.20% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 30.10% are under the age of 18 and 18.10% are 65 or older.
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