By law and government, Orleans Parish and the city of New Orleans are one and the same.
Geography The parish has a total area of 907 km^{2} (350 mi^{2}). 468 km^{2} (181 mi^{2}) of it is land and 439 km^{2} (170 mi^{2}) of it is water. The total area is 48.45% water.
Demographics As of 2000, there are 484,674 people, 188,251 households, and 112,950 families residing in the parish. The population density is 1,036/km^{2} (2,684/mi^{2}). There are 215,091 housing units at an average density of 460 persons/km^{2} (1,191 persons/mi^{2}). The racial makeup of the parish is 28.05% White, 67.25% African American, 0.20% Native American, 2.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 3.06% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 188,251 households out of which 29.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.80% are married couples living together, 24.50% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 40.00% are nonfamilies. 33.20% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 3.23.
In the parish the population is spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 11.40% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 20.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 88.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.30 males.
The median income for a household in the parish is $27,133, and the median income for a family is $32,338. Males have a median income of $30,862 versus $23,768 for females. The per capita income for the parish is $17,258. 27.90% of the population and 23.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 40.30% are under the age of 18 and 19.30% are 65 or older.
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