
History Washington Parish was formed in 1819 by splitting off from St. Tammany Parish. Franklinton, Louisiana became the Parish seat on February 10, 1821
Geography The parish has a total area of 1,751 km^{2} (676 mi^{2}). 1,734 km^{2} (670 mi^{2}) of it is land and 17 km^{2} (6 mi^{2}) of it is water. The total area is 0.95% water.
Demographics As of 2000, there are 43,926 people, 16,467 households, and 11,642 families residing in the parish. The population density is 25/km^{2} (66/mi^{2}). There are 19,106 housing units at an average density of 11 persons/km^{2} (28 persons/mi^{2}). The racial makeup of the parish is 67.42% White, 31.53% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 16,467 households out of which 32.70% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% are married couples living together, 17.10% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 29.30% are nonfamilies. 26.60% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.50% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.56 and the average family size is 3.09.
In the parish the population is spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.80 males.
The median income for a household in the parish is $24,264, and the median income for a family is $29,480. Males have a median income of $27,964 versus $17,709 for females. The per capita income for the parish is $12,915. 24.70% of the population and 19.40% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 32.20% are under the age of 18 and 20.40% are 65 or older.
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