Lafayette (/ˌlæfiˈjɛt/; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city located along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 120,623 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, and also the larger, Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA with a population of 611,774 according to 2012 estimates. Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Its nickname is The Hub City.
The American city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by Jean Mouton, a French-speaking man of Acadian descent. In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industries became dominant.
Lafayette is considered the center of Acadiana, the area of Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana and the United States. It developed following the relocation of Acadians after their expulsion by the British from eastern Canada in the late 18th century following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War. There is also a strong Louisiana Creole influence in the area.
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