Regional Dashboard

Recognizing that “what gets measured gets improved,” the Vibrant Acadiana dashboard will track key metrics to provide an at-a-glance look at regional data on population, employment, education, and well-being. Along with the Quality-of-Life Survey, the Regional Dashboard provides objective data to help inform civic conversation on enhancing community vibrancy and growth.

Population

City of Lafayette Population

121,771

(2021)
-0.2% vs 2020

Since 1970, Lafayette has grown faster than any other large city in Louisiana. While that growth has flattened in recent years, Lafayette’s year-over-year change lags only Bossier City among the top 10 largest cities in Louisiana.

Lafayette Parish Population

244,205

(2021)
+0.9% vs 2020

The population of Lafayette Parish has more than doubled since 1970. In recent years, the parish’s smaller municipalities have grown at an explosive rate. Between 2020-2021, Carencro grew more than 15%, the fastest growth in the state.

Acadiana Region Population

674,075

(2021)
+0.2% vs 2020

Seven out of nine parishes in Acadiana have seen a population decline over the past decade and past year. The two parishes that grew were Lafayette and Jeff Davis. The largest population loss for both the decade and year was in St. Mary Parish.

Acadiana Age 25-34 Population

98,425

(2020)
-0.3% vs 2019

The young adult (age 25-34) population is an important indicator of population trends and workforce availability. Lafayette Parish has the highest proportion of 25-34-year-olds (16.4%), while St. Landry and Vermilion parishes have the lowest (12.6%) in the region.

Employment

Total Employment

272,676

(One Acadiana region, 2021)
+3.8% vs 2020

After a decline in total employment due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of those employed in the Acadiana region increased by 3.8% from 2020 to 2021.

Labor Force Participation

59%

(One Acadiana region, 2020)
-1%pt vs 2019

The rate of Acadiana’s working-age population in the labor force slowly ticked down from 2015 to 2020. Over that time, all parishes saw a decline in total labor force.

Unemployment Rate

3.1%

(Lafayette MSA, April 2022)
-8.4%pt vs April 2020

Unemployment in the Lafayette MSA peaked at 11.5% in April 2020 but quickly fell over the remainder of 2020 and 2021. As of April 2022 data, it is at a record low level of 3.1%.

Median Household Income

$58,761

(One Acadiana region, 2020)
+3.1% vs 2019

Within Acadiana, there is a large and widening gap between the parish with the lowest median household income (Evangeline, $31k) and the highest (Lafayette, $59k).

Education

3rd Grade Reading

41.4%

(One Acadiana region, 2021)
-6.6%pt vs 2019

Mastery of 3rd grade ELA (reading and writing) is critical; 75% of students who are poor readers in 3rd grade never catch up. Mastery of 3rd grade ELA varies across Acadiana parishes from 29% (Evangeline & St. Landry) to 60% (Vermilion).

High School Graduation

87.5%

(One Acadiana region, 2020)
+3.8%pt vs 2019

The average four-year high school graduation rate for Acadiana parishes is ahead of the statewide average (84%). It has increased by 14.1 percentage points since 2012 when it was 73.4%.

College-Going Rate

47.7%

(One Acadiana region, 2020)
-1.8%pt vs 2019

While 87.5% of Acadiana students graduate high school within four years, only 47.7% of those graduates enroll in college the first fall after graduating, trailing the state (53.8%) and national (66.2%) averages.

Postsecondary Attainment

27.5%

(One Acadiana region, 2020)
+1.2%pt vs 2019

In the nine-parish Acadiana region, 21.3% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or above, and 27.5% have an associate degree or above. Adding in Lumina Foundation’s estimate for nondegree credentials, our postsecondary attainment rate jumps to 42.7%.

Well-Being

Child Poverty

22.7%

(Lafayette Parish, 2019)
+1.5%pt vs 2018

The child poverty rate varies across Acadiana, from 21.3% in Vermilion Parish to 38.1% in Evangeline Parish. For 2019, poverty is defined as an annual income below $25,926 for a family of four with two children.

Violent Crime

466.5 per 100k

(Lafayette MSA, 2019)
-0.1 vs 2018

Crime rates are tracked as the number of crimes reported per 100,000 people. The Lafayette MSA’s violent crime rate remained flat from 2018 to 2019. It was lower than the state average (549 per 100k) but higher than the national average (367 per 100k).

Home Values

$194,368

(Lafayette MSA, June 2022)
+12.5% vs June 2021

Lafayette MSA home values are on the rise, a 12.5% increase year-over-year, compared to a 19.8% increase nationally. The Lafayette MSA’s average home value ($194k) is a little more than half of the national average ($354k), according to the Zillow Home Value Index.

Broadband Access

76.5%

(One Acadiana region, 2019)
+3.2%pt vs 2018

The Acadiana region – and Louisiana in general – lags behind the national average of 84.7% of the population with access to broadband internet. The exception is Lafayette Parish, where 87.6% of residents have broadband access.

Data powered by the Blanco Center

Publicpolicycenter Horizontal 2