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Houma, LA


Houma, LA

City of Houma
Terrebonne Parish Courthouse, Houma
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Terrebonne
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Coordinates 35|15|N|90|42|58|W|type:city_region:US-LA name=


Area 14.2 sq mi (36.8 km2)
 - land 14.0 sq mi (36 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 0.7%
Population 33,727 (2010)
Density 2,375.1 / sq mi (917 / km2)
Founded 1834
 - Incorporated 1848
 - Re-Incorporated 1898
Government Consolidated City-Parish
Parish President Michel Claudet
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 70360, 70363-64
Area code 985
Location of Houma in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Houma /ˈhmə/[1] is a city in and the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana,[2] and the largest principal city of the Houma–Bayou CaneThibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's powers of government have been absorbed by the parish, which is now run by the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government. The population was 33,727 at the 2010 census, an increase of 1,334 over the 2000 tabulation of 32,393. The city is nearly two thirds white.[3]

Many unincorporated areas are adjacent to the city of Houma; the largest, Bayou Cane, is an urbanized area commonly referred to by locals as being part of Houma. It is not included in the city's census counts, and is a separate census-designated place. If the populations of the urbanized census-designated places were included with that of the city of Houma, the total would exceed 60,000 residents. The city was named after the historic Native American tribe of Houma people, believed to be related to the Choctaw. The United Houma Nation Tribe is recognized by the state of Louisiana, although it has not achieved federal recognition.

Houma was rated as an "Affordable" city by Demographia's International Housing Survey.[4]


Houma was founded by European Americans in 1834 at a former settlement of the Houma. It was incorporated in 1848, and again in 1898.

Civil War

In 1862, four Union soldiers en route by wagon from New Orleans to Houma were ambushed by several armed citizens. Two of the Union men were killed, and the other two were seriously wounded. In retaliation, Union officers brought 400 Union troops into Houma, where they began a wholesale arrest of residents. In his 1963 book, the historian John D. Winters describes the events:

"The investigation of the murders lasted several days but failed to reveal the guilty parties. To frighten the citizens, the home of a Doctor Jennings was burned, two other houses were torn down, and the home and slave quarters of an outlying plantation were burned. The soldiers next began to seize sheep, cattle, mules, wagons, and saddle horses. Negroes began to desert their masters and to flock to the protection of the troops. The frightened citizens had no means of resistance, and many found it hard to stand by and see their country despoiled by a few hundred troops."[5]

Munitions Raid

In the summer of 1961, a cache of munitions located in Houma was raided by a group of men who claimed to be "liberating" the weaponry as per the instructions of the CIA. The raid included certain individuals who would later become entwined with the New Orleans aspects of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy. David Ferrie and Guy Banister were two of the men who participated in the raid, and were also accused of involvement in the plot to kill Kennedy because of the president's attempts at peace with Cuba and Vietnam. These accusations were the result of an investigation by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who is well known for his attempts at uncovering a conspiracy surrounding the assassination.


Houma is located at 29°35′15″N 90°42′58″W / 29.58750°N 90.71611°W / 29.58750; -90.71611 (29.587614, -90.716108)[6] and has an elevation of 10 feet (3.0 m)[7]. BY SQ

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), of which 14.0 square miles (36 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.92%) is water.


As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 33,727 people, 10,634 households, and 16,283 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,308.5 people per square mile (891.4/km²). There were 12,514 housing units at an average density of 891.8 per square mile (344.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.46% White, 26.12% Black or African American, 3.45% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.76% of the population.

There were 11,634 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,471, and the median income for a family was $40,679. Males had a median income of $35,897 versus $22,202 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,720. About 16.4% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.7% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.


Houma and the surrounding communities are steeped in Cajun tradition and culture, a creolization of Native American, Acadian and African traditions. The area is famous for its food, fishing, swamps, music, and hospitality. Houma is also known for its Mardi Gras festivities.

Downtown Houma has been listed as a significant historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. It offers a downtown walking tour and attractions such as the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum, the Folklife Culture Center, the Regional Military Museum, Southdown Plantation, the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, monuments to local armed forces, and local eateries.

Although Houma is quickly changing, many residents in the surrounding communities continue to make their living as their ancestors did. They are shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, fishermen, and trappers, although more are beginning to work in occupations of the oil industry and ship building. Many long-standing traditions and lifestyles remain as part of the area's rich cultural history. Houma is also the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, and home to Louisiana's second-oldest high school, Terrebonne High School.

In popular culture

  • Houma and the surrounding area are the setting for the fictional Swamp Thing comic books, the 1994 V. C. Andrews book Ruby, and the 2005 film The Skeleton Key (which was not filmed in Houma or Terrebonne Parish).
  • The 1996 film The Apostle was partially filmed in Terrebonne Parish.
  • The 1999 films Crazy in Alabama and A Lesson Before Dying were partially filmed in Houma. Many wetlands shots in the IMAX production Hurricane on the Bayou were filmed in the area.
  • The HBO documentary The Recruiter followed the life of an Army recruiter and several of his recruits from Houma.
  • Several scenes from the 2013 film The Butler, staring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey were filmed in downtown Houma. [9]

Mass media

The local newspaper is The Courier. It was founded in 1878 as Le Courrier de Houma by the French-born Lafayette Bernard Filhucan Bazet. He first published it in four-page, half-French half-English editions. Sold to The New York Times Company in 1980, it is now part of the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group.[10]

The Tri-Parish Times is also located in Houma. The newspaper is a weekly publication with a website updated daily. It serves the Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Mary parishes. Owned by the Guidry Group, Inc., it has provided local news for almost 10 years.[11]

The area's only local broadcast TV station KFOL-CD is located in Houma. KFOL, also known as HTV, produces a weeknight newscast, followed by local phone calls and guests. Other shows include Sportsman's Paradise and One on One. KFOL broadcasts in digital on channel 30.1.

The statewide TV network LCN-TV produces original Louisiana programming which showcases Louisiana's entertainment, culture, talent and industry. LCN-TV is delivered to all media distributors. Debuted in 2007, LCN-TV continues to produce Louisiana TV shows for the U.S.


Houma is served by Houma-Terrebonne Airport, located 3 miles southeast of the central business district.

Twin town

In June 2012, Terrebonne Parish signed a letter of intent to become a sister city with Weihai, China, for economic development purposes.[12]

Notable people



External links

  • Houma Today (website of The Courier newspaper)
  • Terrebonne Economic Development Authority, Official Website

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