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Lafayette is a city on the Vermilion River in Lafayette Parish, in the U.S. state of Louisiana.
Lafayette is the parish seat.
As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 110,257; a 2006 census estimate put the metro area's
population at 254,432, while in the same year, a census estimate put the city's population at 114,214.
It is the fourth largest incorporated city in the state. It is the principal city of the Lafayette-Acadiana,
LA Combined Statistical Area, which, in 2006, had an estimated total population of 537,947.
The city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by a French-speaking Acadian named Jean Mouton.
In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, a French military hero 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 industry became dominant.
Lafayette has a strong tourism industry, attracted by the Cajun and Creole cultures of the surrounding region.
It has one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita of any U.S. city.
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