Demographics and History


The parish has a total area of 2,115 km2 (816 mi2). 1,916 km2 (740 mi2) of it is land and 198 km2 (77 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 9.38% water.

Adjacent parishes

St. Landry Parish (north)

Pointe Coupee Parish (northeast)

Iberville Parish (east)

Iberia Parish

Assumption Parish (southeast)

St. Mary Parish (southwest)

Lafayette Parish (west)

† St. Martin Parish boundaries are somewhat unique, and are not contiguous. The parish consists of two areas, separated by Iberia Parish.

The primary occupation is farming, with sugar cane being the dominant crop. The largest cities are Breaux Bridge, with 7,281 residents, and St. Martinville, the parish seat, with 6,989 residents. 

The St. Martin Parish School District serves about 8,500 students. There are 17 public schools and 3 office complexes. There are also two Catholic schools, one Episcopal school, and one "Christian" school.

St. Martin Parish is the only parish in Louisiana that is geographically split into two separate areas. Upper St. Martin Parish contains 16 schools, while Lower St. Martin Parish contains only one school. 

The city of St. Martinville is historically the original settlement of French Acadian people in Louisiana when they were expelled from Nova Scotia by the British in 1769. Thus, St. Martin Parish is truly the "Birthplace of Acadiana".


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 48,583 people, 17,164 households, and 12,975 families residing in the parish. The population density is 25/km2 (66/mi2). There are 20,245 housing units at an average density of 11/km2 (27/mi2). The racial makeup of the parish is 65.95% White, 31.98% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. 0.83% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the parish the population is spread out with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 10.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.00 males.

The median income for a household in the parish is $30,701, and the median income for a family is $36,316. Males have a median income of $30,701 versus $18,365 for females. The per capita income for the parish is $13,619. 21.50% of the population and 18.40% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 27.70% of those under the age of 18 and 22.10% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Identifying School Lots 

Many properties were donated and in some instances sold for as little as $1. Lots for schools were usually either 1 arpent (192 feet by 192 feet) or 1 acre (208.71' x 208. 71'). Some were irregular in shape.  Schools were usually located next to bayous or major roads.  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) planted pine trees and sycamore trees on school properties in the mid 1930's. 

Early Parish Superintendents 

1886-18??  E.R. Knight    -    Salary was $100 per year

1891-1893  Dr. P.D. Olivier 
1894-1900  Frank Guilbeau
1894-1900  Frank Guilbeau 
1903-1904 Dr. J. R. Olivier
1904-1906 Justin Daspit
1906-1908 A. J. Cormier
1908-1910 Leo Favrot
1911-1912 A. C. Bernard
1912-1913 A. J. Dupuis
1913-1919 F. O. Chavez
1919-1925 W. C. Perrault
1925-1963 S. J. Montegut