Lafayette is a city in southern Louisiana, the seat of government for Lafayette Parish, located on the Vermilion River. It is particularly known for its petroleum industry, Cajun cooking and music, and friendly people.
The fourth largest city in the state, Lafayette had a 2015 census population estimate of 127,657. However, if the unincorporated Metairie and Metairie Terrace in Jefferson Parish are included in the state rankings, Lafayette falls to sixth place, still comfortably ahead of its regional sister city of Lake Charles. Lafayette is called a "Hub City" because its extended area of commerce reaches to Opelousas and Morgan City, with a combined population of 627,146 in 2015.
It has a full university, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, originally known as Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute.
Lafayette has in recent yeas been a stronghold for most Republican political candidates though it voted in 2003 for Kathleen Blanco, the successful Democratic gubernatorial nominee and a resident of Lafayette.
- Drauzin Angelle, political power broker in St. Martin Parish
- J. Burton Angelle, former state representative for St. Martin Parish and secretary of wildlife and fisheries
- Robert Angelle, state representative for St. Martin Parish, 1934-1964
- Scott Angelle, former interim lieutenant governor and former public service commissioner
- Robert Angers, journalist and magazine publisher
- Kathleen Blanco, governor from 2004 to 2008
- Frem Boustany, Sr., businessman and civic figure
- Charles and Virginia de Gravelles, Republican politicians
- Kevin Faulk, running back for the New England Patriots
- Ron Gomez, conservative state representative, 1980–1989; journalist and businessman
- Patrick LeBlanc, businessman who designed more than twenty-five prisons and correctional centers in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas
- Moon Griffon, statewide radio talk show host; broadcasts from Lafayette
- Josh Guillory, mayor-president of Lafayette Parish since January 2020
- Bobby John, businessman, co-founder of J&J Exterminating Company
- John L. Loos, Louisiana State University historian; retired to Lafayette
- Hall M. Lyons, businessman and politician
- Louis J. Michot, businessman and former state education superintendent
- Michael J. Michot, businessman who served from 1996 to 2012 in both houses of the state legislature
- Roderick Miller, Republican former state representative
- Gil Pinac, hospital administrator and former state representative
- Grover Rees, III, Lafayette attorney and former United States Ambassador to East Timor
- Beth Rickey, Republican activist who exposed neo-Nazi ties of David Duke
- Asma Boustany Saloom, owner for more than fifty years of the Lafayette department store Saloom's
- Kaliste Saloom, Jr., Lafayette city judge from 1953 to 1993
- Gus Weill, political consultant and author