As of the census of 2000, there were 73,266 people, 25,381 households, and 19,162 families residing in the parish. The population density was 127 people per square mile (49/km²). There were 27,844 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 65.08% White, 30.81% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.93% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.99% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home, while 1.48% speak Lao and 1.29% Spanish.
There were 25,381 households out of which 39.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% were married couples living together, 17.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the parish the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 92.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.80 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $31,204, and the median income for a family was $36,017. Males had a median income of $32,399 versus $18,174 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,145. About 20.20% of families and 23.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.50% of those under age 18 and 20.20% of those age 65 or over.