Houma (and /ˈhuːmə/ ) is the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States, and the largest principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux 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 32,393 at the 2000 census. There are many unincorporated areas adjacent to the city of Houma; the largest, Bayou Cane, is an urbanized area commonly referred to by locals as Houma but is not included in the 2000 census count, and is in fact a separate census-designated place. The name Houma derives from the Houmas Indian tribe, not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Houma was founded in 1810 and incorporated in 1848, and again in 1898.
Houma is located at (29.587614, -90.716108) and has an elevation of . 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 (36.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.92%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 32,393 people, 11,634 households, and 8,283 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/sq mi (344.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.46% White
, 26.12% 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
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. The area is famous for its food, fishing, swamps, music, and hospitality. Houma is also known, although not as well as New Orleans
, for its Mardi Gras
festivities. Although Houma is quickly changing and developing, many of the residents in the surrounding small communities continue to make their living as their ancestors did. They are shrimpers
, and trappers. Despite the rapidly changing face of the area, many long-standing traditions and lifestyles remain to remind one of the area's rich cultural history.
The local newspaper is The Courier.
It was founded in 1878
as Le Courrier de Houma
by French-born Lafayette Bernard Filhucan Bazet. It first published in four-page, half-French half-English editions. It was sold to The New York Times Company
and is now part of the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group.
The Houma-Terrebonne area took the brunt of Hurricane Gustav on September 1, 2008. Houma was mentioned many times on national news channels such as MSNBC as the worst place to be during the storm.
Notable natives and residents
- Allen J. Ellender (1890-1972), former president pro tempore and Democratic U.S. Senator was from Houma.
- Brandon Jacobs, professional athlete.
- Martin Folse, who also owns the local News station HTV, filmed the movie Nutria Man: Terror in the Swamp in the swamps in and around Houma in 1983.
- Clarence Verdin, professional athlete.
- Dax Riggs has lived much of his life in Houma.
- Frank Lewis, professional athlete.
- Jay Pennison, professional athlete.
- Melvin Johnson, professional athlete.
- Richie Cunningham, professional athlete.
- Tab Benoit, Blues musician and co-star of the IMAX movie feature Hurricane on the Bayou, grew up in Houma and attended Vandebilt Catholic High School.
- Troy Johnson, professional athlete.
- Wally Whitehurst, professional athlete.
- Kim Willoughby, USA volleyball member, 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Blake Cole, Computer Scientist