DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
|Parish of DeSoto|
|Named for||settler, Marcel DeSoto|
|Largest municipality||Stonewall (area)|
|• Total||2,320 km2 (895 sq mi)|
|• Land||2,270 km2 (876 sq mi)|
|• Water||50 km2 (19 sq mi)|
|• percentage||5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|• Density||12/km2 (30/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Website||DeSoto Parish Government|
DeSoto Parish (French: Paroisse DeSoto) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish was formed in 1843. At the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 26,656; at the 2020 census, its population increased to 26,812. Its parish seat is Mansfield. DeSoto Parish is part of the Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan statistical area.
It is a typical misconception that the parish was named after Hernando de Soto, the Spaniard who explored the future southeastern United States and discovered and named the Mississippi River. The parish was in fact named after the unrelated Marcel DeSoto, who led the first group of European settlers there, to a settlement historically known as Bayou Pierre. The parish's name is also commonly misspelled following the explorer's name as "De Soto Parish," but it is properly spelled following the settler's name as "DeSoto Parish."
The Battle of Mansfield was fought in DeSoto Parish on April 8, 1864. General Alfred Mouton was killed in the fighting, but his position was carried forward by Prince de Polignac, a native of France. The battle is commemorated at the Mansfield State Historic Site four miles south of Mansfield off Louisiana Highway 175. The Confederate victory prevented a planned Union invasion thereafter of Texas. Mansfield, also known as the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, a Confederate victory, occurred with one year and one day left in the duration of the war. Mansfield was quickly followed by the Battle of Pleasant Hill to the south.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 895 square miles (2,320 km2), of which 876 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (2.1%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||9,586||35.75%|
|Hispanic or Latino||762||2.84%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 26,812 people, 10,821 households, and 7,254 families residing in the parish. At the 2019 American Community Survey, there were 10,821 households.
In 2019, the racial and ethnic makeup of the parish was 58.8% non-Hispanic or Latino white, 35.3% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Asian, <0.0% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.1% some other race, 1.9% two or more races, and 2.9% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.
There were 10,821 households at the 2019 census estimates, and the home-ownership rate was 71.3%. Of the 7,716 owner-occupied units, 3,917 were married couples living together, 365 male households with no female present, and 896 female households with no male present. There was a 17.1% vacancy rate in the parish. The average family size was 3.07, and the average household size was 2.50.
In the parish, 75.5% were aged 18 and older, and 17.2% were aged 65 and older; the median age was 39.3, and 6.5% were aged 5 and under. Approximately 0.8% of the population were foreign-born, and 2.1% spoke a language other than English at home.
The median income for a household in the parish was $46,006; families had a median income of $56,323, married couples had a median income of $78,090, and non-family households had a median income of $25,314. An estimated 22% of the parish lived at or below the poverty line, and 30.6% of people aged under 18 were at or below the poverty line.
Public schools in DeSoto Parish are operated by the DeSoto Parish School Board. It is in the service area of Bossier Parish Community College.
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