Louisiana (Looiziah'na), one of the Gulf states of the American Union, extends 200 miles from N. to S. and 290 from E. to W. Its land area, including the marshes bordering on the Gulf, is 40,790 sq. m.; its inland waters cover 2328 sq. m.; total area, 43,118 sq. m. This area is divided nearly equally between alluvial lands and uplands. The mean elevation above sea-level is 75 feet, the highest point 484 feet. For 25 miles inland from the Gulf, marshes subject to tidal flow cover one-eighth of the state's entire surface; low, sandy pine flats and prairie lands occupy about one-eighteenth each, arable lands one-eighth, the flood-plains near the rivers one-tenth, and bluff lands, pine hills, and uplands more than one-fifth each. Most of the large rivers flow above the level of the surrounding country on ridges formed by their own deposits, and the plains around, protected by dykes (called levees), slope away into dense, wooded swamps. The bottom-lands of the Mississippi are from 20 to 70 miles in breadth, those of the Red, Ouachita, and other streams range from 6 to 20 miles. The uplands embrace all the northern and north-eastern parts of the state, inclining gently towards the south, and crossing these are bluff lands, extending through the alluvial lands to the Gulf, and forming wonderful 'islands' covered with vegetation. Nor is the immense plain surrounding these bluffs ever inundated, but elevated and fertile, traversed by deep ' bayous' - minor and tributary streams. Even in the coast marshes occasionally an island-hill rises, with soil firm and fertile ; and at other points cattle graze, whilst thousands of acres yearly are being drained and reclaimed and planted with rice. Besides the Mississippi the chief rivers are the Red, Sabine, Ouachita, and Pearl; there are also several lakes. The forests are dense with trees - pine, cypress, oaks, cotton-wood, magnolia, poplar, beech, etc. Fruits are abundant, oranges and figs the most important. The staple crops are cotton, sugar, rice, and maize. The principal manufactures are shingles and tanks, cotton-seed oil, machinery, tobacco, and clothing and boots and shoes (by machinery), besides the cleaning and polishing of rice and the refining of sugar and molasses. The only mineral of importance is rock-salt, which is found in inexhaustible quantity at Petit Anse on Avery's Island; but hematite iron ore and sulphur have also been discovered, besides lignite. The principal city is New Orleans (pop. 287,500), the next in size, Shreveport, having only 16,020 inhabitants, and Baton Ronge (the capital) 11,270. The population is very mixed. The negroes in the country districts are somewhat in excess of the whites, of whom many are of French (called Creoles), German, or Irish descent, and some of Spanish and Italian. In most of the southern parishes French is spoken ; and Spanish also is still used in a few places. Pop. (1820) 153,407 ; (1860) 708,002 ; (1880) 939,946; (1900) 1,381,625. Louisiana was so named by La Salle in 1682 in honour of Louis XIV.; was ceded to Spain in 1762, and retroceded to France in 1800 ; was sold by Napoleon to the United States for $12,000,000 in 1803; and was admitted as a state in 1812. See the History of Louisiana by C. Gayarre (3d ed. 4 vols. 1885).