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In 1900, 6,815 people lived in New Iberia; in 1910, 7,499; and in 1940, 13,747. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census and 30,617 in 2010, a decrease of 2,006, or 6.2 percent, over the previous decade.
In 1814, a decade after the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase, the federal government opened a post office here. It was officially known as "New Iberia," but postmarks of the time show that the town was being called "Nova Iberia" (with Latin for "new"). The town was incorporated as "Iberia" in 1839; the state legislature resolved the situation in 1847, naming the town New Iberia.
During the American Civil War, New Iberia was occupied by Union forces under GeneralNathaniel P. Banks. The soldiers spent the winter of 1862-1863 at New Iberia and, according to historianJohn D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University in his The Civil War in Louisiana, "found the weather each day more and more severe. The dreary days dragged by, and the men grumbled as they plowed through the freezing rain and deep mud in performing the regular routines of camp life." Banks' men from New Iberia foraged for supplies in the swamps near the city.
In 1868, Iberia Parish (county) was established, and New Iberia became the seat of parish government. At first, only rented space served for the courthouse, but by 1884 a new courthouse was completed on a landscaped lot in downtown New Iberia, at the present-day site of Bouligny Plaza. That courthouse served Iberia Parish until 1940. That year the current courthouse was built along Iberia Street, two blocks from the New Iberia downtown commercial district.
In September 2008, New Iberia was struck by Hurricane Ike. The lakes overflowed and filled the city, flooding it under several feet of dirty, brown water.
New Iberia enjoys a sub-tropical climate with above average rainfall. Among the lakes is Lake Peigneur, which was formerly a 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake until a 1980 disaster involving oil drilling and a salt mine. The lake is now a 1,300-foot (400 m) deep salt water lake, having been refilled by the Gulf of Mexico via the Delcambre Canal. There is also Lake Tasse, better known as Spanish Lake. This region has many natural features of interest, such as Avery Island, famous for its Tabasco sauce factory, deposits of rock salt, and Jungle Gardens.
There were 11,756 households, out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,079, and the median income for a family was $30,828. Males had a median income of $30,289 versus $16,980 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,084. About 24.9% of families and 29.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 20.8% of those age 65 or over.
Jefferson Island, a wooded "island" atop a large column of salt. Located on Jefferson Island is a former salt mine, botanical garden, rookery, nursery, as well as the historic Victorian Jefferson Mansion.
The Iberia Community Band hosts four public concerts throughout the year and is open to amateur, student, and professional band instrumentalists of all ages and skill levels.
The Iberia Performing Arts League, also known as IPAL, is a community theater organization. It generally presents five major productions per year and a summer youth play or activity.
The city used to hold a statue of Roman emperor Hadrian. It was located on the corner of Weeks and St. Peter Streets.
New Iberia hosts the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival in September. Sugar Cane Festival, celebrates the commencement of the sugar cane harvest, locally referred to as grinding.Sugar cane is a principal crop grown by New Iberia farmers.
El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia, in November.
World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off, on the second full weekend in October.
Cajun Hot Sauce Festival, in April, includes hot sauce competition, jambalaya cook-off, and the Cajun hot sauce festival queen pageant.
Great Gator Race
Acadiana Dragon Boat Races (previously The Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival), in March.
Highland Baptist Christian School is a private Baptist K-12 school in New Iberia.
This is a list of notable people from New Iberia, Louisiana. It includes people who were born/raised in, lived in, or spent portions of their lives in New Iberia, or for whom New Iberia is a significant part of their identity, as well as music groups founded in New Iberia. This list is in alphabetical order.