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An international seaport with direct water connections to half the United States, New Orleans would not exist without the Mississippi River. Its roots are deep in the saturated soils of the delta; its history is a pageant of canoes, rafts, paddle-wheels, and barges from mid-America converging with sails and steamships from around the world. Under four flags New Orleans has grown from a tiny swamp outpost populated by French convicts to a major economic center, a sports-minded city of rare elegance, culture, and high spirits.
The parish is named after the Duke of Orleans, the regent of France. 2016 U.S. Census population was 391,495. The parish seat is New Orleans.