Category Archives: Research

Lost in Louisiana’s Metros

Louisiana has nine Metropolitan Statistical areas, which includes all of our major cities and 34 of our 64 parishes. 82% of the population of Louisiana lives in one of these Metro areas. These are not all urban areas. Extremely rural parishes including Union and Grant are included in these areas.

So how are we doing at reaching Louisiana’s Metros? 

Combined – Link with Metro by Metro Breakdown

  • 3,655,086, live in Louisiana’s Metros
  • 76.5% are potentially spiritually lost
  • 26.2% or 957,829 are evangelicals
  • 3.1% or 111,486 attend a SBC Church
  • There are 956 SBC churches in our Metros, which means there is 1 church for 3,823 residents.

Data on each Metro area individually:

By Population: 

Metro Population
New Orleansincludes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, St. James 1,167,866
Baton Rougeincludes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana 802,484
Lafayetteincludes Lafayette, St. Martin, Acadia, Iberia, Vermilion 426,897
Shreveport-Bossierincludes Bossier, Caddo, De Soto  398,594
Houma-Thibincludes Lafourche, Terrebonne 208,178
Lake Charlesincludes Calcasieu, Cameron 199,607
Monroe – includes Ouachita, Union 176,441
Alexandria – includes Grant, Rapides  153,922
Tangipahoa  121,097

By Potential Lostness: 

Metro Lost % Lost
Tangipahoa 98,743 81.5%
New Orleans 921,058 78.9%
Baton Rouge 615,413 76.7%
Shreveport-Bossier 301,040 75.5%
Monroe 132,834 75.2%
Lafayette 316,971 74.2%
Houma-Thib 153,567 73.8%
Alexandria 113,342 73.6%
Lake Charles 143,782 72.0%

By Evangelical Population: 

Metro Evang % Evang
Houma-Thib 22,651 10.9%
Lafayette 61,335 14.4%
New Orleans 186,390 16.0%
Tangipahoa 34,691 28.6%
Baton Rouge 241,123 30.0%
Lake Charles 61,906 31.0%
Shreveport-Bossier 189,528 47.5%
Alexandria 73,499 47.8%
Monroe 86,706 49.1%

By SBC Attendance and Churches: 

Metro SBC Attenders % SBC  SBC Churches Church to Population
Houma-Thib 2,477 1.2% 29 1 / 7,179
Lafayette 6,653 1.6% 60 1 / 7,115
New Orleans 24,473 2.1% 191 1 / 6,114
Baton Rouge 22,194 2.8% 192 1 / 4,709
Tangipahoa 4,450 3.7% 60 1 / 2,018
Lake Charles 8,221 4.1% 64 1 / 3,119
Shreveport-Bossier 17,764 4.5% 146 1 / 2,730
Monroe 13,438 7.6% 99 1 / 1,782
Alexandria 11,816 7.7% 115 1 / 1,338

Lost in Louisiana

Jesus said he came “to seek and to save the lost” Luke 19:10

The Baptist Faith and Message says that it “is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ… to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ.”

Being spiritually lost is described in the Bible as being alienatedfrom God, guided by the flesh, perishing, under wrath, and many more terrifying descriptions for the present and eternal life of an individual. Followers of Christ must be committed to follow His example and command to seek and save the lost.

One of the assumptions that kills the mission to the lost is that we think most people are already saved or have a church they attend. Below is a compilation of Parish by Parish data that shows how many are potentially lost, how many evangelicals there are, and how many attend southern baptist churches across Louisiana.

The tool used calculates Spiritual Lostness by:

  • # of non religious adherents + cults
  • # of Christian adherents (all denominations including Roman Catholics) minus 60% of total (using Barna’s figure that 60% of people that claim to be Christian, do not profess to believe in Christ as a means of salvation)
  • Add 60% to non-adherents + cults = number of lost individuals
  • Also shown is how many may be reached by a non-traditional or new church. 50% of the lost say they would attend church if invited. So, 50% would not. These are the radically unreached.

Yes. You can probably poke holes in the data, or you can say, “What if this is true?” – “What will it take to reach that many people in my community?” “Is my church able to reach the lost as it is?” “What am I doing to change these numbers?” If you could start a movement to reach thousands of lost in your community or region or the state, what would it to look like?

  • SBC Attendance numbers are from 2018 Annual Church Profile Data.
  • Population figures are from the 2010 Census. We’ll be looking forward to updating this with new 2020 Data in the very near future.
  • Data on Adherents is mostly from The Association of Religious Data Archives –


Lostness Across Louisiana

  • Parish by Parish LINK (includes populaton, evangelical population, SBC attendance, church to population ratio)
  • Louisiana Worksheet LINK 


  • Estimate shows that 76% of Louisiana may be spiritually lost. That is over 3.4 million!
  • 28% of Louisiana’s population are evangelicals.
  • 26% are Roman Catholic.
  • 41% are none’s or non-affiliated.
  • Only 3.5% of Louisianians attend an SBC church. Less than 8% of the population are resident members of an SBC church.

If you add all these numbers to the fact that baptisms, worship attendance, and Bible Study attendance are all down and at historic lows for Southern Baptist in Louisiana, it points to our need of a movement of God to turn the tide of lostness in our state. Revitalization? Yes! Crusade Evangelism? Yes! Sunday School Growth? Yes! Church Planting? Yes! We need all hands and all ideas on deck!

How goes it in your Parish? 

Here are Parish by Parish Worksheets on Lostness throughout Louisiana –

  1. Acadia Parish
  2. Allen Parish
  3. Ascension Parish
  4. Assumption Parish
  5. Avoyelles Parish
  6. Beauregard Parish
  7. Bienville Parish
  8. Bossier Parish
  9. Caddo Parish
  10. Calcasieu Parish
  11. Caldwell Parish
  12. Cameron Parish
  13. Catahoula Parish
  14. Claiborne Parish
  15. Concordia Parish
  16. De Soto Parish
  17. East Baton Rouge Parish
  18. East Carroll Parish
  19. East Feliciana Parish
  20. Evangeline Parish
  21. Franklin Parish
  22. Grant Parish
  23. Iberia Parish
  24. Iberville Parish
  25. Jackson Parish
  26. Jefferson Davis Parish
  27. Jefferson Parish
  28. Lafayette Parish
  29. Lafourche Parish
  30. LaSalle Parish
  31. Lincoln Parish
  32. Livingston Parish
  33. Madison Parish
  34. Morehouse Parish
  35. Natchitoches Parish
  36. Orleans Parish
  37. Ouachita Parish
  38. Plaquemines Parish
  39. Pointe Coupee Parish
  40. Rapides Parish
  41. Red River Parish
  42. Richland Parish
  43. Sabine Parish
  44. St. Bernard Parish
  45. St. Charles Parish
  46. St. Helena Parish
  47. St. James Parish
  48. St. John the Baptist Parish
  49. St. Landry Parish
  50. St. Martin Parish
  51. St. Mary Parish
  52. St. Tammany Parish
  53. Tangipahoa Parish
  54. Tensas Parish
  55. Terrebonne Parish
  56. Union Parish
  57. Vermilion Parish
  58. Vernon Parish
  59. Washington Parish
  60. Webster Parish
  61. West Baton Rouge Parish
  62. West Carroll Parish
  63. West Feliciana Parish
  64. Winn Parish

74% of Louisiana’s Population is Urban?

Louisiana_population_mapGearing up for a little research project on Louisiana’s ten largest cities. I’ve heard the stat, 80% of people now live in cities or urban areas in the U.S., so I wanted to see where Louisiana fit into that. I was thinking New Orleans, Baton Rouge, maybe Shreveport would be our urban areas. Well, according to the Census Bureau, part of that 80% would also include residents of Bogalusa, Livonia, & Sunset. The Census Bureau now defines urban in two ways:

  • UA – Urbanized Areas which has 50,000 or more people.
  • UC – Urban Clusters which are areas with 2,500 – 50,000 people. That’s right! 2,500 people!

I actually found the document that list all of these from Louisiana (download it here). The list includes Winnfield & Jena (where I grew up wearing camo to school!), Oakdale, Springhill, & a lot of other small towns most would consider rural! It’s actually harder to notice a Louisiana town NOT listed than it is otherwise.

Louisiana has 11 Urbanized Areas with 50,000+  – Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Mandeville/Covington, Monroe/West Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, Slidell – & 64 Urban Clusters with 2,500-50,000 residents. 3.3 million of Louisiana’s 4.5 million in population live in one of these 75 areas.

The United States has 486 Urbanized areas with about 309 million residents or 71% of the population & 3,087 Urban Clusters with about 29 million residents or 9.5% of the population. So, 71% of the population live in areas with 50,000 or more residents. 80% of the population lives in areas with 2,500 or more residents. 

Now, the point of expanding population density in the U.S. is still well noted. The population in Urbanized Areas grew by 2.9% in the last census cycle & Urban Cluster population declined by 1.2%. However, when you hear a report on America’s expanding urban population & how many people are moving to the cities, read deeply & see if they’re using these Census Bureau definitions. If so, just remember that for the Census Bureau, counting people moving into the cities, may mean they’re moving to Bunkie Louisiana, population 4,092.

Data on SBC Impact on Louisiana’s largest cities still forthcoming.


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