Ouachita Parish Profile
Ouachita Parish bears the name of the river on which Spanish explorers traveled north to establish the settlement of Fort Miro. The city would be later renamed Monroe after the first steamboat to travel upriver to open the city to more commerce. Today the City of Monroe and neighboring City of West Monroe continue to rely on the Ouachita River for commerce and recreation.

Ouachita Parish Represents the Economic Hub for Northeast Louisiana

Ranked # 4 nationally in economic development by Site Selection magazine (2011), Ouachita Parish acts as a population center and economic hub for northeast Louisiana. Recently, Ouachita Parish has seen a flurry of locations and expansions. CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S., expanded its national headquarters in Ouachita Parish. The Fortune 150 company will add another 800 new jobs, increasing the total number of new jobs created at its Louisiana headquarters to nearly 1,200. 

JP Morgan Chase, Gardner Denver Thomas and other companies have all announced expansions in Monroe, the parish seat for Ouachita Parish- a testament to the competitive advantages businesses will find here. Ouachita offers a diverse and thriving economy with:

  • a multimodal transportation system of interstate, Class 1 rail, air, and port service

  • a civilian labor force of 71,447 (February 2017)

  • five nearby universities, colleges and vocational schools

  • an estimated 2017 population of 157,532 residents,  earning a median household income of $42,001.

  • unemployment rate of 5.6% (February 2017) 

  • a stable and thriving housing market

  • numerous industrial parks and certified sites

Ouachtia Parish Communities
Ouachita Parish Demographics
Ouachita Parish Workplace Statistics
Ouachita Parish Transportation Infrastructure
Ouachita Parish Major Employers
Tax Structure: Cost of Business

Ouachita Parish Communities

• Monroe - Parish Seat  • Brownsville-Bawcomville
• Richwood • Claiborne
• Sterlington • Swartz
• West Monroe • Calhoun


Ouachita Parish Population Demographics

  2010 Census  2017 Estimate 2022 Estimate
  Population 153,720 157,532 161,332
  Households 58,691 60,759 62,527
  Median Age (2017) 35.3
  5-Year Population Growth Projection (2022) 2.39%
Race (2017 Estimate)
  White 58.82%
  African American 37.56%
  American Indian or Alaska Native 0.30%
  Asian 0.97%
  Other 2.35%
Income (2017 Estimate)
  Median Household Income $42,001
  Average Household Income $63,392
Educational Attainment (2017 Estimate)
  Some High School, No Diploma 11.27%
  High School Graduate 33.32%
  Some College or Associate Degree 26.84%
  Bachelor's Degree 16.07%
  Master's, Professional or Doctorate
Average Weekly Wage (Q3 2016)
  Average Weekly Wage $752
Source: Nielsen Segementation & Market Solutions, Pop-Fact Demographics 2017; Louisiana Workforce Commission

Ouachita Parish Transportation Infrastructure

Major Interstates     Interstate 20
Major Highways     US 80, US 165, LA 2, LA 15, LA 34 
  • Red River Port - 111 miles
  • Port of Shreveport-Bossier - 113 miles
  • Port of Natchitoches - 89.6  miles
  • Greater Ouachita Port - 2.1 miles
Class 1 Railroads
  • Arkansas & Louisiana Mississippi Railroad (ALM)
  • Kansas City Railroad (KCS)
  • Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
  • Monroe Regional Airport - 5.9 miles 

Tax Structure: Cost of Doing Business

State Corporate Income Tax

  • 4% on the first $25,000 of net income
  • 5% on the next $25,000
  • 6% on the next $50,000
  • 7% on the next $100,000
  • 8% on the excess of $200,000
  • Louisiana uses single sales factor

State Corporate Franchise Tax

  • $1.50 per $1,000 or major fraction thereof up to $300,000
  • $3.00 per $1,000 or major fraction thereof in excess of $300,000
  • The initial corporation franchise tax is $110

Unemployment Insurance Tax

  • The 2017 wage base is $7,700
  • Standard rate range is .10% - 6.2%
  • Rate for new employers is the average rate for the particular industry
  • Maximum unemployment weekly benefit is 1/2 of the claimant's previous wage earnings for 26 weeks

2016 Parishwide Millage (Property Tax) Rate 

94.7 mills*

Total Sales Taxes in Unincorporated Ouachita Parish**

East Ouachita Parish - 9.6%

West Ouachita Parish - 9.6%

Total Sales Taxes in City of Monroe

Food and Drugs - 9.99%

All other sales - 10.99%

Total Sales Taxes in Town of Richwood


Total Sales Taxes in Town of Sterlington


Total Sales Taxes in City of West Monroe


* To calculate property tax, multiply the assessed value of the property by the appropriate millage rate. The assessed value is the fair market value of the property times 10% for real property or 15% for personal property.

** Sales taxes include a 5% state tax along with a local portion

Monroe, LA

The City of Monroe is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish and the home of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. With 48,815 residents, Monroe is an integral part of the Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes all of Ouachita and Union Parishes.
Monroe has a rich entrepreneurial tradition. Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola, moved his operations to Monroe. He was one of the founders of Delta Airline, which had its start in Monroe, LA.
That entrepreneurial spirit continues with CenturyLink, which started as a rural telephone company but has evolved into a national telecommunications gaint, headquartered in Ouachita Parish. Read More