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City of Gretna

  •   State: 
    Jefferson Parish
      County FIPS: 
    29°54′59″N 90°03′15″W
      Area total: 
    4.50 sq mi (11.64 km²)
      Area land: 
    4.04 sq mi (10.45 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.46 sq mi (1.19 km²)
    0 ft (0 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    New Orleans-Metairie, LA
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    4,413.78 residents per square mile of area (1,704.37/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Gretna is the second-largest city in, and parish seat of, Jefferson Parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It lies on the west bank of the Mississippi River, just east and across the river from uptown New Orleans. The city and its police received considerable press coverage when, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, people who attempted to escape from New Orleans by walking over the Crescent City Connection bridge were turned back at gunpoint. Four federal civil lawsuits were filed against the city for violation of civil rights. The famous food and spice company Zatarain's, founded in 1889 in New Orleans, has been located in Gretna since 1963. In the 1940 census, Gretna had a population of 10,879. In 2010, there were 17,734 people residing in the city limits. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.2 km²) and 0.5 sq km² (1.0 mi) of land. The population was 17,814 at the 2020 U.S. census. The 2019 American Survey determined there were 7,156 households and 3,156 families residing in city limits in the 2019 Community Survey determined that the city's population would rise to 17,914 in the 2020 census. It is located at 29°5459N 90°315W (29.916459, -90.054260) and has an elevation of 0 feet (0 m) behind the levee along the Mississippi river.


Gretna is the primary city name, but also Terrytown are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Gretna. Gretna was settled in 1836, originally as Mechanikham, growing with a station on the Mississippi River for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The famous food and spice company Zatarain's, founded in 1889 in New Orleans, has been located in Gretna since 1963. In the 1940 census, Gretna had a population of 10,879. The city and its police received considerable press coverage when, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, people who attempted to escape from New Orleans by walking over the Crescent City Connection bridge were turned back at gunpoint by City of Gretna Police. Four federal civil lawsuits were filed against the city for violation of civil rights. Two were dismissed, and in a third the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office settled with a family from Algiers for $10,000. A fourth federal case, involving Regional Transit Authority workers, was scheduled to go to trial in April 2011. The city enacted the blockade after a spate of door-to-door robberies began in Gretina and stores at the Oakwood Mall were looted and burned. Residents of Gretina were themselves required to evacuate after a few days. According to eyewitnesses, some officers threatened to shoot those coming from New. Orleans as they attempted to cross into Gretna on foot, shots were fired overhead, and downdraft from a police helicopter was used to help clear refugees from the bridge. Though she had ID to prove her status as a resident, she said instead of checking it police ordered her to turn back, used racial slurs, and fired a warning shot over her head.


Gretna is located at 29°5459N 90°315W (29.916459, -90.054260) and has an elevation of 0 feet (0 m) behind the levee along the Mississippi River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10 km²), of which 3.5 sq mi (9.1 km²) is land and 0.4sq mi (1.0 km²") is water. The city is located on the banks of the Mississippi, which is a tributary of the Red River. The Mississippi River flows through the city, which has a population of about 2,000. The Red River flows into the Little Red River, which runs through the center of the city. The Little Red and Little Red rivers meet at the city of Gretna, and flow into the Arkansas River at the Arkansas-Mississippi border. The river is a major source of water for the Red and Mississippi rivers, and the Red Rivers flow through the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers. The Arkansas River is also a major water source for the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, which flow through Gretna. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a base station in Gretna that is located near the city's downtown area. The Army Corps has a depot that is used to maintain the river levee and to maintain water levels in the area. It is also used as a water supply for the Little River River.


According to the 2020 United States census, there were 17,814 people residing in the city. In 2020, the racial and ethnic makeup was 41.24% non-Hispanic white, 32.96% Black or African American, 2.75% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.81% multiracial or some other race, and 18.73% Hispanic and Latino American of any race. The growth of Hispanic or Latino Americans reflected nationwide demographic trends of diversification and identity. The median household income in Gretna was $47,244. Approximately 17.8% of the population lived at or below the poverty line. In 2010, the median income for a household in theCity was $28,065. The per capita income for the city was $15,735. The city's median age was 36 years, higher than Louisiana’s median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females,there were 100.1 males. For each 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.3 males. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.06. The age distribution of the city shows 23.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. In 2019, the Racial and Ethnic makeup of the City was 44.9%Non-Hispanic White, 35.5% Black and African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native.

Government and infrastructure

The U.S. Postal Service operates the Gretna Post Office. The city has a police department that was established in 1913. In July 2019 it was reported that two officers were fired for threatening United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In 2016, press reports indicated that local police made 6,566 adult arrests in 2013, a rate about fourteen times that of a typical city. Such arrests may have generated over $5 million in fines and other revenue for the city. It is estimated that the city's population is about 2,000 people. It has a population of about 1,500 people, and a population growth rate of about 2% per year. The average income is about $30,000 per year, and the city has an average population of 1,400. The population is expected to grow to 2,500 by the end of the year. It currently has an unemployment rate of 1.7%. The city's unemployment rate is about 1.8%. It is expected that the population will grow to 3,000 by the year 2020, and to 4,200 by year 2050. The rate of population growth is estimated to be about 2.7 per cent per year; it is projected to grow by 1.9 per cent by year 2023. The town has an estimated population of 2,400 people, which is about 3% higher than the national average. It also has a median income of about $28,000. The U.N. World Health Organization has a mission to improve the quality of life in Gretna. The United States Postal Service runs the city post office.


Gretna's public schools are operated by the Jefferson Parish Public Schools system. Zoned elementary schools serving sections of Gretna include Shirley T. Johnson Gretna Park Elementary School and William Hart Elementary School. Most residents are zoned to Gretna Middle School, while some are zoning to Livaudais Middle School in Terrytown. For advanced studies, residents areZoned to the Gretna Academy. Milestone Sabis Academy, a K-8 charter school, is in Gretna. The current facility, with more than 5,800 square feet (540 m2) of space, opened on March 17, 2010. The library includes a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2), meeting room that can accommodate 58 people. It is almost twice the size of the previous 3,000 square-feet (280m2) facility. In 2012 Kate Middleton Elementary, which served a portion of the city limits, closed. It was replaced by a new elementary school, which opened in 2013. The school is located in Timberlane, an unincorporated area of Jefferson Parish, and also serves portions of the City of Gretnna. It opened in 2012. The Gretna Public Library operates the Gretnans Public Library, which was opened in 2010. It has more than five thousand square feet of space and can accommodate up to 58 people in a meeting room. The public library is located on the second floor of a building that was built in the 1970s.


The German American Cultural Center (GACC), headquartered at 519 Huey P. Long Avenue, was founded in 1988. It strives to interpret the contribution of German immigrants to Louisiana's history by presenting educational opportunities such as exhibits, lectures and other programs. GACC has sponsored special events such as Maifest and Oktoberfest. The latter is a 3-day event held during the first weekend of October each year at the center. In his book "On the Road", author Jack Kerouac mentions Gretna.Portions of the movie "A Love Song for Bobby Long" were filmed in Gretna, Louisiana. Portions of "Monster's Ball" were also filmed in the town. The town is located in the U.S. Gulf Coast region of Louisiana, and is located on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. The city is home to the German-American Cultural Center, which was established in 1988 and is based in the same building as the German American Museum of Louisiana. The center is also home to Maifest, which is held every year in October. It is also the site of Oktooberfest, which takes place the second weekend in October and is one of the largest German-themed festivals in the United States. The German-Americans of Louisiana are known as the "Germans of Louisiana" and are known for their love of music and culture. The GACC also hosts the annual Maifest festival, held in October, which attracts thousands of visitors.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana = 34.8. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 40. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Gretna = 6 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 17,814 individuals with a median age of 38.1 age the population dropped by -4.02% in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 4,413.78 residents per square mile of area (1,704.37/km²). There are average 2.39 people per household in the 6,738 households with an average household income of $36,686 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.10% of the available work force and has dropped -5.43% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 23.04%. The number of physicians in Gretna per 100,000 population = 316.3.


The annual rainfall in Gretna = 64.4 inches and the annual snowfall = 0.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 98. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 216. 91 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 47 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 23, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana which are owned by the occupant = 45.33%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 48 years with median home cost = $126,720 and home appreciation of 1.19%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $3.93 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,668 per student. There are 15.5 students for each teacher in the school, 725 students for each Librarian and 165 students for each Counselor. 3.35% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 7.89% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 3.06% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Gretna's population in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana of 1,482 residents in 1900 has increased 12,02-fold to 17,814 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.10% female residents and 49.90% male residents live in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

    As of 2020 in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana are married and the remaining 53.95% are single population.

  • 26 minutes is the average time that residents in Gretna require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    73.27% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 16.42% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 4.79% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 1.14% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 45.33% are owner-occupied homes, another 45.13% are rented apartments, and the remaining 9.54% are vacant.

  • The 55.40% of the population in Gretna, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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