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Louisiana is one of the states constituting the United States of America. It joined the Union on April 30, 1812 as 18th state. The state's area of 47,752 square miles (123,678 square kilometers) includes more than 3,000 square miles of inland waters. Its estimated population in 2008 was 4,410,796. The state is bordered by Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and Texas to the west. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the south. The capital is Baton Rouge and its largest city is New Orleans.

The state is named after Louis XIV, who was king of France in the second half of the 17th century when the French colonized the territory. The US acquired the region from from France in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.