JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY) — Jeanerette became a city in the 1950s, but according to the 2020 Census, it isn’t one any longer. The 2020 Census count considers Jeanerette a town, and that could have a big effect on the people who live here.
4,813 doesn’t seem like a significant number to most people, but it’s what currently keeping Jeanerette from future funding. To be considered a city, a municipality must have 5,000 people counted in the most recent Census. Jeanerette received its 2020 Census results this August and came back 187 people short of 5,000.
As Jeanerette Mayor Carol Bourgeois explained it, “This hurts us.”
Louisiana law divides communities into cities (5,000 people), towns (1,000-4,999 people), and villages (999 or fewer people). Mayor Bourgeois explained each has different levels of funding. He also says you can’t even qualify for some grants if you don’t have enough people, so Bourgeois petitioning the Census Bureau to take a second look at Jeanerette.
“I’m pretty certain we do have those 200 residents that make up the population of Jeanerette, and it’s so serious,” Bourgeois told News 10. “It helps us in our course as we try to do things to keep the community going.”
In 2019, Jeanerette estimated it had over 5,300 people based on voting records and populations studies. Residents of Jeanerette admit they do know some people who skipped 2020’s count, like Kathleen Rosamond’s grandson.
“He just didn’t realize he hadn’t done it. He’s young and busy working and threw it away,” Rosamond admitted.
She went door to door for the 1960 Census. Though coronavirus changed the primary methods of collecting a count, she asked, “Where did these people go? I think they’re here. They just neglected to fill out their form for whatever reason.”
Rosamond said her grandson will be one of hopefully 187 who Mayor Bourgeois is asking to call city hall and let them know you missed the count.
“It’s one of those things that a citizen can do to help its community, just allow himself to be counted,” Mayor Bourgeois concluded.
Bourgeois is speaking with state and federal officials, including Congressman Clay Higgins, to try and learn what they need to do to appeal this. If you did not get counted and live in Jeanerette, head to or call city hall, and they help.