About St. Charles Parish

St. Charles Parish, La. is located about 20 miles upriver from New Orleans. The Mississippi River bisects the parish, and river-based commerce is a key component of its economy.  Louisiana parishes are the equivalent of counties in other states.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is the parish’s primary law enforcement agency. The Sheriff's Office is an independent agency from the parish government, which provides services other than law enforcement. The parish also has well-regarded public school and library systems.

St. Charles communities include Hahnville, Destrehan, St. Rose, Norco, New Sarpy, Des Allemands, Bayou Gauche, Boutte, Paradis, Killona, Luling, Ama, and Montz. There are no municipalities in the parish.  St. Charles is part of the Greater New Orleans area, as well as the area locally known as the "River Parishes," referring to several suburban and rural parishes along the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.


For more than 200 years, St. Charles Parish and its neighbors served as the breadbasket for New Orleans, as well as producing sugar and other export products.

Beginning in the early 20th Century, oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and granaries were built on former sugarcane fields. The riverbanks of St. Charles are now a part of the bustling Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere.

Through all of these advancements, some of the grand plantation homes remain, a reminder of an earlier era.

Recent times

Because of easy access to New Orleans, St. Charles’ population grew from about 30,000 residents in 1970 to 53,000 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. The population was almost evenly distributed between the east and west banks of the Mississippi in 2010.

The Hale Boggs Bridge over the Mississippi River on Interstate 310 was completed in 1983 and is an important transportation artery that has contributed to the growth of the region.

The Interstate highway, along with the parish’s proximity to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, has attracted dozens of shipping and cargo businesses to the St. Rose community. For additional information about opening a business here, contact St. Charles Parish's Economic Development Department.

Additional historical information can be found on the St. Charles Parish Government web site, as well as the Sheriff's Office's history page.