New Orleans (pop. 489,600), city in Louisiana, between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) from the river's mouth. Called the Crescent City because of its placement on a bend in the river, New Orleans is one of the world's great ports and the business and financial capital of the South. Excellent transport facilities serve the port, and the city is surrounded by oil and natural gas deposits. It is also a center of the aerospace, shipbuilding, oil and chemical industries, and has many manufacturing and processing plants. The city is famed for its French Quarter (Vieux Carré) and the Mardi Gras Carnival. It is also known as the birthplace of jazz. Its varied population includes French-speaking Creoles, who are descended from early French and Spanish settlers. The Creole cookery of New Orleans is world famous.
See also: Louisiana.