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It is also the most populous primary statistical area of any kind in Louisiana and one of the largest population centers in the Southeastern United States, with a census-estimated 1,275,762 residents as of 2017. The New Orleans metropolitan area was first defined in 1950. Following a term change by the Bureau of Labor Statistics used to define such areas; it includes Baton Rouge and other nearby communities within Iberville Parish; Hammond (though not its suburb Calumet City); Lafayette (and its suburbs Abbeville and Breaux Bridge), Lake Charles (and Sulphur), Westwego, La Place, Slidell/Saint John The Baptist Parish & St Tammany parish . Greater New Orleans is home to many famous cultural attractions including: Mardi Gras World which houses numerous float construction facilities for Carnival parades throughout Mardi Gras season; Bourbon Street ; Jackson Square ; St. Louis Cathedral , often called "the heart of French Quarter"; historic architecture found along Esplanade Avenue ; Preservation Hall , an authentic music venue showcasing jazz from around the world on Frenchmen Street .