The term French Louisiana refers to two distinct regions:
Each term has been in use for many years.
Colonial French Louisiana was a part of New France. Beginning in 1682 this region, known in French as la Louisiane française, functioned as an administrative district of New France. It extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Vincennes, now in Indiana. France ceded the region to Spain and Britain in 1763 after the French and Indian War, regained it by treaty in 1800, and sold it to the United States in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase.
Greater New Orleans and the twenty-two parish cultural region known as Acadiana compose present-day French Louisiana. Although Cajun and Creole cultures dominate south Louisiana's cultural landscape, other important ethnic groups in the region include African-Americans, Native Americans, Isleños, German Coast settlers and various immigrant groups, including Vietnamese, Laotians, Filipinos and a growing number of Hispanics. In addition, some French Louisiana influences can be found in cities adjacent to the region, such as Alexandria and Baton Rouge.