Lake Charles is the fifth largest incorporated city in the US state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Located in Calcasieu Parish, a major cultural, industrial, and educational center in the southwest region of the state, and one of the most important in Acadiana.As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993. Lake Charles is the principal city of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area, having a population of 194,138. It is the larger principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 225,235. A 2008 population estimate of the five parish area was over 285,853.This growing city is considered a major center of petrochemical refining, tourism, gaming, and education being home to McNeese State University and Sowela. With over 75 festivals held annually, Lake Charles is referred to as the Festival Capital of Louisiana. In 2010, Bloomsberg Businessweek Magazine ranked it the number one place to raise a family in Louisiana. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is often referred to as the Lake Area.