Westwego is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located in Jefferson Parish. It is a suburban community of New Orleans in the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area and lies along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The population of the city of Westwego was 8,534 at the 2010 U.S. census, and 8,297 at the 2020 population estimates program.
One story states that Westwego was so named because it was a major crossing point on the Mississippi River during the great westward movement of the late 19th century. When travelers were asked their destination, they would often reply "west we go". Another more specific tale, recounted in John Churchill Chase's Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children is that the name was the specific outcome of an 1871 meeting of a railroad board of directors in New York, where planning was undertaken to use the site as an eastern terminus ("...west we go from there"). There has been further speculation that this use of "Westwego" as a place name may have been influenced by the board members' familiarity with the name of Oswego, New York.
The area of Westwego, Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans settled here. These indigenous people created huge shell middens that can still be seen in the vicinity today. The French first developed the area in 1719 when French minister of state LeBlanc started a plantation and a port along the Mississippi River.
The port became an important site in the history of the transatlantic slave trade.