Baton Rouge Population 2017

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and located in East Baton Rouge Parish along the Mississippi River. The city is a large research, medical, technology and industrial center of the South. Baton Rouge is located 157 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and 80 miles out of New Orleans.

Baton Rouge is the second-largest metropolitan city in Louisiana with a population estimated at 230,000. The Greater Baton Rouge area, however, has a population of 825,000 while the urban area has close to 600,000 people.

Baton Rouge Demographics

At the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Baton Rouge was:

  • Black or African American: 50.4%
  • White: 40.8% (non-Hispanic: 37.8%)
  • Asian: 3.5%
  • Native American: 0.5%
  • Two or more races: 1.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 3.5%

Baton Rouge has a fairly high female-to-male ratio with 90.5 males for every 100 females, or only 86.3 males for every 100 females over 18. A quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

It's very common to hear a French accent in Baton Rouge today, with more than one-third of the population of Louisiana having French ancestry. Interestingly, Baton Rouge did not develop ethnic neighborhoods like most developing cities but rather settlement based on wealth. This led Asians, Cajuns, Italians and Europeans to live side-by-side, although the black community was the exception.

Over the last 50 years, there has been a great deal of migration of black people from the rural areas to the urban area of Baton Rouge. In 1960, the city was only 30% black,

Baton Rouge History

The area of Baton Rouge has been inhabited since at least 8000 BC, with mounds built by hunter-gatherers that are more than 1,000 years older than the pyramids of Egypt.

The history of modern-day Baton Rouge goes back to 1699, when a French explorer named Sieur d'Iberville led an expedition party up the Mississippi River and found a red-colored cypress pole with bloody animals marking the boundary between tribal hunting grounds. This pole and the area were called le baton rouge, or the red stick. In 1719, Baton Rouge was established as a French military outpost.

The French lost Baton Rouge to the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1736 but maintained a fort through 1779. It was then that the Spanish governor in New Orleans sent an army to the city and captured it from the British. It then stayed under Spanish rule until 1810 when local residents -- primarily Anglo-Americans -- took the city and proclaimed the Republic of West Florida. Baton Rouge was an independent republic for 74 days until the Americans in New Orleans raised the American flag.

Baton Rouge was incorporated in 1817 and became the capital of the state in 1849. By the state of the Civil War, it had a population of 5,500, which grew to more than 10,000 by 1893.

Baton Rouge Population Growth

Baton Rouge has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the South with a population that exploded briefly after Hurricane Katrina when it accepted about 200,000 displaced residents. It is still one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country among areas with a population under one million. Last year, the city was ranked number one in the country for economic growth.

The city is now experiencing stagnant population growth while the suburbs are growing quickly. In 2013, the city's population was 229,400, about 580 less than the previous year and 0.03% down from 2010.

Baton Rouge Facts

  • Baton Rouge is French for "Red Stick"
  • Baton Rouge has been under 7 governments: French, English, Spanish, West Floridian, Louisiana, Confederate and American.
  • Baton Rouge was an independent republic for 74 days.
  • The city's port is the 9th largest in the U.S. in terms of shipped tonnage.
  • Baton Rouge's State Capital Building is the tallest in the country.
Year Population Change
2015 228,590 -0.40%
2010 229,493 0.70%
2000 227,818 3.80%
1990 219,531 -0.40%
1980 220,394 32.80%
1970 165,921 8.90%
1960 152,419 21.30%
1950 125,629 261.80%
1940 34,719 13.00%
1930 30,729 41.10%
1920 21,782 46.20%
1910 14,897 32.20%
1900 11,269 7.50%
1890 10,478 45.60%
1880 7,197 10.80%
1870 6,498 19.70%
1860 5,428 39.00%
1850 3,905 69.80%
1840 2,300 0.00%

Baton Rouge Population in 2017 Source: Michael Maples, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Baton Rouge Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 88,856 38.74%
Black or African American 126,089 54.98%
American Indian and Alaska Native 438 0.19%
Asian 7,974 3.48%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 12 0.01%
Some Other Race 1,863 0.81%
Two or More Races 4,121 1.80%

Population Pyramid

Baton Rouge Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 102,209
Owner-Occupied Units 44,233
Renter-Occupied Units 44,243
Median Home Value $156,400
Median Rent $788
Vacancy Rate 13.4%
Houses With Mortgage 26,301
Houses Without Mortgage 17,932
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 5

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Baton Rouge for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 6% and the labor force participation rate is 64%.

Baton Rouge Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.49
Average Family Size 3.3
Married Couple Families 26,097
Male Householder (no wife) Families 4,769
Female Householder (no husband) Families 16,816
Non Family Households
Unmarried Martner Households (Opposite Sex) 6%
Unmarried Martner Households (Same Sex) 0.3%