Baton Rouge, Louisiana Population 2020
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 221,599. The Greater Baton Rouge area, however, has a population of 825,000 while the urban area has close to 600,000 people.
Baton Rouge Diversity Statistics
Baton Rouge has a relatively 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 instead settlement based on wealth. This led Asians, Cajuns, Italians, and other 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 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 end 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.
Baton Rouge Facts
- Baton Rouge is French for "Red Stick"
- Baton Rouge has been under seven 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.
Baton Rouge Demographics
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Baton Rouge was:
- Black or African American: 54.97%
- White: 38.73%
- Asian: 3.22%
- Two or more races: 1.40%
- Other race: 1.39%
- Native American: 0.25%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%