Baton Rouge (/ˌbætən ˈruːʒ/ BAT-ən ROOZH; from French bâton rouge [bɑtɔ̃ ʁuʒ] (listen), meaning ‘red stick’) is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana. It is the 99th most populous city in the United States, and second-largest city in Louisiana after New Orleans. It is also the 16th most populous state capital. As of the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2018 estimate, Baton Rouge had a population of 221,599, down from 229,493 at the 2010 census. Baton Rouge is the center of Greater Baton Rouge, the second-largest metropolitan area in Louisiana, with a population of 834,159 as of 2017, up from 802,484 in 2010 and 829,719 in 2015.
Baton Rouge is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana. It lies on a low elevation of 56 to a little over 62 feet above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area 79.1 square miles (204.9 km), of which 76.8 square miles (198.9 km) are land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km) (2.81%) are covered by water. The city is located on the first set of bluffs north of the Mississippi River Delta’s coastal plains. Because of its prominent location along the river and on the bluffs, which prevents flooding, the French built a fort in the city in 1719. Baton Rouge is the third-southmost capital city in the continental United States, after Austin, Texas, and Tallahassee, Florida. It is the cultural and economic center of the Greater Baton Rouge area.
As of the census of 2010, 229,553 people, and per the 2010 census, 88,973 households, and 52,672 families resided in the city. The 2000 population density was 2,964.8 people per square mile (1,144.7/km²). The 97,388 housing units averaged 1,267.3 per square mile (489.4/km²).
According to the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the city was 54.54% Black or African American, 39.37% White, 0.5% Native American, 3.5% Asian, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos were 3.5% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 37.8% of the population, down from 70.5% in 1970.
Of all households, 28.1% had children under the age of 18, 35.8% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were not families. About 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city, the population was distributed as 24.4% under the age of 18, 17.5% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,368, and for a family was $40,266. Males had a median income of $34,893 versus $23,115 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,512. About 18.0% of families and 24.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those ages 65 or over.
At the 2005–2007 American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates, 32.4% of the population had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Christianity is the most prevalent religion practiced in Baton Rouge according to Sperling’s BestPlaces. There is a large Catholic influence in the city and metro area (22.6%), owing in part to Spanish and French colonialism, though Baptists maintain the second largest influence (20.0%). Other large Christian bodies in the area include Methodists, Anglicans or Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Latter-Day Saints, and Lutherans. Christians including Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Metropolitan Community Church, Christian Unitarians, and the Eastern Orthodox among others collectively make up 14% of the study’s Other Christian demographic.
The second largest religion in Baton Rouge is Islam (0.4%). There are currently six mosques in Baton Rouge, primarily affiliated with Sunni Islam. Religious Jews make up 0.2% of Baton Rouge’s religious population, and 0.6% identify with eastern faiths including Buddhism and Hinduism.
70801-70817, 70819-70823, 70825-70827, 70831, 70833, 70835-70837, 70874, 70879, 70883, 70884, 70892-70896, 70898