Baton Rouge (from the French bâton rouge), pronounced /ˈbætn ˈɹuːʒ/ in English, and /bɑtɔ̃ ʀuʒ/ in French, is the capital and the second largest city in Louisiana behind New Orleans. The effects of Hurricane Katrina have, at least temporarily, reduced the population of Orleans Parish such that East Baton Rouge Parish is currently more highly populated than Orleans Parish. Baton Rouge serves as the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish. In June 2005 East Baton Rouge Parish contained 412,000 residents. Baton Rouge is located in the southeast portion of the state along the Mississippi River. It owes its location and its historical importance to its site upon Istrouma Bluff, the first bluff upriver from the Mississippi delta, which protects the city’s 224,097 residents from flooding and other natural disasters. In addition to the natural protection, the city sports a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and the southern agricultural areas.
The Greater Baton Rouge population is approximately 700,000. The effects of Hurricane Katrina temporarily accelerated the metro's population in mid to late 2005, though the early estimates of soaring past 1 million have since been refuted. Joachim Singelmann, an LSU sociologist who directs the Louisiana Population Data Center, said Baton Rouge's metro area probably never topped 200,000 new people.
Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, and port center of the American South. The Port of Baton Rouge is the tenth largest in the United States in terms of weight.
The Baton Rouge region, like that of other capital cities in the United States, is called the "Capital Area."
Baton Rouge rarely suffers from natural disasters. Earthquakes are very rare (unlike farther north up the Mississippi River). The Mississippi River poses little threat to the highly populated sections of the city because Baton Rouge is built on natural bluffs at higher elevations than the river. However, the outlying areas near the Amite and Comite rivers are very easily flooded if already saturated by previous precipitation. Baton Rouge rarely sees tornadoes and storm surges are impossible because of its distance inland.
While hurricanes often affect the area, they rarely hit Baton Rouge at their full force due to the inland location. Instead, due to the projection of the Louisiana peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico, storms tend to hit that part of the state then steer northward. Storms that head on a more westerly route tend to upswing sharply, angling more toward the western coastal areas, from Morgan City to the Acadiana parishes. The last hurricane to threaten the city with a direct hit was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which missed the city and took a direct path through the Atchafalaya Basin, some forty miles west of the city. Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005 followed this pattern as well, with Katrina veering east to New Orleans and eastward and Rita striking the Lake Charles, Louisiana area and the state's western border with Texas.
Baton Rouge Governmental Building.
|City of Baton Rouge|
Population by year 
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 227,818 people, 88,973 households, and 52,672 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,144.7/km² (2,964.7/mi²). There were 97,388 housing units at an average density of 489.4/km² (1,267.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.02% African American, 45.70% White, 0.18% Native American, 2.62% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.
There were 88,973 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 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 spread out with 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 the median income 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 13.6% of those age 65 or over.
Neighborhoods and suburbs
- Downtown - Baton Rouge's central business district.
- Spanish Town - Located between the Mississippi River and I-110, it is one of the city's more diverse neighborhoods and home to the State Capitol Building and the city's largest Mardi Gras Parade.
- Beauregard Town - A historic district between the downtown area and Old South Baton Rouge. Many of the homes have been renovated and are used as law offices.
- Garden District - The Garden District is located in Baton Rouge's Mid-City area where Park Boulevard intersects Government Street. The Garden District is an established historic area with many upscale homes.
- Old South Baton Rouge - An old section of the city directly south of downtown and Beauregard Town, it stretches south from I-10 and along the river to Brightside Lane. After years of neglect and a crumbling infrastructure, the city is targeting the neighborhood in the city's largest ever revitalization project.
- LSU/Lakeshore - Home to LSU's main campus, the University Lakes and the City Park lake. It includes neighborhoods like University Hills, University Gardens, College Town, State Street, Carlotta Street, and Arlington. Homes directly on the lakeshore are some of the most expensive within the city limits, and the lakeshore itself is a popular place for jogging, walking and bicycling.
- Mid-City - Bound by I-110 on the west, College and N. Foster on the east, Choctaw to the north and I-10 to the south. It includes several neighborhoods like Ogden Park, Bernard Terrace, and Capital Heights. Always a socially and economically diverse area, Mid City is quickly regaining popularity due to urban renewal and gentrification. Includes historic Baton Rouge Magnet High School.
- Brookstown - Is bordered by Airline Highway to the east, Hollywood St to the north, McClelland St to the west and Evangeline St to the south.
- Melrose Place - Melrose Place is home to BRCC and is between N. Ardenwood and N. Foster Rd.
- Melrose Place East/Mall City - Is bordered by Florida Blvd (US 190) to the south, Greenwell Springs Rd to the north, Airline Highway to the east, and N. Ardenwood Dr to the west. However the border is traditionally between Mall at Cortana and the old Bon Marche Mall.
- Inniswold - Area around Bluebonnet Rd between Jefferson Hwy and I-10.
- Goodwood - an older subdivision located between Government Street, Jefferson Highway, Airline Highway, and Old Hammond Highway.
- Southdowns - an older subdivision located between Perkins Road and Bayou Duplantier, also between the University Lake and Pollard Estates. Hosts one of Baton Rouge's Mardi Gras parades, on the Friday night before Mardi Gras.
- Gardere - an area using Gardere Lane (LA Highway 327 Spur) as its main artery. Found between Nicholson Drive and Highland Road, located near St. Jude the Apostle Church. Dominated by low-rent housing prior to Hurricane Katrina.
- Westminster  - Between Essen and Bluebonnet off Jefferson Highway, around the Baton Rouge Country Club.
- Oak Hills Place -Bordered by Bluebonnet Boulevard to the west, Perkins Road to the north, and Highland Road to the south. South of the Mall of Louisiana.
- Broadmoor - A mostly mid-century neighborhood founded in 1950
- Scotlandville - The largest section of north baton rouge, and also one of the most high crime areas in the city. It was once incorporated as a city, before being annexed by Baton Rouge, and also the area bounded by Plank Road to the east, Thomas Road to the north, the Mississippi river to the west, and Airline hwy to the south, and surrounds the Southern University campus and the Exxon chemical plants.
- Shenandoah - A very large subdivision built in the 1970s and 1980's, located between South Harrell's Ferry and Tiger Bend Roads with its westernmost boundary Jones Creek Road. Schools in this subdivision include: Shenandoah Elementary and St. Michael the Archangel.
- Shenandoah North - A small subdivision, built in the late 1980s, located off the north end of Jones Creek Road.
- Sherwood Forest - A large, established neighborhood with large, older homes. Located just east of "Broadmoor." Sherwood Forest Blvd. is to the south, Flannery Rd. is to the east, Florida Blvd. is to the north, and Sharp Rd. is to the west.
- Village St. George - located off Siegen Lane near the Mall of Louisiana. Named after nearby St. George Catholic Church.
- Brownfields - located near Baker off Committee Drive and bounded between Foster Road and Plank Road.
- Zion City - Between Hooper Road and Airline Highway.
- Monticello - located off Greenwell Springs Road between the Baton Rouge City Limits and Central City, site of Greenbriar Elementary School.
- Glen Oaks - located in northern Baton Rouge between Mickens Road and Airline Highway, site of Glen Oaks High School.
- Old Jefferson - located off Jefferson Highway near Antioch and Tiger Bend Roads. Site of Most Blessed Sacrament School and Woodlawn High School.
- University Club - A newer neighborhood built inside the University Club Golf course located off of Nicholson Drive on the south edge of Baton Rouge.
Points of Interest
Arsenal Park overlooking Capitol Lake
- Alex Box Stadium - Baseball stadium for LSU.
- Baton Rouge River Center - Entertainment complex.
- Baton Rouge Zoo - BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to over 1,800 animals from around the world. The Baton Rouge Zoo was the first zoo in Louisiana to achieve the distinguished honor of being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
- Blue Bayou Waterpark - Blue Bayou has over 20 water rides. Favorites are the "Mad Moccasin," "Conja" and "Racers."
- BREC, LSU, BRAS Highland Road Observatory - An astronomical observatory for education and recreation that provides regular events open to the public.
- Dixie Landin' Amusement Park - Dixie Landin' contains 26 rides, 10 games and more. Contains such rides as the "Ragin' Cajun," "Flyin' Tigers," "Gilbeau's Galaxi" and "The Glimmer."
- Capitol Lakes - located north of the State Capitol.
- City Park Golf Course - Baton Rouge's first public golf course.
- F.G. Clark Center - basketball arena for Southern University.
- The Herbarium of LSU
- Huey Long Field House - one-time student union for LSU. When built, it featured the largest indoor swimming pool in the country at that time.
- Independence Park Botanic Gardens - Includes a rose garden, crape myrtle garden, sensory garden, children's forest, and Louisiana iris garden.
- Memorial Stadium - 21,395-seat football stadium. Was built in 1956 in memory of the men and women who fought and served Baton Rouge during the two World Wars and the Korean War.
- Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr Memorial Plant Arboretum - contains more than 120 species of trees and shrubs on 16 acres.
- Louisiana Arts and Science Museum - Contains art and science galleries, an Ancient Egypt Gallery, and simulated space travel in the Challenger Learning Center. LASM is also home to the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and ExxonMobil Space Theater, which offers planetarium shows and large-format films.
- Louisiana Museum of Natural History - Contains two main exhibit areas, one in the Textile and Costume Museum, the other in the Museum of Natural Science.
- Louisiana State Capitol - tallest state capitol building in the United States.
- LSU - One of only thirteen American universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research center.
- LSU Museum of Art - located within the Shaw Center for the Arts. LSU MOA's permanent collection consists of about 4,000 objects with an emphasis placed on American, British, and, in particular, Louisiana art.
- LSU Museum of Natural Science - Was founded in 1936. Is one of the nation's largest natural history museums, with holdings of over 2.5 million specimens. As the only comprehensive research museum in the south-central United States, the LSU Museum of Natural Science fulfills a variety of scientific and educational roles.
- LSU Rural Life Museum - Commemorates the contributions made by Baton Rouge's various cultural groups through interpretive programs and events throughout the year.
- LSU University Lakes
- Magnolia Mound Plantation House - Built c. 1791. Is a rare survivor of the vernacular architecture influenced by early settlers from France and the West Indies.
- Mall at Cortana - Contains Dillards, Sears, JCPenney, Macy's, and over 110 specialty stores and services.
- Mall of Louisiana - Contains Dillards, Sears, JCPenney, and Macy's. Has over 160 stores and services. It will soon incorporate 11 upscale stores, as well as four additional restaurants.
- Mount Hope Plantation
- The Old Arsenal Powder Magazine - Is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Was built around 1838.
- Old State Capitol - Louisiana's Old State Capitol Center for Political and Governmental History houses several interactive state-of-the-art exhibits including "Huey Long Live! The Kingfish Speaks", "We The People," "The Governor Huey P. Long Assassination Exhibit" and more.
- Pennington Biomedical Research Center - The largest academically based nutrition research center in the world.
- Perkins Rowe (coming soon) - An urban village with residences, theaters, restaurants, and specialty shops.
- Pete Maravich Assembly Center - The "PMAC" is a 13,472-seat multi-purpose arena. The arena opened in 1972, and is home to the LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers basketball teams, volleyball team and gymnastics team. It was originally known as the "LSU Assembly Center," but was renamed in memory of Pete Maravich, a Tiger basketball legend, shortly after his death in 1988.
- Poplar Grove Plantation - Began life not as a home but as the Bankers' Pavilion at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884 in New Orleans. The exposition was held at what is today Audubon Park in uptown New Orleans. Was moved upriver on a barge in 1886 and became the home of sugar planter Horace Wilkinson and his wife, Julia.
- Shaw Center for the Arts - Performing-art venue and fine arts museum located at 100 Lafayette Street downtown.
- Southern University - one of the most well known historically black colleges and universities.
- Tiger Stadium LSU football stadium.
- USS Kidd - a Fletcher class destroyer, was the 1st ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd, Commander of Battleship Division 1, who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools, the city's school district, is one of the area's largest school districts. Baton Rouge school district is one of the largest low performing school district in Louisiana. It contains approximately 90 individual schools: 56 elementary schools, 16 middle schools, and 18 high schools.
Louisiana State University operates the Louisiana State University Laboratory School, a K-12 school.
The state of Louisiana directly operates two special schools for children with disabilities:
Colleges and Universities
Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University
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