Fueled by suburban growth, the Baton Rouge metro area saw its population increase 3.6% between 2010 and 2018, according to recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The news wasn’t so good for the city of Baton Rouge, which has seen its population drop by 7,700 since 2010—down 3.4% to an estimated 221,599 residents. It’s the opposite of what’s happening in the other 718 U.S. cities with populations of at least 50,000; on average, each increased its number of residents by 7.5% since 2010, an average of 11,898 people.
Overall, the region added 28,806 people over the eight-year period, lifting the MSA’s population to 831,310 residents. Of the 394 recorded metro areas, the Baton Rouge area ranks as the nation’s 71st-largest MSA, with its 2010-2018 growth coming in at 109.
Driving the growth were eight suburban cities that saw population increases—ranging from 159 to 2,440 people—since the last census: Zachary (the largest gainer at 16%) and Central in East
Baton Rouge Parish; Donaldsonville and Gonzales in Ascension Parish; Livingston and Walker in Livingston Parish; St. Gabriel in Iberville Parish; and Port Allen in West Baton Rouge Parish.
However, nearly as many cities in the Capital Region saw their populations drop. Joining Baton Rouge in the population decline were these cities: Denham Springs (-581), Baker (-574), Plaquemine (-490), St. Francisville (-143) and Maringouin (-87).
The latest dataset comes as Southern and Western states dominate population growth, with Southern cities posting eight of the 15 largest numeric gains in the country between 2017 and 2018. Overall, Phoenix, Arizona saw the largest gains last year, adding 25,288 people.