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Overview

Introduction to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sitting along the banks of the Mississippi River is the city of Baton Rouge, the capital of the state of Louisiana. One of the three southernmost capital cities (along with Tallahassee, FL and Austin, TX) in the continental U.S., Baton Rouge is home to both Louisiana State University (LSU) and to Southern University. The city's name is French for "Red Stick," and is most likely derived from the writings of early French explorers who witnessed large poles reddened with the blood of slaughtered animals. These poles were probably boundary designations erected by Indians to separate the hunting grounds of two different tribes. Baton Rouge is located about 80 miles northwest of the city of New Orleans, to which it is connected by Interstate-10. Other major highways serving Baton Rouge include Interstates I-12 and I-110; U.S. Routes 61 and 190; and Louisiana State Highways 1, 30, 37, 67 and 73.

The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 marked the beginnings of the town's growth. When the state of Louisiana was admitted into the Union in 1812, it would be only a matter of five more years until Baton Rouge would be incorporated as a city. When the Louisiana state legislature moved the seat of government away from New Orleans in 1849, Baton Rouge became the state capital. The latter part of the 19th century saw the establishment of Louisiana State University. The 20th century was marked by continued growth in Baton Rouge and also the tenure in the 1930s of controversial populist Louisiana Governor Huey Long. Baton Rouge today presents an interesting mix of tradition, history, and commerce, with chemical companies and oil refineries operating against a background of earthen beauty and vibrant cultural influences.

August 29, 2005, marked a turning point for southern Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina struck the area hard. Although Katrina's impact on Baton Rouge was much less severe than that of New Orleans, there were significant power outages and service disruptions, and the city played a large role in providing refuge for displaced New Orleans residents, serving as a headquarters for emergency coordination and disaster relief.

Things to do in Baton Rouge

The city of Baton Rouge is alive with a large variety of activities that make it an ideal place to visit. Riverfront casinos, Cajun-Creole restaurants, and lively nightclubs combine with old plantation homes, historic governmental buildings, museums, and performing arts centers to give a visitor a wide choice of attractions to relish. A sample of some of the city's offerings is as follows:

  • Greater Baton Rouge Zoo: Features more than 1,800 animals from around the globe and includes animal shows and scenic rides on the Cypress Bayou Railroad or White Tiger Tram.
  • Shaw Center for the Arts: Houses both the LSU Museum of Art and the Manship Theatre, a venue with 325 front row seats modeled after the style of classic European opera houses.
  • Louisiana Arts & Science Museum: Features interactive art and science exhibits and the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium.
  • U.S.S. Kidd and Nautical Center: Offers overnight camping and tours of the fully restored World War II Fletcher Class Destroyer.
  • Old State Capitol Center for Political and Governmental History: Restored to its mid-19th century grandeur, the edifice houses both traditional and modern interactive exhibits and a multi-media film presentation.
  • Old Governor's Mansion: Built in 1930 by Governor Huey P. Long and subsequently served as the home of nine Louisiana Governors.
  • Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center: Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, this center features a large variety of wildlife.
  • Argosy Casino/Belle of Baton Rouge: A three-deck riverboat casino located on the Mississippi River in the downtown historic district features over 29,000 square feet of gaming area, live entertainment, and dining.
  • Dixie Landin' Amusement Park: Several games and rides, including a giant steel looping roller coaster, a log flume ride, and a 90-foot tall "Giant Wheel".
  • Blue Bayou Water Park

Baton Rouge is bustling year-round with some kind of event going on no matter what the season. Annual festivals include Baton Rouge Blues Week, a late April celebration featuring a wide array of traditional blues, Creole, Zydeco, and Jazz among its musical offerings. "Fest for All," held the first weekend in May, is one of Louisiana’s premier arts events which features live music, performing arts, and samplings of distinctive Louisiana cuisine. The 4th of July brings the "Star Spangled Celebration" and "Fireworks on the Mississippi" to the city. The Greater Baton Rouge State Fair is held every October, and in December, Baton Rouge celebrates "Christmas on the River." Baton Rouge also celebrates Mardi Gras every spring, although the city's celebration is not nearly as well-known as that of nearby New Orleans, whose Mardi Gras Festival is legendary.

The sports scene in Baton Rouge is dominated by the Louisiana State University Tigers, who field a variety of teams in several varsity sports. A member of the Southeastern Conference, LSU plays its games at Tiger Stadium (football), Pete Maravich Assembly Center (basketball, volleyball, gymnastics), Alex Box Stadium (baseball), Tiger Park (softball), Carl Maddox Fieldhouse (indoor track), and Bernie Moore Stadium (outdoor track). For professional sports, Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge River Bats, an independent minor league baseball team. Major league teams are located in nearby New Orleans, home to the National Football League's Saints and the National Basketball Association's Hornets. The Hornets played some of their 2005-2006 home games at Baton Rouge's Pete Maravich Center while Katrina recovery efforts were underway in New Orleans. The New Orleans Superdome, an attraction unto itself, has recovered from major damage and is now back in operation.

People

Total Population 229,186
Male Share of the Population 47.8%
Female Share of the Population 52.2%
Senior Citizens 12.3%
Employed Population 16+ 105,654
Age of the Population 31

Families

% of people married 30.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 32.4%
Median Earnings25+ $31,328
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,652
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,706

Wealth

Median Family Income $50,939
% Above Poverty Level 74.4%
% Below Poverty Level 25.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.3%
% Using Public Transportation 2.8%

Housing

People Living Alone 35.5%
Median Gross Rent $788
Median House Value $156,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 59.3%
US/American 0%
English 5.9%
Irish 5.6%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Baton Rouge Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 70 miles NW of New Orleans, Louisiana
County East Baton Rouge
Metro Area Baton Rouge
Standard Zip Codes 70801, 70802, 70805, 70806, 70807, 70808, 70809, 70810, 70811, 70812, 70814, 70815, 70816, 70817, 70818, 70819, 70820, 70825, 70827, 70836
P.O. Box Zip Codes 70804, 70821, 70826, 70831, 70835, 70837, 70874, 70879, 70884, 70892, 70893, 70894, 70895, 70896, 70898
Company Zip Codes 70803, 70813, 70822, 70823, 70833, 70883
Phone Area Codes 225
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 30.44
Longitude -91.11

Baton Rouge Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station LSU BEN HUR FARM
Distance 6.1 miles
Jan Temp 40 to 60 F
Apr Temp 55 to 78 F
Jul Temp 72 to 91 F
Oct Temp 56 to 80 F
Annual Precip 61.4 inches
Station BRUSLY 2 W
Distance 10.1 miles
Jan Temp 38 to 61 F
Apr Temp 55 to 77 F
Jul Temp 71 to 92 F
Oct Temp 54 to 80 F
Annual Precip 62.7 inches
Station CLINTON 5 SE
Distance 27.4 miles
Jan Temp 38 to 59 F
Apr Temp 54 to 76 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 55 to 79 F
Annual Precip 63.1 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Baton Rouge, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Central (70837)

Commerce Park (70884)

Gateway (70835)

General Mail Facility (70826)

One American Place (70825)

Scotlandville (70807, 70811, 70874)

Zion City (70811)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Addis 4,194 $62,796
Baker 13,800 $47,188
Brusly 2,653 $87,292
Denham Springs 10,126 $62,598
Port Allen 5,137 $52,774
St. Gabriel 6,872 $57,222

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Baton Rouge Public Libraries

Library
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
7711 GOODWOOD BOULEVARD
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
(225) 231-3700

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More Information for Librarians

Baton Rouge Hospitals

VISTA SURGICAL HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
9032 PERKINS ROAD
(225) 892-1123
Emergency Service: No

EARL K LONG MEDICAL CENTER
(Government - State)
5825 AIRLINE HIGHWAY
(225) 358-1002
Emergency Service: Yes

BATON ROUGE GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
3600 FLORIDA STREET
(225) 387-7767
Emergency Service: Yes

GREATER BATON ROUGE SURGICAL HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
7855 HOWELL PLACE BLVD
(225) 383-7099
Emergency Service: Yes

OUR LADY OF THE LAKE REG MED CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
5000 HENNESSY BLVD
(225) 765-6869
Emergency Service: Yes

SURGICAL SPECIALTY HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
8080 BLUEBONNET BLVD
(225) 408-5500
Emergency Service: No

NEUROMEDICAL CENTER HOSPITAL,THE
(Proprietary)
10105 PARK ROW CIRCLE
(225) 763-9900
Emergency Service: No

WOMANS HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
9050 AIRLINE HWY
(225) 924-8104
Emergency Service: Yes

OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER-BATON ROUGE
(Proprietary)
17000 MEDICAL CENTER DR
(225) 755-4800
Emergency Service: Yes

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Baton Rouge High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

WOODLAWN HIGH SCHOOL
15755 JEFFERSON HIGHWAY
225-753-2665
Serves 1,193 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.2

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
10200 EAST BROOKSIDE DRIVE
225-261-3438
Serves 1,188 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.8

BATON ROUGE HIGH SCHOOL
2825 GOVERNMENT STREET
225-383-0520
A Magnet School.
Serves 1,187 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.5

TARA HIGH SCHOOL
9002 WHITEHALL AVENUE
225-927-6100
Serves 1,106 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16

BROADMOOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
10100 GOODWOOD BOULEVARD
225-926-1420
Serves 1,024 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18

BELAIRE HIGH SCHOOL
12121 TAMS DRIVE
225-272-1860
Serves 953 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

SCOTLANDVILLE MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
9870 SCOTLAND AVENUE
225-775-3715
A Magnet School.
A Title I School.
Serves 946 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.5

LSU LABORATORY SCHOOL
45 DALRYMPLE DRIVE
225-578-3221
Serves 903 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.8

GLEN OAKS SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
6650 CEDAR GROVE DRIVE
225-356-4306
A Magnet School.
A Title I School.
Serves 783 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.5

ISTROUMA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
3730 WINBOURNE AVENUE
225-355-7701
A Magnet School.
A Title I School.
Serves 780 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.2

ROBERT E. LEE HIGH SCHOOL
1105 LEE DRIVE
225-387-1418
Serves 752 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

MCKINLEY SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
800 EAST MCKINLEY STREET
225-344-7696
A Magnet School.
Serves 736 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.5

NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL
13700 PRIDE-PORT HUDSON ROAD
225-654-5808
Serves 710 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

CAPITOL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
1000 NORTH 23RD STREET
225-383-0353
A Title I School.
Serves 666 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.6

SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY LAB SCHOOL
129 SWAN STREET
225-771-3490
Serves 462 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.1

SCENIC ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL
15200 SCENIC HIGHWAY
225-778-9167
A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 240 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.1

LOUISIANA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
2888 BRIGHTSIDE LANE
225-769-8160
A Special Education School
Serves 213 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 2.5

SCENIC ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL
15200 SCENIC HIGHWAY
225-774-7720
A Non-traditional School
Serves 174 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

NORTHDALE ALTERNATIVE MAGNET ACADEMY
10755 CLETUS DRIVE
225-272-2036
A Non-traditional School
Serves 132 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11

EAST BATON ROUGE ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL
101 SAINT FERDINAND STREET
225-389-0868
A Non-traditional School
A Charter School.
Serves 125 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.6

VALLEY PARK SCHOOL
4510 BAWELL STREET
225-923-0910
A Non-traditional School
Serves 100 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 2.6

BATON ROUGE PREPARATORY ACADEMY
5959 CADILLAC STREET
225-356-0256
Serves 97 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 5.4

MCAULIFFE PRE-GED CENTER
12000 GOODWOOD BOULEVARD
225-226-7634
A Non-traditional School
Serves 72 students.

ARLINGTON PREPARATORY ACADEMY
931 DEAN LEE DRIVE
225-766-8188
Serves 69 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.5

LOUISIANA SCHOOL FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
1120 GOVERNMENT STREET
225-342-8694
A Special Education School
Serves 54 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 3.2

WILMA C. MONTGOMERY EDUCATION CENTER
4070 TUNICA STREET
225-355-0388
A Special Education School
Serves 25 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 1.9

Additional Details
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Historic Baton Rouge

photo

Cutting sugar cane. between 1880 and 1897

Select a photo to view (Source):

Cutting sugar cane. between 1880 and 1897

Cutting sugar cane. between 1880 and 1897

Capitol of Louisiana 1890 October

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