Greater Baton Rouge
|Baton Rouge metropolitan area|
|Largest city||Baton Rouge|
|Other cities|| - Central|
- Denham Springs
- Port Allen
- St. Gabriel
|• Total||4,196 sq mi (10,870 km2)|
|Highest elevation||> 350 ft (> 106 m)|
|Lowest elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|• Rank||66th in the U.S.|
The Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, or simply the Baton Rouge metropolitan area or Greater Baton Rouge, is a sprawling metropolitan statistical area surrounding the city of Baton Rouge. Its principal city Baton Rouge is unusual because it has no major incorporated satellite cities, a rarity for a metropolitan area of its size. Including the western edge of the Florida Parishes regions, it is known as "Plantation Country", the "Capital Region", and "The 225" (a reference to its area code). At the 2010 U.S. census, the metropolitan area had a population of 802,484, up from 705,973 in 2000. At the 2020 census, its population increased to 870,569, up from 2020 estimates at 858,571.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The Baton Rouge metropolitan area was first defined in 1950. Then known as the Baton Rouge standard metropolitan area (or Baton Rouge SMA), it consisted of a single parish–East Baton Rouge–and had a population of 158,236. Following a term change by the Bureau of the Budget (present-day U.S. Office of Management and Budget) in 1959, the Baton Rouge SMA became the Baton Rouge standard metropolitan statistical area (or Baton Rouge SMSA).
By the census of 1960, the population had grown to 230,058, a 45% increase over the previous census. A total of 285,167 people lived in East Baton Rouge Parish in 1970.
Three additional parishes were added to the Baton Rouge SMSA in 1973–Ascension, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge. These four parishes had a combined population of 375,628 in 1970. The area grew rapidly during the 1970s and by the 1980 census, the population had increased 32% to 494,151. In 1983, the official name was shortened to the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area (or Baton Rouge MSA), which is still in use to date. It was determined 528,264 residents lived in the metropolitan statistical area in 1990, and 602,894 people lived in the four parishes by the year 2000.
In 2003, the Baton Rouge area was expanded to its current size with the addition of five more parishes: East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, and West Feliciana. This nine-parish region had a population of 705,973 in 2000.
At the 2019 American Community Survey, the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 854,884. In 2020, its population was an estimated 858,571. The 2020 U.S. census tabulated a population of 870,569. In 2019, the racial and ethnic makeup of the area was 56% White, 36% Black and African American, 2% Asian, 1% multiracial, and 4% Hispanic and Latin American of any race. There was a median household income of $60,746 and per capita income of $31,571. An estimated 15% of the metropolitan population lived at or below the poverty line. Of the population in 2019, there were 305,441 households and an average of 3.7 people per household. The median value of owner-occupied housing units was $195,500, and 4% of its population was foreign born.
The metropolitan economy is primarily centered in the city of Baton Rouge; dominated by oil and gas companies, alongside the Louisiana State University System, the area has the furthest inland port on the Mississippi River that can accommodate ocean-going tankers and cargo carriers. ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge Refinery complex is the fourth-largest oil refinery in the country; it is the world's 10th largest. Baton Rouge also has rail, highway, pipeline, and deep-water access. Dow Chemical Company has a large plant in Iberville Parish near Plaquemine, 17 miles (27 km) south of Baton Rouge. Shaw Construction, Turner, and Harmony all started with performing construction work at these plants.
The metropolitan also has a large medical research and clinical presence. Research hospitals have included Our Lady of the Lake, Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital (affiliated with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital), Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and Earl K. Long (closed 2013). Together with an emerging medical corridor at Essen Lane, Summa Avenue and Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge has been developing a medical district expected to be similar to the Texas Medical Center. LSU and Tulane University both announced plans to construct satellite medical campuses in Baton Rouge to partner with Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center and Baton Rouge General Medical Center, respectively.