As of the 2000 Census, the city had a total population of 56,461. Bossier City is closely tied to its larger sister city Shreveport, located on the western bank of the Red River. The Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area is the center of the region known as the Ark-La-Tex.
In 1843, a section of land was divided out of the Great Natchitoches district and Claiborne Parish areas and was called Bossier Parish. The section of land was named in honor of Pierre Evariste John Baptiste Bossier. Pierre Bossier was a former creole general, who became a cotton farmer in Bossier Parish. He is considered one of the first settlers in the area.
In the 1840's, the Great Western Migration began and the parish grew in population. Many early settlers passed through the region on their way to the wild west. By 1850, over 200 wagons a week passed through Bossier City. Some of these settlers stayed, attracted by the soil and river valley. In 1850, the census listed the population at around 6,962.
During the American Civil War, companies of Confederate soldiers left Cane's Landing aboard steamboats for the distant battlefields. Mrs. Cane had hosted hundreds of confederate officers and troops who were heading off to war. Mrs. Cane’s plantation was fortified to protect Shreveport by three batteries with Fort Kirby Smith in the center. The others were: Battery's Price, and Walker & Ewell.
Fort Smith stood near the now Bossier High School and protected the area from an eastern invasion. The Civil War hit Bossier Parish in 1861 and ended in Shreveport four years later, when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered.
Shed Road, the first all-weather turnpike in the American South, was constructed in the 1870s and operated from 1874-1886. It extended for nine miles from Red Chute to the Red River. There was a plantation at the end of the elevated and covered roadway, which was reached by a ferry boat. The covered road made the transportation of goods easier before the arrival of the railroads.
Cane City was said as being incorporated by former Governor N.C. Blanchard and renamed as the Village of Bossier City. It has grown from an area of one square mile to a city containing over 35 square miles and 25,000 acres. Continued growth led to Bossier City’s classification being changed from village to town by Governor John M. Parker. Later, Governor Earl Kemp Long issued a proclamation classifying Bossier City a city.
The golden spike, commemorated the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad. It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia "Pansy" Rule. It's the first such spike to be driven by a woman. The north-south Shreveport and Arkansas Railroad was completed on April 6, 1888. The Louisiana-Arkansas Railroad was completed on November 2, 1909. The Dixie Overland Highway from the east to west coast was built in 1918. These railroads and highways combined to make Bossier City a hub for future activity.
The discovery of petroleum crude oil, to the south, in 1908, thrust Bossier City into the nationwide oil boom. Bossier's central location to the rural oil fields made it a major player in the oil patch. Several international oil companies are located here. The advantages brought by black gold fueled many civic, social and economic improvements.
A fire on June 23, 1925, consumed one-half of downtown Bossier City. Local citizens were unable to battle the blaze. The loss spurred civic improvements including a modern water system, capable of fighting such fires, a new City Hall, a modern fire alarm system, modern sidewalks and the first city park.
In the 1930's construction began on Barksdale AFB. The first unit assigned to Barksdale was the 20th Pursuit Group. Before World War II, Barksdale was a training school for the Army Air Corps. During WWII Barksdale trained pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Later the base became one of the key bases of the Strategic Air Command in the new Air Force. Barksdale is the headquarters for the 2nd Air Force. The land that base is built was purchased by local residents who donated the land to the U.S. Army.
Around the 1890's Cane City had a population of around 600 and has now become Bossier City with a population that was 56,461 as of the 2000 Census. First a cotton exporting river landing, next a railroad town, then an airbase and oil-boom town, now known for it's tourism and recreational gaming.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.6 square miles (107.8 km²), of which, 40.8 square miles (105.8 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it (1.90%) is water.
There were 21,197 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Nearly 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city of Bossier City, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,561, and the median income for a family was $42,642. Males had a median income of $30,632 versus $22,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,032. About 11.4% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
Bossier City residents are zoned to Bossier Parish Schools.