This community is called the "Crawfish Capital of the World", a designation obtained by former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Robert J. "Bob" Angelle. It is also known for its unusual listing of nicknames in its telephone directory.
In 1771, Acadian pioneer Firmin Breaux bought land in present-day city of Breaux Bridge. He purchased the land from Jean François Ledée, a wealthy New Orleans merchant who had acquired the land as a French land grant. By 1774, Breaux's branding iron was registered and by 1786 he was one of the largest property owners in the Bayou Teche country.
In 1799, Breaux built a footbridge across the Bayou Teche to help ease the passage for his family and neighbors. This first bridge was a suspension footbridge, likely made of rope and small planks. It was stabilized by being tied to small pilings located at each end of the bridge, as well as to a pair of huge live oak trees on both sides of the bayou. When traveling directions were given, residents would often instruct people to "go to Breaux's bridge...", which eventually was adopted as the city's name.
In 1817, Firmin's son Agricole built the first vehicular bridge, allowing for the passage of wagons and increased commerce in the area. The town received its official founding in 1829 when Scholastique Picou Breaux, Agricole's widow, drew up a plan called Plan de la Ville Du Pont des Breaux for the city and began developing the property by selling lots to other Acadian settlers. A church parish was created in 1847 and in 1859, Breaux Bridge was officially incorporated.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17.2 km²), of which, 6.6 square miles (17.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.65% water.
There were 2,512 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,102, and the median income for a family was $31,570. Males had a median income of $30,880 versus $17,819 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,536. About 26.8% of families and 30.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.0% of those under age 18 and 25.8% of those age 65 or over.