‘WANT TO TALK POPULATION LOSS? OK, SURE … LET’S DO THAT


A few days ago a national outfit called “AdvisorSmith” (???) proclaimed via our daily online / paper that Shreveport has the second-fastest population loss among American “midsize” cities.

That fact is no real newsflash here, but it was certainly and religiously covered-up for a heckuva lot of years … to the very real financial gain of many.

Yes, as I have reported on and about for decades, Shreveport’s population is down to 187,112 through the July 1, 2019 Census Estimates.

Since 2013, when that count fell below 200,000 the first time (199,999), the city has lost -12,887 folks … -6.4%.

As such things go in America, that’s huge.

For as long as I can remember, Shreveport’s “leaders” have made danged sure such facts related to our population loss are as well-hidden as the 1976 grand jury records about our then-Public Safety Commissioner.

As many readers are aware, my history with this and related local subjects is deep.

I decided 34 years ago – on July 16, 1986 – to ‘splain a few related facts to the then-Shreveport Board of Realtors.

The group’s invitation was one I looked forward to, but when the smoke cleared, many attendees were nonplussed, to somewhat understate the matter.

My research reached back to the days when our city’s motto was “Shreveport … A City on the Grow.” As I explained, the motto was not, in fact, a fact …

… between 1960 and 1970, Shreveport “grew” by just under 18,000 residents, or 11%, BUT annexations, most notably “Southern Hills,” added some 25,000; and,

… between 1970 and 1980, Shreveport “grew” by 13%, some 23,000, again by way of annexing existing populations … almost half which were in the existing “Cooper Road” (Martin Luther King) area.

Ignoring the dirty-shovel rule that when you’re in the bottom of a hole stop digging, I then added this stunner from my research …

… “In Bossier City, REAL (population) growth has been taking place, and that will continue for some time. Sixty percent of combined Shreveport / Bossier growth between now and 2000 will be in Bossier City.”

One can imagine how that landed. After all, at that time the combined population of the two cities was 256,637 … a mere 50,817 of them living in Bossier … 19.8%.

Now, of course, we know that the correct context and measurement was and is Bossier Parish … not Bossier City.

At the time of my presentation (in 1986), Bossier Parish residents totaled 89,351, now up to 127,115 … growth of +42.3%.

Caddo Parish population was 264,653 then, and now totals 240,204 … a drop of -24,449 … a huge -9.2%.

Perhaps my population loss “news” here is somehow related to another important fact our “leadership” (media and otherwise) religiously hides …

… regardless our population loss abounding, property taxes have risen … at least until 2011 when I went public with those details on Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

As I explained in that program, Caddo / Shreveport property taxes had by then, and for a good while, been the highest not only in Louisiana, but also in many other of our regional parish / county places.

(I will not, of course, share my list of prominent names who then and publicly called me a liar.)

To each and every person who listened, believed, and has since voted against (some) property taxes here, I thank you.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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