The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation (GBEDF) has released the 2018 Annual Economic Information and Statistics Guide. The publication is updated annually to provide existing businesses with the most up-to-date information necessary to make decisions. The guide also serves as an introduction to potential investors who may be considering bringing new business or industry to Bossier. Economic indicators can be used to describe a community and measure its health. The publication houses a variety of community-specific data which aims to tell the story of Bossier community and the wider Shreveport-Bossier MSA. An overview of population, workforce, cost of living and area retail sales highlighted below represent only a few indicators found within our publication.
The GBEDF partners with LED, the state economic development office, to forecast population projections and demographic information for Bossier City, Bossier Parish, and the surrounding areas of Haughton, Benton and Plain Dealing. The population trends are comparative to previous forecasts. The data shows that over the next five years continued growth is on the horizon for nearly all cities and townships within the parish.
Population forecasts estimate an increase of 6.2% in Bossier Parish and a 5% increase for Bossier City. Combined, the city and parish can expect the potential to add over 11,000 new residents by 2023. Population predictions over the five-year time frame also point to continued growth in northern portions of the parish. Benton’s growth remains steady with a possible increase of 6.3% of new residents. The town of Haughton has the highest growth rate in Bossier Parish, adding 9.4% to their population in the next few years, while the Town of Plain Dealing’s population is set to remain relatively flat. The city and town’s growth rates point to optimism and show a great opportunity for businesses to capitalize on an increase of residents throughout the parish.
Additional information on the characteristics of the MSA’s workforce are also housed in the annual guide. The level of educational attainment among the working population of age 25-plus shows Bossier Parish leading the U.S. average in the high school diploma and associate degree areas, and outperforms the state average of bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree attainment categories. The trends in educational attainment show our investments in education are paying off. Our community’s top-rated school system, a track record of investment in education initiatives, and customized market-responsive workforce training programs has earned the community multiple accolades and a reputation among national trade and business publications as being both progressive and business positive.
Our annual publication contains additional information on cost of living index scores which are used to support our case for business development and investment. This information illustrates that an employee’s income earned in our community goes further than comparable peer cities. Additionally, total monthly retail sales for Bossier Parish, Bossier City, Caddo Parish and Shreveport along with household income levels are also profiled within our publication to help with sales forecast readings. The retail market is a big player in our local economic development matrix. Retail helps to retain income within the local economy, generating sales tax revenue which in turn is invested back into the community. In 2017, residents and visitors in the combined cities and parishes spent an estimated $13 billion. That is a lot of buying power.
The information outlined here clearly supports the progressive work being done by community leaders. Smart growth and forward-thinking strategies have earned Bossier the distinction as one of the fastest growing communities in the southern United States.