Alexandria is the largest city in central Louisiana and the seat of Rapides Parish, with a 2010 population of 47,723, an increase of 3 percent over the 2000 tabulation. Separated from its neighboring city of Pineville by the Red River, Alexandria is located near the geographic center of Louisiana. The city is majority African American in population. Alexandria is the eleventh largest incorporated municipality in the state, with Monroe at tenth place though the two have roughly the same central city population.
Downtown Alexandria, which lies near Interstate 49, has undergone extensive redevelopment in the past decade. Alexandria contains many churches of multiple denominations, some quite large in membership.
Though Alexandria is heavily Democratic in political orientation, Rapides Parish often votes Republican. Part of Alexandria is represented in the state House by the Republican Lance Harris, who took office early in 2012. Rapides Parish is within the Fifth Congressional District represented by Republican Ralph Abraham, a medical doctor from Richland Paris and a 2019 candidate for governor.
Alexandria is named for a Pennsylvania businessman, Alexander Fulton, who established a settlement in the area in the 1790s. The town was incorporated in 1819 and received a charter in 1832.
The current city charter was implemented in 1977. Democrat Jeff Hall is the mayor, the first Africa-American in that position. John K. Snyder, a controversial, colorful political figure known for his sharp tongue and wit, was the mayor from 1973 to 1977 and again from 1982 to 1986. Snyder's first predecessor, Ed Karst, had an equally controversial political career.
- John Alley, Southern Baptist clergyman
- Champ Baker, executive director of the Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning Commission and advocate for veterans' causes
- Schuyler Batson, Southern Baptist clergyman
- Arna Bontemps, writer of the Harlem Renaissance.
- Hymie Bradford, sports announcer for Louisiana College and LSU-Alexandria
- Glenn Bryant, clergyman and driving force behind the Renaissance Youth Rehabilitation Home
- Brent Caplan, businessman
- W. A. "Dub" Carruth, developer
- Brian Duke, insurance agent and Rapides Parish police juror
- John Fellers, United Methodist clergyman
- Sylvan Fox, radio station founder, KSYL
- Joe Fryar, architect
- Edgar Hathorn, businessman and Rapides Parish police juror
- Malcolm Hébert, engineer and last of the Alexandria streets and parks commissioners with service from 1973 to 1977
- John LaPlante, Jr., journalist
- Ed Larvadain, state representative
- O'Hearn Mathews, city marshal; commissioner of streets and parks from 1969 to 1973
- DeWitt T. Methvin, Jr., attorney
- Alfred Shapiro, attorney
- Thomas James Spencer, Southern Baptist clergyman
- T. F. Tenney, Pentecostal clergyman
- Morris Taft Thomas, African-American metal sculptor
- Gus Voltz, attorney
- Irving Ward-Steinman, attorney and radio station owner.
- Joanne White, philanthropist
- Paul D. White, Sr., entrepreneurial real estate developer who constructed many of the housing and apartment complexes in Rapides Parish
Despite the Democratic heritage of Alexandria, in the special election held on March 24, 2018, four Republican candidates collectively polled 63 percent of the ballots cast. The two top vote-getters, interim Marshal "Ricky" Rachal, a Democrat, and Republican Jerome Hopewell, then contested a runoff election on April 28. Fewer than 16 percent of voters cast ballots in each election. Hopewell emerged a 51-49 percent winner over Rachal. The position opened when the incumbent, Terence Grines, resigned.
- Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (March 24, 2018). Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Melissa Gregory (April 28, 2018). Hopewell defeats Rachal for Alexandria city marshal. The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved on April 29, 2018.