The area had long been agricultural land when the town of Mandeville was laid out in 1834 by developer Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville. In 1840 Mandeville was incorporated as a town. It became a popular summer destination for well-to-do New Orleanians wishing to escape the city's heat. In the mid 19th century regular daily steam-boat traffic between New Orleans and Mandeville began, and by the end of the 19th century it became a popular weekend destination of the New Orleans middle-class as well. Bands would play music on the ships going across the lake and at pavillions and dance-halls in Mandeville; Mandeville became one of the first places where the new jazz music was heard outside of New Orleans. Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Papa Celestin, George Lewis, Kid Ory, Edmond Hall, Chester Zardis, and many other early jazz artists played in Mandeville regularly.
Two buildings from early jazz history still stand in Mandeville. Ruby's Roadhouse has been in continuous operation since the 1920s and today is still popular a bar and live music venue. The Dew Drop Inn Dance Hall opened in January of 1895, it closed with the onset of the Great Depression and the building used only for storage for decades, preserving it unchanged from the early 20th century until it reopened in 2000 with live jazz as a protected historic landmark. (This was one of the earliest "Dew Drop"s; dance halls across the South were similarly named, including the club in New Orleans where Little Richard got his start. )
In 1956 a causeway across Lake Pontchatrain opened to automobile traffic, and a second span was added in 1969. This began the growth of Mandeville and the surrounding area as a suburban commuter community for people working in New Orleans. This trend increased in the 1980s and 1990s, bringing much growth to Mandeville.
As of the census of 2000, there are 10,489 people, 4,204 households, and 2,724 families residing in the city. The population density is 595.6/km² (1,543.1/mi²). There are 4,669 housing units at an average density of 265.1/km² (686.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 92.15% White, 4.79% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 2.43% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 4,204 households out of which 35.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% are married couples living together, 10.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% are non-families. 29.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.11.
In the city the population is spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $52,500, and the median income for a family is $70,043. Males have a median income of $50,891 versus $30,554 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,420. 7.6% of the population and 4.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.1% are under the age of 18 and 13.7% are 65 or older.