During the Civil War, a large Confederate encampment was located just east of Minden. It housed about 15,000 Confederate soldiers. The town served as a supply depot for the Confederate Army. Close to thirty Confederate soldiers who died in the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill are buried in the Old Minden Cemetery.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.0 km² (12.0 mi²). 30.8 km² (11.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.75% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 13,027 people, 5,166 households, and 3,430 families residing in the city. The population density is 423.0/km² (1,095.2/mi²). There are 5,795 housing units at an average density of 188.2/km² (487.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 46.34% White, 52.17% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 5,166 households out of which 30.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% are married couples living together, 22.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% are non-families. 30.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.05.
In the city the population is spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 77.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $24,175, and the median income for a family is $31,477. Males have a median income of $28,401 versus $19,199 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,114. 26.6% of the population and 21.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 39.3% are under the age of 18 and 20.1% are 65 or older.