Blanchard was born in Los Angeles, California, to Elizabeth and Mark Blanchard-Boulbol, who are yoga instructors. Her paternal grandfather was an immigrant from the Middle East and her paternal grandmother's ancestors are from England and Scandinavia. Rowan has two younger siblings, Carmen and Shane.
Blanchard began acting at the age of five. In 2010, Rowan was cast as Mona's daughter in The Back-up Plan and was in the main cast of the Disney Junior Original Series Dance-A-Lot Robot as Caitlin. In 2011, she was cast as Rebecca Wilson in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, and as Raquel Pacheco in Little in Common. In late January 2013, Blanchard was cast as Riley Matthews in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World. She also sings the title song, along with co-star Sabrina Carpenter. The titular character is the daughter of Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World. She is an active member of Disney Channel Circle of Stars. In early January 2015, Blanchard was cast as Cleo in the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie, Invisible Sister.
Rowan Blanchard is an outspoken activist in areas such as feminism, human rights, and gun violence. While most of her comments regarding these issues are posted via Twitter or Tumblr, she has spoken at the UN Women and US National Committee's annual conference as part of #TeamHeForShe, a feminist campaign.