Study Says New Orleans is 90% Back to pre-Katrina Status


Orleans Parish may not yet enjoy the 465,000 population it had prior to the evacuations of August 26, 2005, but a new study by the New Orleans Data Center may be on track to return to that number.

As researchers Allison Plyer and Vicki Mack explained, “Ten years after Katrina, more than half [or] 40 of New Orleans’ 72 neighborhoods have recovered over 90 percent of the population they had before the levees failed. There are 16 neighborhoods that now have a larger number of active addresses than they did prior to the levee breaches.”

They did caution that 15 of these neighborhoods largely did not flood because they are in the “sliver by the river” or on the West Bank. Nor is there evidence that the city’s Black population has rebounded to the degree of the Caucasian populace.

Past Data Center studies have suggested a fall of more than five percentage points in the total African-American population, and this July 13, 2015 report seems to confirm those previous findings. It noted, “[F]our neighborhoods have less than half the population they had prior to Katrina, including three public housing sites that have been demolished to make way for new mixed–income housing.

They include B.W. Cooper, Florida Development, Iberville, and the Lower Ninth Ward, which was the most heavily damaged neighborhood of all when the levees failed. The Lower Ninth Ward, the one of the four that is not a public housing site, is bordered by canals to the west and north.”

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