Friday, February 4, 2011

New Orleans population nearly 30 per cent lower than before Hurricane Katrina

Over five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the aesthetic scars may be slowly healing but the impact clearly still remains - as it was revealed that the population of the city is nearly 30 per cent smaller than a decade ago.

The Louisiana city, which was the 24th biggest city in the U.S. two decades ago, is now languishing as the 53rd most populated.

According to the Census Bureau, just 343,829 people were living in the city as of April 1 last year.

In 2000, five years before the hurricane which claimed the lives of over 1,800 people, New Orleans was inhabited by a healthy 484,674.

African-American residents were hit particularly hard by the natural disaster, which impacted most heavily on predominantly black areas, such as the 9th Ward where there were several breaches in the levee holding back flood waters.

The city, which was once more than two-thirds black, now has 118,000 fewer black residents, shrinking the overall share to 60 per cent, according to figures published in the New York Times.

It is believed many who are yet to return to the city are still waiting for promised insurance or government money which would enable them to repair their damaged homes and make them habitable once again.

The number of children is down 56,193 - a staggering 44 per cent drop. Read more...