New Orleans’ Post-Katrina Population Loss Greater Than Previously Estimated

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans has dropped more sharply than earlier estimates indicated. According to a new survey, the city’s population is now only 187,525, down almost 60 percent from the pre-storm figure of 454,863. Far fewer black citizens have returned than whites. Pre-Katrina New Orleans was 67 percent black. The black population is now just 46 percent, and whites account for 44 percent.

The 2006 Louisiana Health and Population Survey was commissioned by the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Louisiana Public Health Institute, and LA Department of Health & Hospitals. Technical advice was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.