How many people are back?

Robert Edgecomb, an urban planner with GCR Inc., has supplied the Clarion Herald with following post-Katrina population statistics:

• In terms of overall population, the seven-parish metro area has approximately 91 percent of the residents it had before Katrina. In 2004,
the overall population was approximately 1.36 million; in 2014, it was 1.23 million.

The African-American population is down in both absolute and relative terms in the region. Metro-wide, African-Americans comprised 38 percent of the region’s population. They now comprise about 35 percent. That trend is more pronounced in Orleans Parish, where African-Americans accounted for 68 percent of the population before the storm and now comprise 59 percent of the population.

With respect to growth, it’s a little difficult to make apples-to-apples measurements of how the population change after the storm measures up with other metropolitan areas. Between 2010-14, our metro area has not been among one of the fastest growing. But St. Bernard Parish was, for a couple of years, the fastest-growing parish/county in the nation (in terms of percentage growth), and Orleans Parish has been up near the top as well. Orleans, which added more than 40,000 residents between 2010 and 2014, had the 51st highest growth rate among all counties (of roughly 3,100 nationwide), and was growing at approximately the same rate as Davidson County, Tennessee (Nashville), Prince George County, Maryland (suburban Washington, D.C.), and Osceola County, Florida (suburban Orlando).

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