New Orleans Population
       Continues To Grow

Recent reports confirm New Orleans' population has crossed the
300,000 mark. GCR & Associates estimate that the city's
population was 302,191 as of February 1, 2008. That's a 43,000
person increase over the February 2007 population. In a MLK day
speech, mayor C. Ray Nagin mentioned a population of 318,000.

According to Greg Rigamer of GCR & Associates the city passed
the 300,000 mark in January and reached 302,000 by February
2008. The firm based its estimate on utility hookups. However,
Rigamer's latest analysis shows a slowing rate of return in the
past few months, with the population increase down to about
2,000 a month, compared with an increase of nearly 4,000 a
month calculated for all of 2007. But, he said, "as more recovery
dollars begin to flow in 2008, the city will become more attractive
to individuals and businesses trying to capitalize on the economic

He also said the tourism industry "is returning to its pre-storm
strength." Rigamer said the city's east bank population west of the
Industrial Canal in February totaled 169,900, or 63 percent of its
pre-Katrina level. East of the Industrial Canal, the population was
79,300, just 53 percent of the pre-Katrina number. In Algiers, the
February estimate of 55,900 was 5 percent higher than before the
storm, he said.

In July 2005, before hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' population
was about 455,000 residents. Exceeding 300,000 residents
restores New Orleans to the calibre of major cities, including
Pittsburgh, Tampa, Anaheim and St. Louis.

RELATED: "New Orleans Metro Area Among Top In Growth"
"It's About More Than Just A Hurricane!"
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