New Orleans Metro Area Among Top Ten In Growth
City officials angered by recent Census Bureau population estimates
MARCH 28, 2008 -- A week after releasing population estimates that angered New Orleans
officials, the U.S. Census Bureau released more data on metropolitan area growth in the U.S. that
shows New Orleans among the top ten metro areas with the largest increase in population between
2006 and 2007.
The Census Bureau's recent release of population estimates from July, 2007 sparked a hasty news
conference and a formal challenge by city officials and others who fear those estimates may affect
federal funding and the return of Katrina survivors. Those numbers show St. Bernard and Orleans
parishes were the fastest growing populations in the U.S. from 2006-2007.
Angry New Orleans officials claim the July, 2007 figures are outdated. Recent reports cite a higher
number in July and say New Orleans' population has crossed the 300,000 mark. GCR & Associates
estimated that the city's population was 302,191 as of February 1, 2008.
St. Bernard, the fastest-losing county from 2005 to 2006, experienced a 42.9 percent population
increase between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, upping its population by almost 6,000, and
Orleans' population rose by 13.8 percent, or nearly 29,000, to about 239,000 in July, 2007,
according to the Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau's latest release claims New Orleans as the eighth-fastest growing metro area
between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, as its population climbed 4 percent. It also was the 16th
largest numeric gainer over the same period, with an increase of 39,885. The metro area previously
had the highest rate of decline between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006.
In addition to New Orleans, other Gulf Coast metro areas where populations increased after having
experienced 2005-2006 population declines due to hurricanes Katrina or Rita included
Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss. (1.8 percent population growth ); Pascagoula, Miss., (1.6 percent);
Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (0.5 percent); and Lake Charles, La. (0.4 percent).
Dallas-Fort Worth had the largest numeric gain of any metro area, increasing by 162,250, according
to July 1, 2007, estimates of metro area population size and growth released by the Census Bureau.
Atlanta (151,063), Phoenix (132,513) and Houston (120,544) rounded out the metro areas with
gains of at least 100,000.
RELATED: SEE "New Orleans Population Continues To Grow" in BUSINESS
"It's about more than just a hurricane"