Thursday, August 9, 2007

New Orleans Population

The Times-Picayune reports that there is a new estimate of New Orleans's population: 273,598, approximately 60% the population reported in the 2000 census. This is after a similar study in June used postal data to claim that the current population is 66% the pre-Katrina population. The current study used "utility records" to establish its estimate, but the article doesn't really explain further. It mostly concentrates on explaining major trends. The most obvious trend is that the areas that were barely flooded are all at 90% or more of their 2000 population (French Quarter, Garden District, Audubon Park and the Universities). The vast majority of the remaining population decline is due to the pockets of heavy flooding: the Lower 9th Ward, Broadmoor, Gentilly, etc.

I find these studies interesting, because population is one simple (though incomplete) metric of the city's recovery. One thing about today's article bothered me: one of the study's authors claimed that their figure disagreed with the earlier figure because this isn't an exact science. I would point out that the two figures are within 10% of each other, which I consider to mean that these studies confirm each other, rather than dispute each other.

Now, if I knew more about mapping technologies, it would be very interesting to overlay the population recovery maps over the crime rate maps (post to come shortly)...

Further information: Greater New Orleans Community Data Center

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utility records: awesome. Y'mean the ourageously expensive bills that come randomly every three/four months. According to my electric bill there's about 1,000 people living in my houe.

August 9, 2007 at 8:21 PM  

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