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The Inequity of New Orleans' Katrina Recovery at 10

New Orleans residents protested the closing of public housing complexes that were not heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina and that have since been demolished, dramatically reducing the availability of affordable housing. (Photo: Craig Morse, Culture: Subculture Photography, via Flickr.)

Number of people Hurricane Katrina initially displaced from New Orleans, where federal levee failures caused mass flooding: at least 400,000

Percent of white New Orleanians displaced by Katrina who returned to the city within a year: 67

Percent of displaced black New Orleanians who returned in that time: 44

Percent share of New Orleans' population that was African-American in 2005: 66

In 2013: 59

Number fewer African Americans living in New Orleans today than before the storm: 100,000

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Number of low-income public housing units that were available in New Orleans before Katrina, almost all of them occupied by African Americans: 5,146

Number of low-income public housing units available in the city today: 1,925

Following the drastic makeover of New Orleans' public schools into mostly independently-run, less-regulated charters, portion of the city's white residents who say the schools have gotten stronger: 2/3

Percent of the city's African-American residents who agree: 55

Of every 10 jobs being added today in the New Orleans metro area, number that are in low-wage industries like tourism, administrative services and retail: 7

Amount by which the median income of white residents of New Orleans increased from 2005 to 2013: $11,000

Amount by which the median income of black New Orleans residents increased over that same period: $2,000

Percent of black men in New Orleans who were unemployed in 2000: 48

Percent of black men in New Orleans who are unemployed today: 52

New Orleans' percent poverty rate in 2005: 17.77

In 2013: 19.31

Percent of black children in New Orleans who lived in poverty in 2005: 44

Percent of black children who live in poverty there today: 50

Portion of white New Orleans residents who believe the city has mostly recovered since Katrina: nearly 4 out of 5

Portion of New Orleans' black residents who say it has not: nearly 3 out of 5

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the Director and regular contributor to the Institute for Southern Study's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

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