Some relevant facts:
In less than a week, the city’s population declined from over 400,000 to near zero. Census Bureau estimates indicate that almost two years after the storm, by July 1, 2007, nearly half of these evacuees had yet to return.
[b]efore Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the greater New Orleans area was a region with growth confined to the periphery and profound decay at its core.
If Census Bureau estimates prove accurate, the city will have lost roughly 200,000 residents as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
[after Katrina] the city is substantially older; the median age in 2006 is nearly six years older than the comparable figure for 2004, and school-aged children form a smaller proportion of the population.
The 2000 Census counted just over 215,000 housing units in the city of New Orleans. By 2006, the estimated number of units had declined to 106,000, of which more than 32,000 were vacant.
[t]he proportionate reduction in the housing stock exceeded the reduction in population, according to Census estimates. Predictably, then, as the reduction in supply exceeded the reduction in demand, the price of housing in New Orleans rose dramatically in the hurricane’s wake.
The payroll of private-sector firms located in the New Orleans metropolitan area declined 13.6 percent between July 2005 and July 2007, reflecting a loss of almost 70,000 jobs.