From: The Louisiana Recovery Authority
Study shows overall impact of Katrina and Rita on parish populations
BATON ROUGE, La. (August 7, 2007)-Today, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) released findings from the first study of post Katrina and Rita migration patterns across South Louisiana. This study, known as the Migration Patterns Report, identifies parishes that experienced significant population losses in the aftermath of the 2005 storms and indicates to which parishes these individuals have relocated. The report also highlights regions that experienced significant population gains and indicates from where these individuals migrated.
"Katrina and Rita initially displaced hundreds of thousands of people across South Louisiana," said Dr. Calvin Mackie, a member of the LRA Board of Directors. "This displacement and the unprecedented losses and gains in overall population have had a significant impact on parish planning and resources. We hope this report will begin to fill a critical data and information void about our citizens-one that is needed to make informed policy choices and investments in our long-term recovery."
Key findings of this study include the following:
- Orleans parish had the largest out-migration in total numbers. Migrants from Orleans parish tended to be dispersed further away with about two-thirds of the out-migrants moving beyond the surveyed parishes or out of state.
- Percentage-wise, St Bernard had an even greater loss with about three-fourths of its pre-Katrina population leaving the parish. About one-third of those displaced out of parish went to St Tammany parish and approximately another third went outside of the survey area or out of state.
- The more rural parishes of Plaquemines and Cameron also had significant losses. However, in these parishes a higher percentage was able to relocate within the same parish and more were able to relocate elsewhere in Louisiana.
- There were a high number of migrations within each parish; an estimated 46,000 Orleans parish residents moved elsewhere in Orleans due to Katrina; Plaquemines and St Bernard both had about 5,000 residents each move within the parish boundaries. Cameron parish had about 2,000 residents move within the parish; compared to 2,600 residents that relocated outside the parish due to the hurricanes.
- Jefferson parish ranked second in overall storm-related out-migrations with about 70,000. Like Orleans, Jefferson parish evacuees were generally dispersed further. In addition, they had significant challenges with 35,000 displacements within parish while picking up approximately 51,000 in-migrants from other devastated parishes such as Orleans, St Bernard and Plaquemines.
- Despite losing an estimated 10,000 residents due to the storms, St Tammany parish actually experienced a population gain with an influx of about 15,000 from the southern impacted parishes. A larger number of these in-migrants came from St Bernard parish than the much larger Orleans parish.
- Simultaneously they had over 15,000 residents move within parish due to the storms and they picked up another 5,000 or so residents not related to the storms.
The complete report is available online at http://lra.louisiana.gov/assets/MigrationReport_FINAL.pdf
The estimates described in this report are based on the 2006 Census Bureau annual population estimates combined with updated data collected from door-to-door surveys in 18 parishes across Southern Louisiana. These surveys were conducted approximately 15 months following the hurricanes in the following parishes: Ascension, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St Charles, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion and Washington.
Surveys were conducted by the Louisiana Public Health Institute on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Recovery Authority, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census Bureau. Complete and updated survey results - including demographic breakdowns, insurance coverage information and more from the 2006 Louisiana Health & Population Survey - are available online at www.popest.org
The LRA's Migration Patterns Report was released in conjunction with two other studies conducted by the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps and researchers at Louisiana State University (LSU).
The Recovery Corps survey, titled Where Did They Go and Are They Coming Back, provides an analysis of displaced Louisianans living in other states and discusses barriers they have identified to returning. This report is available online at www.recoverycorps.org.
The Louisiana FEMA Park Survey, which was conducted by LSU and the LSU AgCenter on behalf of the Recovery Corps, the Department of Labor, and the LRA, includes information about the past, present and future plans of trailer park residents in addition to information about their education, health, employment and income status. This report is available online at www.lra.louisiana.gov.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana. To learn more, visit www.lra.louisiana.gov.