New Orleans Nearly two-thirds of the city's pre-Hurricane Katrina population has returned, a new report estimates.
But Greg Rigamer, the demographer who compiled the report, said Tuesday that he expects the growth seen since July 2006 to plateau in the next year as the sense of urgency to return falls.
Rigamer, whose company, GCR & Associates, has been tracking demographics in post-Katrina New Orleans, said an estimated 288,000 people were living in New Orleans in October. In July 2005, the month before Katrina hit and flooded 80 percent of the city, the population was estimated at 455,000.
Between Oct. 1, 2006, and Oct. 1, 2007, New Orleans' population grew 19 percent. But that growth rate may not continue, Rigamer said.
"Given the state of the schools and the criminal justice system, it's hard to understand why the trend has been occurring so long, this long after" Katrina, he said.