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William H. Frey photo

Katrina and Rita impacts on Gulf Coast populations: first census findings

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H., and Audrey Singer. 2006. "Katrina and Rita impacts on Gulf Coast populations: first census findings." Brookings Census 2000 SeriesWashington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

This analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data provides a “baseline” portrait of the demographic impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on population shifts and changing characteristics in the Gulf Region in the immediate months after the storms hit. Frey finds that in the New Orleans metropolitan area, hurricane-induced loss produced a population that was more white, less poor, and more transitory than the pre-hurricane population. These changes resulted from the disproportionate out-migration, and slower return, of lower-income and black residents from the entire metropolitan area after the storms. In contrast, counties along the Mississippi coast lost a sizeable share of their white residents and homeowners after the hurricane, while other Gulf Coast metro areas, especially those that gained residents, experienced little overall shifts in their demographic profiles.

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