U.S. Postal Service counts of the number of households actively receiving mail in New Orleans as of July 2007 is 68 percent of the pre-Katrina
number, up from 50 percent one year after the storm. The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates for post-Katrina New
Orleans indicated that by July 1, 2006, the population of New Orleans had only reached 50 percent of its pre-Katrina population. Statistics
from the U.S. Postal Service came to the same conclusion, finding that just half the number of pre-Katrina residences actively receiving mail
were active in the city at the one-year anniversary mark.
Now, at two years following Hurricane Katrina, the monthly postal delivery data suggest that the population of the New Orleans area
continues to grow. Households actively receiving mail in Orleans Parish have reached 68 percent of pre-Katrina levels in July 2007, an 18-
percentage-point improvement from one year ago. Maps that depict density of active households across New Orleans (see Appendix A: Map
Gallery) reveal that many parts of the more heavily flooded neighborhoods are showing notable resurgence.
However, the population recovery is mixed across the region. In St. Bernard Parish, just 36.5 percent of the pre-Katrina population is living
in this hard-hit community nearly two years after the levee failures. On the other hand, St. Tammany has experienced a slight gain in new
residents since the hurricane. Overall, households actively receiving mail in the four-parish region (Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and St.
Tammany) have increased from 76 percent to 84 percent over that last 11 months.
No doubt, there is overall good news in the city and surrounding parishes. Both the city and region have experienced continued population
growth, reaching 68 percent and 84 percent of pre-storm levels, respectively. Nearly 84 percent of the sales tax revenues for New Orleans have
returned, indicating the strong investments that city residents and visitors are making in the city and bolstering the city’s