Jul 5, 2023 - Health

New Orleans' fastest-growing demographic groups

New Orleans metro area population
Data: U.S. Census; Note: Estimates include people reporting one race alone; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New Orleans' Hispanic population saw the biggest percentage increase of any single demographic between 2000 and 2022, per a new analysis from Axios' Kavya Beheraj and Alex Fitzpatrick.

Why it matters: Such demographic data is a vital snapshot of how New Orleans' racial and ethnic makeup is changing over time, helping to inform policies and programs across the city.

By the numbers: The number of Hispanic residents grew 102.6% to more than 120,000.

  • Meanwhile, people claiming two or more races jumped 115.5% to more than 24,000, and the city's Asian population jumped 30.3% to 38,400.

Between the lines: New Orleans spent much of the first quarter of this century rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, a population-altering event that forced an estimated 1.5 million residents from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to leave.

  • New Orleans' overall population has fallen by 7% since 2000, according to the new analysis.
  • The Black population drop was particularly steep, at 12.7% to about 442,000.
  • The white population fell 6.8% to 733,2000 over the same period.

Driving the news: Climate refugees aside, demographic trends are driven by a combination of factors, including varied birth, mortality and immigration rates (both internal and external) among different socioeconomic groups.

The big picture: Nationwide, the country's Pacific Islander, Asian and Hispanic populations saw the biggest percentage increases between 2000 and 2022.

  • The number of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders grew about 120% to nearly 879,000, while the Asian population grew about 105% to 21 million.
  • The Hispanic population grew about 80%, to nearly 64 million.
  • The Black population grew 31% to 45.4 million.

Of note: The U.S. is still predominantly white, with growth of 19% between 2000 and 2022 to nearly 252 million.

Zoom in: Some states are seeing far more rapid demographic shifts than others.

  • In Texas, for instance, Hispanic residents now officially make up the largest share of the state's population, the Texas Tribune reports.
  • "The new population figures show Hispanic Texans made up 40.2% of the state's population last summer, barely edging out non-Hispanic white Texans, who made up 39.8%," per the Tribune.

Meanwhile: The country is also rapidly aging, Axios' Emily Peck recently reported, with the median age reaching a record 38.9 last year.

The intrigue: Politicos have long speculated that a growing Hispanic population could move states toward purple or even blue, as our colleagues at Axios Dallas reported.

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