New Orleans, Louisiana Population 2018

New Orleans is the largest city and metro area of Louisiana, and its name comes from Orléans, a city on the Loire River in France. Known for its French Creole architecture and multilingual and cultural heritage, New Orleans is often called the most unique city in the United States.

The estimated population of New Orleans is 369,000, down significantly from a decade ago.

New Orleans is estimated to have 369,000 people in 2013, which is down dramatically from 484,674 in 2000. This is up from the 2010 Census population of 343,800, however, and New Orleans is growing and recovering from Hurricane Katrina that struck its coast in 2005.

The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1.167 million, which makes it the 46th largest in the country, and the New Orleans-Metairie-Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area has a population of 1.2 million.

The city itself currently has a density of 1,965 people per square mile (759/square kilometer), so there's definitely room for growth.

Impact of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina had a major impact on New Orleans and it was called the "worst engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl" by Dr. Raymond B. Seed of the University California Brekeley after the Federal levee system failed. The hurricane approached the city in August 2005 and, while most residents were evacuated, the federal flood protection system failed and 80% of New Orleans was flooded.

Tens of thousands of residents who were left in the city were rescued, but many stayed in shelters -- including the Louisiana Superdome -- for days. Officially, 1,500 people died in Louisiana, but there were many more never accounted for.

Tens of thousands of people left New Orleans and never returned, and in 2006, the Census Bureau estimated the population was just 223,000. A year later, 32,000 people returned, which brought the city's population to just 56% of pre-Katrina levels.

In 2013, the US Census Bureau estimated the population of New Orleans at 369,000, which is 76% of its 2000 population, while the metro area has 92% of its 2000 population. Another survey in June 2013 found that more than half of the 72 neighborhoods of New Orleans had recovered 90% of their pre-Katrina population.

While African Americans still represent a majority in the city, their numbers dropped significantly after the hurricane.

New Orleans Demographics

At the 2010 Census, the racial and ethnic composition of New Orleans was:

  • African American: 60.2%
  • White: 33%
  • Asian: 2.9%
  • Two or more races: 1.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 5.3%

In 2006, it was estimated that there are about 10,000 to 14,000 illegal immigrants in New Orleans, mostly from Mexico. Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, said there may be about 120,000 Hispanic workers in the city.

New Orleans has become more diverse over the last decade, and its Latino population in the metropolitan area has jumped 69% from 2000 to 2012, which is much higher than the national 50% growth.

The French and Spanish colonial history of New Orleans gives its population a strong Catholic traditional, and Catholicism is still the predominant religion. 35.9% of its population is Roman Catholic. There is also a strong presence of Louisiana Voodoo, which is a syncretism with African and Afro-Caribbean Roman Catholic beliefs. While this Voodoo image is promoted a great deal by the tourism industry, there are very few true adherents in New Orleans.

New Orleans History

La Nouvelle-Orleans (New Orleans) was founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company on land inhabited at the time by the Chitimacha. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ceded this French colony to the Spanish Empire, and it became a port to smuggle aid to rebels during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1779, a successful campaign pushed the British from the city, and New Orleans stayed under Spanish control until 1801, when it reverted to France. Napoleon then sold the territory to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase and it grew quickly as French, Creoles, Americans, Africans, Germans and Irish moved to the region.

The end of the Haitian Revolution in 1804 brought a huge wage of refugees to New Orleans, both white and free people of color, many of which brought African slaves. New Orleans went on to have the largest slave trade for many years. After the Civil War, Louisiana was readmitted to the Union in 1868 and the city of New Orleans continued to grow in size and economic power through the 20th century.

New Orleans Population Growth

In 2012, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 largest cities with the fastest growing populations in the US based on Census Bureau data. New Orleans ranked #1, with 4.9% growth from 2010 to 2011. This is more than 6 times the national average of just 0.73%, although New Orleans remains at 80% pre-Katrina levels.

The good news is that New Orleans is on the rise again, eight years after Hurricane Katrina. In recent years, the population has started to grow and the city recovered all the jobs it lost as of 2012 with new growth in knowledge-based industries. This is good news for The Big Easy, and it's a trend that is expected to continue.

There's no doubt that Hurricane Katrina was a terrible disaster and tragedy, but it gave New Orleans the money and opportunity to rebuild and reinvent itself. The city was saved by the once-imminent fate of Detroit and its real estate market has seen a rebirth.

If current trends hold, New Orleans should have no trouble making its way back to pre-Katrina levels and possibly beyond before the next census in 2020.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017393,2922710.07%
2016393,0212,3100.59%
2015390,7115,9481.55%
2014384,7635,6381.49%
2013379,1259,0452.44%
2012370,0809,4192.61%
2011360,66112,8373.69%
2010347,824-136,850-3.26%
2000484,674-12,264-0.25%
1990496,938-60,989-1.15%
1980557,927-35,544-0.62%
1970593,471-34,054-0.56%
1960627,52557,0800.96%
1950570,44575,9081.44%
1940494,53735,7750.75%
1930458,76271,5431.71%
1920387,21948,1441.34%
1910339,07551,9711.68%
1900287,10445,0651.72%
1890242,03925,9491.14%
1880216,09024,6721.22%
1870191,41822,7431.27%
1860168,67552,3003.78%
1850116,37514,1821.31%
1840102,19356,1118.29%
183046,08218,9065.42%
182027,1769,9344.65%
181017,2420.00%

New Orleans Population in 2018Source: By thepipe26 (Flickr: new orleans skyline 2) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
Black or African American229,143
White130,323
Asian11,208
Two or More Races6,232
Some Other Race5,144
American Indian and Alaska Native776
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander96

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

New Orleans Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8%10% Male Population0%2%4%6%8%10% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

New Orleans Median Age

35.5


Total

34.8


Male

36.3


Female

New Orleans Adults

There are 304,040 adults, (46,716 of which are seniors) in New Orleans.

New Orleans Age Dependency

48.6

Age Dependency Ratio

18.1

Old Age Dependency Ratio

30.5

Child Dependency Ratio

New Orleans Sex Ratio

Female

199,963

52.22%

Male

182,959

47.78%

New Orleans Households and Families

New Orleans Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

New Orleans Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married74.9%25.1%
All46.4%53.6%
Male44.3%55.7%
Female36.5%63.5%
Non Family35%65%

46.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

New Orleans Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All154,8442.3946.4
Non Family78,0681.2835
Married41,5063.2674.9
Female28,5583.8336.5
Male6,7123.744.3

3.42

Average Family Size

2.39

Average Household Size

5.3%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.8%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

New Orleans Households

New Orleans Education

New Orleans Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade11,4564.32%
9th to 12th Grade26,54810.01%
High School Graduate60,82622.94%
Some College58,32221.99%
Associates Degree12,0844.56%
Bachelors Degree54,90720.71%
Graduate Degree41,02315.47%

New Orleans Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
Black147,443118,04326,665
White93,07290,25460,265
Hispanic14,13710,6304,647
Asian7,9375,6963,030
Multiple Races3,4983,0791,492
Other Race3,2112,373833
Native American670485140
Islander725932

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 96.97%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 64.75%.

New Orleans Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,229$37,083$29,843
Less Than High School$16,362$19,328$13,074
High School Grad$22,391$26,100$19,462
Some College$28,435$33,362$24,727
Bachelors Degree$42,160$49,993$38,215
Graduate Degree$57,437$72,423$50,138

$32,229

Average Earnings

$37,083

Average Male

$29,843

Average Female

New Orleans Language

New Orleans Language by Age

New Orleans Language

91.13% of New Orleans residents speak only English, while 8.87% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.20% of the population.

New Orleans Poverty

New Orleans Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black223,03975,87934.02%
White112,63413,24011.75%
Hispanic20,3695,13225.20%
Asian10,8211,82016.82%
Other5,0561,71533.92%
Multiple5,8601,54326.33%
Native76221027.56%

26.21%

Overall Poverty Rate

23.98%

Male Poverty Rate

28.23%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in New Orleans

The race most likely to be in poverty in New Orleans is Black, with 34.02% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in New Orleans is White, with 11.75% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.95%. Among those working part-time, it was 28.68%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 39.42%.

New Orleans Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School41.33%
High School28.71%
Some College20.77%
Bachelors or Greater7.77%

New Orleans Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed51.04%
Male Unemployed39.85%
Female Employed14.01%
Male Employed8.72%

New Orleans Income

New Orleans Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$37,488$65,386
Families$51,289$84,059
Married Families$83,823$121,905
Non Families$26,619$45,434

New Orleans Marital Status

New Orleans Marital Status

Marriage Rates

29.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

32.2%

Male Marriage Rate

27.9%

Female Marriage Rate

New Orleans Married by Age and Sex

New Orleans Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

New Orleans Marital Status by Race

New Orleans Veterans

New Orleans Veterans by War

17,894

Number of Veterans

15,958

Male Veterans

1,936

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam6,312
First Gulf War3,466
Second Gulf War3,078
Korea1,261
World War II1,096

New Orleans Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 544,399
65 to 744,210
55 to 644,020
75+3,474
18 to 341,791

New Orleans Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
Black10,1875.91%
White7,1456.33%
Hispanic5553.43%
2 or More3367.76%
Other872.39%
Asian800.87%
Indian537.27%
Hawaiian66.25%

New Orleans Veterans by Education

13.01%

Veteran Poverty Rate

26.95%

Veteran Disability Rate

New Orleans Employment Status

New Orleans Employment by Age

62.1%

Labor Force Participation

55.8%

Employment Rate

9.8%

Unemployment Rate

New Orleans Employment by Race

New Orleans Employment by Education

New Orleans Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

71.16%

Born in Louisiana

94.11%

Native Born

5.89%

Foreign Born

3.33%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

94.11% of New Orleans residents were born in the United States, with 71.16% having been born in Louisiana. 3.33% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.