More Than Half Of New Orleans' People Are Gone

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A recent population survey from the Louisiana Recovery Authority has reported that of the pre-Katrina population of 454,000 people in New Orleans, only about 187,000 remain today. More than a year later, 59% of the population has not returned since the hurricane and the large-scale flooding caused by the failure of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' faulty flood protection system.

Fewer than 190,000 people are living in New Orleans a year after Hurricane Katrina, according to a door-to-door survey released Thursday.

The population of 187,525 is about 41% of the 454,000 people estimated to be living in Orleans Parish before the storm hit Aug. 29, 2005.

A spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Natalie Wyeth, called the results "the definitive, most precise set of numbers we've seen."

The survey was conducted for the authority and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals by the Louisiana Public Health Institute.

It involved a sampling of homes from all over the city, said Alden Henderson, who is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was involved in pushing for the survey. He said the survey used a method commonly employed by the Census Bureau.

The results are meant to help planners determine where clinics, schools, transit systems and other key infrastructure should be placed, Wyeth said.

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