October 18, 2012
These slides examine 2011 demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and identify significant changes since the Census 2000 in parishes across the metro area. Included are data on race and ethnicity, educational attainment, poverty, income, children, access to vehicles, the foreign–born population, homeownership, homeowners with a mortgage, and single–person households.
This presentation examines 2011 demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and identifies significant changes since the Census 2000 in parishes across the metro area. Included are data on race and ethnicity, educational attainment, poverty, income, children, access to vehicles, the foreign–born population, homeownership, homeowners with a mortgage, and single–person households.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 1,191,189 residents were living in the New Orleans metro as of July 2011, a two percent increase from April 2010. However, the metro area has just 90 percent of its 2000 population of 1,316,510. In this presentation, we examine how the demographics of metro area parishes have changed since 2000 by comparing the most recent Census Bureau data from 2011 with demographic data from Census 2000.
 The seven–parish New Orleans metro includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany.
 This presentation includes 2011 population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Program (PEP) on May 17, 2012. The PEP 2011 includes data for all parishes in the New Orleans metro as well as for the New Orleans metro. This presentation also includes 2011 socioeconomic data from the American Community Survey (ACS) released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 21, 2012. The ACS 2011 includes data for only the three most populous parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, and St. Tammany as well as the New Orleans metro.
According to the Census Bureau’s 2011 population estimates, there are now 109,903 fewer African Americans living in Orleans Parish compared to 2000, but there are also 16,524 fewer whites. Meanwhile, the number of Hispanics grew by 4,101.
 Orleans Parish is coterminous with the City of New Orleans. Therefore, Orleans Parish and the City of New Orleans are used interchangeably throughout this presentation.
 Throughout this presentation, “African American,” “Asian,” and “white” refer to individuals who report to be only one race, and not Hispanic. However, “Hispanics” can be of any race.
In New Orleans (Orleans Parish), the share of the 2011 population that is African American—while lower than in 2000 when it was 66.7 percent—continues to represent the majority of city residents at 59.2 percent. The share of Hispanics in the city increased from 3.1 percent in 2000 to 5.2 percent in 2011; the share of Asians increased from 2.3 percent to 2.9 percent; and the share of whites increased from 26.6 percent to 31.1 percent. Meanwhile, Hispanic, Asian, and African American populations increased as a share of the total population in Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany parishes. In fact, the number and share of Hispanics has increased in all seven parishes in the metro area.
Between 2000 and 2011, the number of Hispanics in Jefferson Parish increased by 22,397, reaching nearly 13 percent of the total population. Orleans Parish and St. Tammany Parish gained 4,101 and 6,828 Hispanics respectively, such that, by 2011, the Hispanic share of the population in Orleans was 5.2 percent, and in St. Tammany it was 4.9 percent.
As of July 2011, there were 95,176 Hispanics in the metro area representing 8.0 percent of the metro area population, up from 58,415 representing 4.4 percent of the metro population in 2000. Despite these recent gains, the Hispanic share of the population in metro area parishes is far below the average for the United States, which has grown from 12.5 percent to 16.7 percent of the total population over these 11 years.
Educational attainment is an important determinant of household incomes, workforce skills, and regional resiliency. The proportion of adults 25 years and older with less than a high school education declined across all three of the largest parishes, leading to a metro–wide decrease from 22 percent in 2000 to 15 percent in 2011. In the City of New Orleans, the share of adults with less than a high school degree fell from 25 percent to 16 percent, nearly as low as the United States average.
 Julian, T. & Kominski, R. (2011). Education and Synthetic Work–Life Earnings Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2012 from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-14.pdf ; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2012). Conceptualizing and Measuring Resilience. Evidence Matters. Retrieved September 18, 2012 from http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/em/winter12/highlight2.html#title.
The metro area decline in the share of adults with less than a high school degree has been coupled with an increase in the share with a bachelor’s degree or higher. In the City of New Orleans, 32 percent of adults 25 years and older had a college degree in 2011—higher than the U.S. average of 29 percent, and up from 26 percent in 2000. The metro area share of adults with a bachelor’s degree has also increased, from 23 to 26 percent.
While the Great Recession pushed household income down 11 percent nationwide between 1999 and 2011, the median income in the New Orleans metro fell 8 percent to $44,004. Median household income declined 16 percent to $43,332 in Jefferson Parish, 13 percent to $56,536 in St. Tammany Parish, and was unchanged in the City of New Orleans from a decade ago. However, the 2011 median household income of $35,041 for New Orleans is significantly lower than the U.S. median of $50,502.
Individuals living below the poverty level indicate the economy is not providing all residents with the ability to meet their most basic needs, including food, housing, and transportation. The poverty rate in the City of New Orleans declined from 28 percent in 1999 to 21 percent in 2007, but then rose to 29 percent in 2011, such that it is now statistically the same as it was in 1999. In Jefferson Parish, the poverty rate increased from 14 to 18 percent between 1999 and 2011, and in St. Tammany Parish, the 2011 poverty rate of 12 percent is the same as in 1999 based on statistical significance testing. Meanwhile, the U.S. poverty rate increased from 12 percent to 16 percent.
Like the overall poverty rate, child poverty rates in Orleans Parish and the metro area dropped in 2007 and have since increased again to their 1999 level. The Orleans Parish child poverty rate fell from 41 percent in 1999 to 32 percent in 2007, and then shot back up to 42 percent in 2011. The metro area child poverty rate dipped to 21 percent in 2007, but ended up at 28 percent in 2011—the same as in 1999 based on statistical significance testing. St. Tammany’s 15 percent child poverty rate for 2011 is also statistically unchanged from 1999. Meanwhile, the child poverty rate has increased from 20 percent to 29 percent in Jefferson Parish between 1999 and 2011, and from 17 percent to 23 percent nationwide.
Post–Katrina, the share of Orleans Parish households without access to a vehicle has dropped from 27 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2011. Nonetheless, at 19 percent, New Orleans’ share is more than twice as high as in neighboring parishes and the nation, indicating the importance of a robust public transportation system and comprehensive evacuation plan.
A rising foreign–born share of the population may reflect expanding economic opportunities for both high–skilled and low–skilled workers. The foreign–born share of the population has grown in all three of the most populous parishes since 2000. Metro–wide, the foreign–born share of the population increased from 5 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2011. In Jefferson Parish, the foreign–born share jumped from 7 percent to 11 percent, and is approaching the 13 percent average for the United States. In Orleans and St. Tammany, the share has increased by about two percentage points to 6 percent and 4 percent respectively.
 Singer, A. et al. (2001). The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metropolitan Areas. Washington: Brookings Institution. Retrieved August 22, 2012 from http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/06_immigrants_singer.aspx
After Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson and Orleans parishes initially experienced a disproportionate return of homeowners, but as of 2011, both parishes have returned to their pre–Katrina homeownership rates. In St. Tammany Parish, an increase in renters has pushed the 2011 homeownership rate lower than in 2000. With a 45 percent homeownership rate in Orleans Parish, a 63 percent homeownership rate in Jefferson Parish, and a 77 percent homeownership rate in St. Tammany, Orleans lags, Jefferson is on par with, and St. Tammany exceeds the national homeownership rate.
Homeowners without a mortgage own their homes free and clear of any type of loan. A high share of such homeowners usually indicates residents living in the same house for long periods of time, and helps shield neighborhoods from foreclosures. The proportion of metro area homeowners without a mortgage has increased from 34 to 41 percent between 2000 and 2011, driven by changes in all three of the area’s largest parishes. The share of homeowners without a mortgage shot up from 33 to 45 percent in Orleans; from 35 to 41 percent in Jefferson; and from 30 to 34 percent in St. Tammany. One reason for the surge may be that homeowners who returned after Katrina used insurance or Road Home proceeds to pay off their mortgage principal. These three parishes received the first, second, and fourth largest number of Road Home Option 1 grants among all Louisiana parishes.
 State of Louisiana Office of Community Development. (2012). The Homeowner Assistance Program Week 323 Situation & Pipeline Report. Retrieved September 13, 2012 from https://road2la.org/Docs/pipeline/week323pipeline.pdf.
Across the metro area, as across the nation, the share of households with children is shrinking while the share of individuals living alone is growing. As of 2011, 27 percent of households in the New Orleans metro included children, down from 33 percent in 2000. Between 2000 and 2011, the percent of St. Tammany households with children declined from 40 percent to 30 percent; the percent of Jefferson households with children declined from 33 percent to 26 percent; and the percent of Orleans households with children declined from 30 percent to 23 percent.
As households with children have declined, the share of single–person households has grown in the metro and nationwide. The metro area share of individuals living alone grew from 27 percent in 2000 to 31 percent in 2011. In Orleans Parish, 39 percent of households are individuals living alone, up from 33 percent in 2000, and in Jefferson, 31 percent of all households are individuals living alone, up from 27 percent in 2000. The share of households that are individuals living alone is unchanged at 20 percent for St. Tammany Parish.