A decade after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast and flood waters breached levees to cause unprecedented destruction in New Orleans, the Kaiser Family Foundation has teamed with NPR to survey current residents on the city’s recovery efforts and lingering challenges.
The new survey adds to findings from a series of surveys conducted by the Foundation in 2006, 2008, and 2010, as well as a survey of Katrina evacuees conducted in partnership with The Washington Post just weeks after the storm hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005. The series tracks how New Orleans residents feel about their city and its progress on a number of fronts, including race relations, public safety, affordable housing, and education.
New Orleans Ten Years After the Storm finds that residents overall are optimistic, resilient, and proud of their city’s culture. In many cases, survey trends show steady improvements in neighborhood conditions and residents’ evaluations of the recovery’s progress. However, African Americans continue to lag far behind Whites, both in their perceptions of how much progress has been made and in the rates at which they report continuing struggles. In some areas — such as views of whether New Orleans offers good career opportunities for young people — the racial gap has widened since the hurricane. Crime continues to be seen as the city’s biggest problem among residents of all races, the survey finds, with personal worries about crime increasing over the past five years.
Three infographics from the Foundation illustrate some of the survey’s main findings:
NPR will highlight results from the new survey in its radio reporting throughout August. Coverage is available at npr.org.