New Orleans Ten Years After The Storm: The Kaiser Family Foundation Katrina Survey Project
Taken together, the survey findings highlight both the remarkable progress New Orleans has made in the 10 years since Katrina, as well as the stark challenges that remain. Perhaps the biggest of these challenges is one that was not brought about by the storm, but may have been exacerbated by it: the vast differences in the living circumstances of the city’s African American and white residents. These gaps are reflected not only in the rates at which African Americans and whites report ongoing financial problems and a lack of neighborhood services, but also in their feelings about how far New Orleans has come in its recovery and their views of the city as a good place for young people. Racial disparities in income and living conditions are not uncommon in urban areas across the U.S., and what we cannot tell from this survey is the degree to which any of the gaps identified are unique to New Orleans and its residents’ experiences with Katrina, or whether other cities would differ on these same dimensions. While a majority of both blacks and whites remain optimistic about New Orleans’ future, the fact that about a third of African Americans and nearly half of young adults are considering moving away is a potentially troubling sign for the city’s ability to maintain the vibrant and diverse community for which it has long been famous.