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Hurricane Katrina Displaced 400,000 Gulf Coast Residents, Report Says

The report — the bureau’s first since the storms hit last summer — showed that the entire New Orleans area remains vastly reduced, having lost 378,000 people, and those who remained tended to be white, slightly older and a little more well-off, according to The New York Times.

The population went from 54 percent non-Hispanic white before the hurricane to 68 percent after the storm.

“We knew the city was becoming whiter and less poor, but now we know the entire New Orleans region was,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, in a Washington Post report.

The Mississippi coast, however, has become less white with the proportion of non-Hispanic blacks in Mississippi’s coastal counties rising from 17 percent to 27 percent, according to the bureau’s statistics.

The Gulfport-Biloxi region lost 41,000 people from before Hurricane Katrina hit to January, the study said.

The Houston metropolitan area gained about 130,000 residents, many of them hurricane evacuees. The percentage of whites ebbed, making up 62.8 percent of the population in January compared to 64.8 percent in July, a month before the storms hit, the Times reported.

The figures have a larger than normal margin of error and are five months old but provide the best picture yet of how the storm-affected populations changed.

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