New Orleanians always ask why we can’t get businesses to move here. The answer is that people don’t move here. Businesses follow population but population comes first. If you want to revitalize areas such as New Orleans East, you need more people to move there and New Orleans businesses to stop leaving. The numbers are backed up by solid research from The Data Center in their publication: New Orleans Population Shifts.
People Have Been Leaving New Orleans Since 1980
New Orleans has over 150,000 fewer residents than in 2000 and remains at less than 80% of its pre-Katrina population. Jefferson Parish’s population is relatively stagnant, gaining 8,229 residents this past decade but remains just under 15,000 shy of its pre-Katrina total. St. Tammany Parish continues to boom, adding 30,830 residents this last decade after gaining 42,472 between 2000 and 2010.
We need a plan to grow New Orleans. It’s easy to do. We built a tourism economy based on people coming to visit to enjoy our music and food and fun but we aren’t doing what is needed to get them to stay. We just need to do what other cities are doing to attract people and take positive action. If you look at Atlanta, Austin, Houston and Nashville, they are focusing on taxes, crime and education and the results are jobs and population explosion which leads to business growth.
For more information on what businesses are feasible for the new New Orleans, read our article: What Businesses Will Thrive In New Orleans.