The population of New Orleans has rebounded to 60% of its pre-Katrina level nearly two years after the storm, the AP reports, based on the lastest survey. The city had 273,600 residents last month, up 50,200 from a year ago; 455,000 called the Big Easy home in July 2005.
The population has grown at about 1% a month, with returning residents concentrated in areas least affected by the hurricane. The population of the hard-hit Lower Ninth Ward stands at just 7% of its pre-Katrina level. "Everything is happening in a natural progression, and when I say natural, I mean slow," said the demographer who authored the survey.