Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New Orleans: Fastest Growing City in America

I just heard, on NBC, that New Orleans is now the fastest-growing city in the U.S., with a population expansion of 8.2 percent during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2008.

New population count: 311,853, or 23,740 more than the previous year.

This is great news for the city, for its economy and, most importantly, its people. As I've written on countless occasions -- and opined about in an on-air commentary on WUSF-FM -- since Katrina, New Orleans is a cultural gem that America simply can't afford to lose.

And by culture, I mean the multiple diverse forms of music that have grown out of that city, and I also mean the food and the rituals and the unique ethnic heritage of the place.

The population of NOLA has a long way to go before it reaches pre-Katrina levels (484, 674), and the economic issues (and related issues of crime, education and screwy politics) faced by the city remain daunting. But this news suggests that a recovery is really, really on the way -- here's hoping the area's residents are heartened by this. And that the population boom continues there.

For more, read the report online at CNNMoney.

(Photo, above, is a shot of the African drummers who played with Wynton Marsalis's Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Congo Square Stage at this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival)

No comments: