U.S. Census Bureau data being released Thursday show that, among Louisiana cities with at least 10,000 people, New Orleans was the fastest-growing city during the time covered — up 10.15 percent, or 34,886 residents, from 2010 to 2013.
New Orleans welcomed 8,827 new residents between July 2012 and July 2013 — a 2.39 percent change.
LSU demographer Troy Blanchard said he suspects New Orleans’ growth, which still hasn’t brought it back to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels, is due to economic development efforts and an emphasis on the creative market.
“I think it’s trying to capture some of the same essence that Austin, Texas, has,” he said.
The data show that the city of Baton Rouge’s population has been stagnant, leaking an estimated 67 people — about .03 percent of its total population — between 2010 and 2013, to end at 229,426 residents. But the figures also show about a 2.18 percent population growth in the unincorporated portion of East Baton Rouge Parish during that time, from 154,959 in 2010 to 158,334 in 2013 — much of that likely in the growing area proposed for a new city called St. George.
Zachary was the state’s third-fastest growing city during that time period, up 6.24 percent, from 14,960 in 2010 to 15,894 in 2013.
On a year-over-year basis, Baton Rouge lost an estimated 580 residents between July 2012 and July 2013, the figures show. Meanwhile, unincorporated East Baton Rouge Parish gained 940 in that time.
In March, the Census Bureau released 2010-13 population data for metro areas. They showed the nine-parish Baton Rouge metro area’s population has been on a modest incline since 2010 and now totals about 820,000 residents. Much of the growth in the Baton Rouge area was in Ascension, West Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
While those figures were broken down by parish, the new data are the first to reflect city-by-city population changes for the time period.
Louisiana’s fastest-growing cities still pale in comparison to some cities in the state’s neighbor to the West, including those around Austin.
The South and West dominated the list of fastest-growing municipalities between 2012 and 2013, claiming all top 15 spots.
Seven of those are in Texas, according to the Census Bureau.
Those included three cities near Austin — San Marcos, Cedar Park and Georgetown — as well as the Dallas suburbs of Frisco and McKinney, the Houston suburb of Pearland and the city of Odessa in west Texas.
Blanchard said Texas’s growth has been the product of a combination of economic development and immigration.