Spatial Dislocation and Return Migration Among New Orleans Residents After Hurricane Katrina

Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan
Jesse Gregory, University of Michigan

In this paper, we used new data from the restricted version of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) to examine the location of pre-Katrina residents of New Orleans in the year after the hurricane. The aim is to describe the displacement and return or resettlement of this population and to analyze the factors that shaped these individuals’ location choices. The ACS data provide a unique opportunity to examine the geographic dispersion of New Orleans residents throughout the U.S. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We found major disparities in return migration, with blacks much less likely to return than whites. Flood damage appeared to be a key factor in shaping the likelihood of return and in accounting for the observed disparities by race.

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Presented in Session 42: Internal Migration