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New Orleans was Nation's Fastest-Growing City in 2008

Population Getting Closer to Pre-Katrina Levels

Top 10 Largest U.S. Cities     The population of New Orleans grew 8.2 percent in 2008, faster than any other large city in the U.S., according to population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 1, 2008, the population of New Orleans was 311,853, up from 210,768 in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina but still below the pre-hurricane level of 484,674 based on the 2000 Census.

      “As the 2010 Census approaches, these population estimates provide a sense of the population trends throughout the decade,” said Tom Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director.

      Round Rock, Texas, a city north of Austin, was the second fastest-growing city (8.16 percent) in the nation from 2007 to 2008.

      All in all, four of the 10 fastest-growing large cities were in Texas, including McKinney (north of Dallas, ranking fifth), Killeen (north of Austin, ninth) and Fort Worth (10th). North Carolina had a pair of cities in the top 10 fastest growing — Cary (west of Raleigh, third) and Raleigh (eighth) — as did California (Roseville, north of Sacramento, which ranked sixth and Irvine, in Orange County, seventh). Fourth-place Gilbert, Ariz., completed the list. (See Table 1. [Excel])

     New York led the nation’s cities in numerical increase during the 2007-2008 period, adding more than 53,000 residents. New Orleans had the seventh largest numerical growth. Four Texas cities were among the 10 largest numerical gainers: Houston (third), San Antonio (fifth), Fort Worth (sixth) and Austin (ninth). Two California cities — Los Angeles (fourth) and San Diego (10th) — made the top 10, as did second-ranked Phoenix. Rounding out the list was eighth-ranked Chicago, which experienced its second straight year of population increase after five consecutive years of decline. (See Table 2. [Excel])

      New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city, with 8.4 million residents. This was more than twice the population of Los Angeles, which ranked second at 3.8 million. Chicago, with 2.9 million, was third, followed by Houston (2.2 million) and Phoenix (1.6 million). (See Table 3. [Excel])

Other highlights:

2007-2008 Change

  • New to the list of the 25 most populous cities in 2008 was Denver, 24th with a population of 598,707. In addition, Dallas moved up to eighth place, San Francisco to 12th, Austin to 15th, Charlotte, N.C., to 18th and Boston to 22nd. Nashville-Davidson, Tenn. (a city-county consolidation) fell out of the top 25.
  • Among the nine cities making both lists of the 25 largest numerical gainers and the 25 fastest-growing from 2007 to 2008, more than half were in either North Carolina (Raleigh, Charlotte and Cary) or Colorado (Denver and Aurora). Rounding out the list were Fort Worth, New Orleans, Atlanta and Gilbert.
  • Seven of the largest numerical gainers were on the West Coast.

2000-2008 Change

  • McKinney, Texas, was the nation’s fastest-growing city between April 1, 2000, and    July 1, 2008, as its population more than doubled to 121,211. Gilbert, Ariz., was second, as its population climbed 88.7 percent to 216,449. North Las Vegas, Nev.; Port St. Lucie, Fla.; and Victorville, Calif., rounded out the top five. Seven of the top 25 were in California: Victorville, Elk Grove, Irvine, Roseville, Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucamonga and Bakersfield.
  • New York City was the largest numerical gainer, adding 355,056 residents over the period. Houston, which added 268,041, was second, followed by Phoenix. Five other Texas cities made the top 25: San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas and McKinney.
  • New Orleans experienced both the largest rate of loss and largest numerical decline during the period, as its population fell 35.7 percent (from 484,674 to 311,853). Flint, Mich., had the second greatest rate of loss (9.6 percent, from 124,943 to 112,900), followed by Cleveland; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Pittsburgh. Philadelphia ranked second in numerical decrease (from 1,517,550 to 1,447,395), followed by Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit.

     For more information about the geographic areas for which the Census Bureau produces population estimates, see <>.

These estimates are produced using housing unit estimates to distribute the county population to subcounty areas within the county. Housing unit estimates use building permits, estimates of construction where no building permits are reported, mobile home shipments and estimates of housing unit loss to update housing unit change since Census 2000.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014