SOURCE: Claritas Inc.

August 01, 2006 14:05 ET

Claritas Announces Update of Hurricane Katrina-Adjusted Population Estimates

Market Research Leader Issues Second Release of a Comprehensive Analysis of Both Impacted Areas and Areas Where Evacuees Moved

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 1, 2006 -- Claritas Inc., the leading provider of U.S. demographic estimates and forecasts, announced today its second release of Hurricane Katrina-adjusted population estimates, which show a gradual shift in the population towards the pre-hurricane numbers. The update, which covers the period of October 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006 and comes five months after the initial release, is a comprehensive set of county estimates that distinguishes itself by including estimates for both the areas directly impacted by the storm, as well as where evacuees now live.

"In our previous estimates we analyzed the storm's likely impact on population as of October 2005 and January 2006. The new estimates extend to July 2006, and include both population and households," said Claritas Chief Demographer Ken Hodges, adding that Claritas will continue to update these estimates in an effort to further bring the situation into focus.

One pattern to emerge from the updated estimates is the tendency for counties that received large numbers of evacuees to experience population decline as some evacuees have returned home or moved to other areas, and the reverse for those that experienced a significant loss in population, with the numbers going up.

For example, Claritas estimates that the population of East Baton Rouge Parish swelled to 475,220 as of October 2005 -- reflecting the presence of over 60,000 evacuees. However, the estimates show that the population receded to 441,441 by January 2006 and 435,413 by July 2006, but it is still about 24,000 higher than the pre-hurricane total of 411,813.

Conversely, St. Bernard Parish, which initially lost over 60,000 people -- dropping from approximately 65,000 to less than 3,000 as of October 2005, recovered somewhat to 7,292 by January 2006 and 15,483 by July 2006 -- roughly doubling population in the past six months, but still far below pre-hurricane population.

Among counties that lost population due to the hurricane, Orleans Parish has experienced the greatest numeric recovery.

From a pre-Katrina population of over 450,000, Orleans dropped to just 92,660 by October 2005, but recovered to 173,720 by January 2006 and 214,486 by July 2006, which, despite a significant gain, is still less than half the pre-Katrina total.

Jefferson Parish also has experienced substantial population recovery from a pre-Katrina population of 450,000-plus. Jefferson dropped to 303,411 by October 2005, but recovered to 401,241 by January 2006 and 411,003 by July 2006. The recovery, however, still leaves Jefferson Parish more than 40,000 below its pre-Katrina population.

"Population recovery continues, but is far from complete. Katrina's impact on county population will be evident for years to come," commented Hodges.

In fact, another pattern is the slowing change both for counties that have gained population, and those that have lost population during the January 2006 to July 2006 time frame, compared to the period from October 2005 to January 2006. The chart below shows the top five counties with the highest population increase by percentage during those times, and with the exception of Cameron Parish, which showed a measurable increase from a minor decline, all the other growth percentages dropped.

                Oct 2005     Jan 2006      Jul 2006     %           %
              Population   Population    Population     Change      Change
             (with Hurri- (with Hurri-  (with Hurri-    Oct to      Jan to
COUNTY        cane Impact) cane Impact)* cane Impact)   Jan         Jul

St. Bernard
 Parish, LA        2,685        7,292        15,483      171.6%      112.3%
Orleans
 Parish, LA       92,660      173,720       214,486       87.5%       23.5%
Plaquemines
 Parish, LA       11,902       18,594        19,896       56.2%        7.0%
Cameron
 Parish, LA        7,876        7,848         8,314       -0.4%        5.9%
Hancock
 County, MS       30,409       36,018        38,018       18.4%        5.6%
As for the top five counties that decreased in population, the slowing trend is also in place, but the percentages are more consistent. See the chart below.
                Oct 2005     Jan 2006      Jul 2006     %           %
              Population   Population    Population     Change      Change
             (with Hurri- (with Hurri-  (with Hurri-    Oct to      Jan to
COUNTY        cane Impact) cane Impact)* cane Impact)   Jan         Jul

Lawrence
 County, MS       17,177       14,814        14,475      -13.8%       -2.3%
Jefferson
 Davis County, MS 15,175       13,995        13,694       -7.8%       -2.1%
Marion
 County, MS       31,165       27,205        26,634      -12.7%       -2.1%
St. Charles
 Parish, LA       64,667       56,986        55,792      -11.9%       -2.1%
Washington
 Parish, LA       55,149       48,908        47,905      -11.3%       -2.1%

*The numbers for January 1, 2006 have been revised since the initial
release of estimates in February.
For a complete listing of the updated estimates, visit the Claritas Hurricane Katrina-Adjusted Population Estimates website at: http://www.claritas.com/katrina.

About Claritas Inc.

Since 1971, San Diego-based Claritas has been the pre-eminent source of accurate, up-to-date marketing information about people, households and businesses within any geographic area in the United States. Claritas offers industry-leading consumer segmentation systems, consulting services and software applications for site analysis, advertising sales and customer targeting. Claritas is a division of VNU, a world-leading information and media company that includes ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, Spectra Marketing Systems and Scarborough Research, among others. To learn more about Claritas and VNU products and services visit their web sites at www.claritas.com and www.VNU.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Stephen F. Moore
    Claritas, Inc.
    858-677-9634
    Email Contact