The New Orleans Index at Eight, released this month, is a publication dedicated to examining trends and progress in the New Orleans metropolitan area since Hurricane Katrina. The updated Index measures economic growth, inclusion, quality of life, and sustainability. The data gathered for New Orleans metro is then compared to a peer group of post-industrial metros determined pre-2000: Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, and Austin.
Positive economic improvements made at eight years include a recouping of jobs to 1% above its 2008 job level, diversification in knowledge-based industry in the area, and a growth in start-ups. Inclusion improvements show that New Orleans metro did not fall as sharply as the nation in median household income (3% difference), and minority-owned businesses increased to 27 %. New Orleans metro quality of life data shows a strong increase in the number of arts and culture nonprofits at 34 organizations per 100,000 residents, more than double the national rate. And finally, New Orleans metro sustainability has grown in its expansion of bicycle lanes to 56.2 miles.
While these improvements are notable, the New Orleans metro has a long way to go before it can be considered to be in competition with the exponential growth of its peer cities of Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, and Austin. As the IndexÔÇÖs summary states, ÔÇ£Despite all the shocks it has endure, New Orleans may be on a path toward long-term success. But to fulfill its potential, leaders must look to bolster current strengths and add to them by addressing persistent challenges.ÔÇØ
To view the full report, please visit the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center:?áhttp://www.gnocdc.org/TheNewOrleansIndexAtEight/index.html.