RUNNING OUT OF PEOPLE*
Population Change 2000-2009: -128,813
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -26.63%
Home Vacancy: 21.5%
New Orleans is unique in that its presence on this list is not due to industrial decline, but from natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina flooded 80% of the city, caused by some estimates more than $80 billion in damage, and displaced tens of thousands of residents. The period of widespread homelessness, severe crime, and slow recovery has left the city as a shadow of its former self.
While people are trickling back into the city, many will likely never return, and the city has lost more than a quarter of its population in just 10 years.