Population Loss Deep in the Bayou State Markets

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Three Louisianna markets recorded the nation’s worst population losses from 2020 to 2023. Lake Charles suffered the deepest decline, with a resident loss of 5.6% between 2020 and 2023, according to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. While that was significant, the market actually saw a slight population increase of 0.4% from 2022 to 2023, specifically. The New Orleans-Metairie metro area saw the nation’s second-worst loss from 2020 to 2023, shedding 4.3% of its population. This market has seen its population decline every year since 2020 and logged the nation’s worst showing between 2022 and 2023, with a loss of 1.2%. In 2020, New Orleans had just over 1 million residents. As of 2023, the population is estimated at just over 960,000 people. Meanwhile, the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA metro, the statistical area right next door to New Orleans, lost 4% of its population in from 2020 to 2023. Those three Louisianna markets are the only ones nationwide to see a loss of 4% or more between 2020 and 2023. Losing more than 3% but less than 4% in that time frame were California markets San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Napa, as well as Charleston, West Virginia.