Several days ago, Census data for Louisiana was released, and we noted here that its population growth was 1.4% over the past decade. We would like to further add to the analysis by noting the changes in racial composition during the last decade:
The more detailed demographic data contained in the 2010 Census showed that Louisiana was 63% white and 32% black. This is virtually unchanged from the 64-32% white/black split from 2000, but it is worth noting that over the last decade, the count of whites dropped 20,000, while the black population remained almost exactly even. This directly contradicts the conventional wisdom that Hurricane Katrina caused a massive black exodus from the state. Furthermore, if you look at the data in each parish, there were other interesting racial trends:
(1) The racial composition of Orleans Parish sharply decreased from 67-28% to 60-33% black; even though the white population decreased 17%, the black population decreased 37%;
(2) The continuing suburbanization of parishes adjacent to Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport also means that inner cities/older suburbs are seeing an increase in their black populations. This was most noticeable in Caddo and East Baton Rouge Parishes, which are now “majority minority”: Caddo went from 53-45% to 49-47% white, while East Baton Rouge went from 56-40% to 49-45% white. Noticeable demographic shifts also occurred in Jefferson (from 70-23% to 63-26% white), St Bernard (from 88-8% white to 74-18%), Ouachita (from 64-34% to 60-37% white), and Rapides (from 67-30 to 63-32% white);
(3) Census data shows that there are now three new black majority parishes: Claiborne (51-47% black), St James (51-48% black), and St John (54-42% black);
(4) Curiously, one parish went from majority black to majority white: West Feliciana is now 52-46% white.
Below are maps depicting this change in racial composition between 2000 and 2010: