New Orleans (French: Ville de la Nouvelle Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana. It is located in Southeastern Louisiana along the Mississippi River. The city is bordered by Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the east and is coextensive with Orleans Parish. It is named after Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, Regent of France, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. New Orleans is known for its multicultural heritage as well as its music and cuisine and is considered the birthplace of jazz
Its status as a world-famous tourist destination is due in part to its architecture, music, cuisine, its annual Mardi Gras, and other celebrations and festivals. The city is often referred to as "The most unique city in America."
The Greater New Orleans population was approximately 1.4 million people prior to Hurricane Katrina (the metro area has rebounded to 1.2 million since, according to the Census Bureau). The Greater New Orleans area is still Louisiana's largest urban center. The population of the city itself was 484,674 according to the 2000 U.S. Census. A population study from July 2006 to March 2007 found that the city gained 32,000 people during that seven month time frame, bringing its population to 255,000, or 56% of its pre-Katrina population. (read more...)