By Stephanie Hyland, Storage.com

Despite the natural disasters and economic crises New Orleans has faced in the last decade, the city is seeing new growth. The area has been recovering ever since Hurricane Katrina shook The Big Easy in 2005. Since then, the city has made substantial improvements, and it’s estimated that 2014 will continue to strengthen the economy due to continuous growth in population.

New Orleans and the surrounding communities are seeing population growth rates approach pre-Hurricane Katrina status. Between July 2012 and July 2013, New Orleans added nearly 9,000 residents, according to U.S. Census data. Two of the factors contributing to this growth are the improving market and economy, which are drawing faithful former residents, as well as new residents, to the area.

“The economy has been really strong,” says Allison Plyer, Chief Demographer and Executive Director of The Data Center in New Orleans. “The population of metro areas grows and shrinks in parallel with job growth and decline. The job growth in our region has been strong, especially relative to the rest of the country.”

“The job growth in our region has been strong, especially relative to the rest of the country.”

Allison Plyer, Chief Demographer and Executive Director of The Data Center

The most significant growth, however, took place immediately after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 2006.

“Of course, the city had nowhere to go but up at that point,” Plyer says. “Technically, there were zero people in New Orleans in the weeks after Katrina. The greatest growth rate was the year right after Katrina…What’s interesting is that the population continues to grow nearly nine years later.”

“People have been moving back to the city and are starting to accumulate the stuff that they lost in the hurricane,” says Al Gardes, Director of Operations for Elmwood Self Storage in Harahan, La., adding that the storage industry in New Orleans was affected tremendously by Katrina.

Gardes says the self storage industry has since made a comeback that coincides with the city’s population growth, as demonstrated by higher storage unit occupancy rates.

According to Storage.com data, self storage facilities in the 70013, 70130, and 70114 zip codes of New Orleans have seen 97.8% or higher occupancy levels since 2011, which lines up with the U.S. Census information from 2012 and 2013.

“People have been moving back to the city and are starting to accumulate the stuff that they lost in the hurricane.”

Al Gardes, Director of Operations for Elmwood Self Storage

Families moving to the area or individuals relocating for work are among those responsible for the population growth that’s keeping the New Orleans self storage industry on its toes. These job seekers and families often find themselves in a transitional period that may require the use of a New Orleans storage unit to ease the stress of moving. That’s because self storage facilities offer those moving a temporary or long-term solution for storing their belongings in a safe environment as they transition to a new home.

With occupancy levels on the rise and facilities already approaching capacity for 2014, it’s important for storage consumers in the area to decide what type of facility and amenities would best suit their self storage needs and reserve quickly, as New Orleans self storage rentals don’t seem to be slowing any time soon.

Locate New Orleans storage facilities near you.

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Stephanie Hyland often writes blog posts about how storage units can not only benefit those who are moving to a new city, but also those of us who are traveling, going to college, or just looking for a way to alleviate some of the clutter within our home. When she is not writing for Storage.com, she likes spending time with her husband and playing with their two dogs.