New Orleans


2010: 343,829, #52 in U.S., #1 in Louisiana

1950: 570,445, #16 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 1,167,764, #46 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 685,405, #21 in U.S.

The population of New Orleans is still about 100,000 less than it was immediately before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


New Orleans was founded by the French on the Mississippi River in 1718. Today it is a major port for cargo and cruise ships. The Canal Street Ferry takes passengers and vehicles across the river.


Tallest building: One Shell Square (1972), 697 feet

List of tallest buildings


The Shops at Canal Place have a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. The Riverwalk Marketplace, located along the river on the site of the 1984 World’s Fair, has shopping, dining, and entertainment.


Amtrak has service from New Orleans west to Houston and Los Angeles on the Sunset Limited, north to Memphis and Chicago on the City of New Orleans, and northeast to Atlanta and New York City on the Crescent. The service east to Florida has been suspended since Hurricane Katrina. Trains operate from Union Passenger Terminal (1954).

New Orleans has three streetcar lines. The St. Charles Line has been in operation since 1835.

New Orleans and Mississippi River


The Louisiana State Museum has several properties in the French Quarter. The National World War II Museum and the  Aquarium of the Americas are located downtown.


The Theatres at Canal Place show first-run and independent films. The Saenger Theatre (1927) and the Orpheum Theater (1917) were both closed after being severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina, but both have reopened.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra plays at the Orpheum Theater and other locations. The Mahalia Jackson Theater hosts the  New Orleans Opera. The Saenger hosts touring Broadway shows.


The New Orleans Zephyrs, Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate of the miami Marlins, play at the Shrine on Airline (1997) in the town of Metairie, just west of New Orleans.

The NFL New Orleans Saints play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (1975). The NBA New Orleans Pelicans play at the New Orleans Arena (1999).

Map of Downtown New Orleans

Buildings and Architecture