New Orleans, commonly known as “The Big Easy” or the Crescent City, is the largest city in Louisiana. According to the 2010 census, New Orleans (NOLA) has a population of 343,829, which declined nearly by 100,000 because of Hurricane Katrina. (The entire metropolitan area has a population of over 1.2 million.) The median rent in New Orleans is $797/month. The median household income is $50,148.
The New Orleans port is among the busiest and largest ports on a global scale. Much of the nation’s petrochemical production and oil refining takes place there. Off-shore drilling facilities and natural gas production also play a major role in the local economy. The health care industry is a growing sector.
Because of the city’s location, shipbuilders, commodities brokerage firms, and shipping and freight companies call New Orleans home. Some top employers with a large presence in the city include Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Expeditors International, Intermarine, Exxon, Shell, Conoco, BP, Dow Chemical, and many others. Coffee and sugar refining companies have facilities in New Orleans, including International Coffee Corp., Folgers and Domino Sugar.
New Orleans is also home to numerous reputable educational institutions. Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans are two large private universities, while the University of New Orleans is a large public college. Leading African American colleges call New Orleans home, including Xavier University of Louisiana, Southern University at New Orleans, and Dillard University.
Tourism is a key industry in New Orleans. The largest festival in the U.S. (and arguably the world) is Mardi Gras, which takes place in the notorious French Quarter. The French Quarter is a large center for activity and holds the famed Bourbon Street. Magazine Street features many shop and boutiques. Other top tourist attractions include Jackson Square, the Riverwalk (where the mall, Natchez steamboat and IMAX threater are located), the National World War II Museum, New Orleans Mint, Saint Louis Cemetery, the French Market, as well as antebellum mansions, like the Houmas House that can be toured.
New Orleans is a city for artists. Tennessee Williams crafted “A Street Car Named Desire” in the city. Several music festivals also take place in New Orleans, featuring jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues, and music central to the various cultural groups.
Sports teams also call New Orleans home, like the Super Bowl Champion Saints, the Hornets (NBA), the Zephers (PCL), and the Voodoo (AFL).
Popular neighborhoods include the French Quarter, Uptown, the Warehouse District, and the Arts District.
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