Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study (DNORPS) (ICPSR 29523)

Published: Mar 24, 2011

Principal Investigator(s):
Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan, and RAND Corporation


Version V1

The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study was designed to examine the current location, well-being, and plans of people who lived in the city of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005. The study is based on a representative sample of pre-Katrina dwellings in New Orleans. Fieldwork focused on tracking respondents wherever they currently resided, including back to New Orleans. Respondents were administered a short paper-and-pencil interview by mail, by telephone, or in person. The pilot study was fielded in the fall of 2006, approximately one year after Hurricane Katrina. The goal of DNORPS was to assess the feasibility of the study design and thereby to lay the groundwork for launching a major longitudinal study of displaced New Orleans residents.

ICPSR only holds the public data for the pilot study. The main study (DNORS) was carried out 2009-2010. These data are not yet publicly available, but for more information, visit the RAND Corporation website.

Sastry, Narayan. Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study (DNORPS). Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-03-24. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29523.v1

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Census tract

2005-08 -- 2006-11

2006-08 -- 2006-11

The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility, best practices, and expected costs of conducting a long-term study of the demographic, social, economic, and health effects of Hurricane Katrina on the population of New Orleans.

Starting with a sample of 344 housing units selected from the period pre-Katrina, the project team used a multi-mode approach to locate and interview an individual from each sampled housing unit. The protocol called for sending every sampled household a letter and questionnaire, while concurrently sending the sample through multiple batch tracing and intensive tracing searches to attempt to assign a name and telephone number to each sampled unit.

The universe for the sample is the city of New Orleans, defined as the Orleans Parish. Two block data files were merged together to produce a file that contained flood depth level on August 31, 2005, measured in feet. Three levels based on the flood level information were created for each block. The code is the average level of flooding and is collapsed into the following three categories: Low (0 feet), Medium (1-3 feet), High (4 or more feet). Given the higher cost and lower probability of success of tracing in the High stratum, these areas were undersampled and correspondingly the Low stratum areas were oversampled. A sample of 950 addresses was selected using the above allocation for the three strata.

The universe for the sample is the city of New Orleans, defined as the Orleans Parish.



survey data

face-to-face interview

mail questionnaire

telephone interview

Primarily demographic and housing information

The overall, unweighted, unadjusted response rate was 45.0 percent. A full discussion of response rates is provided in the study documentation



2011-03-24 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.

Household-level design weights were created as the inverse probability of selection for each mailing address or household. This weight was used to create a person-level design weight. In most situations, the person-level and the household-level design weight are the same because a census was taken of all persons in households with up to five people. Person-level design weights were inflated for households that had more than five persons. This was done by inflating the weight of persons with survey data. For example, given a household with 7 eligible persons and a household design weight of 500, the person-level weight becomes 500*(7/5)=700. The final analysis weight was created using the person-level design weight which was post-stratified by Stratum, Gender, Age and Race to the 2000 United States Census figures for Orleans Parish. Post-stratification was done using non-linear optimization to minimize the overall unequal weighting effect and achieve the 2000 Census totals at the margins of Gender, Age and Race within strata.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This study was originally processed, archived, and disseminated by Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), a project funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).