U.S. Census: 60.2M Live in Most Vulnerable Areas for Hurricanes

July 19, 2019

The 2019 hurricane season has begun, with tropical storm Barry last week threatening the Gulf Coast. The U.S. Census Bureau released new data that shows 60.2 million residents live in areas that are vulnerable to hurricanes, living near the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions.

Populations are rising in the areas most vulnerable to hurricanes. About 8.3 million people moved to the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions between 2000 and 2017, a 16% increase.

The Gulf of Mexico has been the faster-growing coastline and the one more vulnerable to hurricane destruction. The area’s 26.1% increase between 2000 and 2017 comprises more than 3 million people, compared to 15.7% growth for the nation as a whole.

Between 2000 and 2017, there were 13 hurricanes that caused more than $10 billion in damage each in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions. Seven occurred in just two years alone, 2004 and 2005.

“While the population in these areas remained at about 54.5 million between 2005 and 2006, their aggregate population has continued to grow every year since,” according to the bureau’s report.

Chart shows statistics regarding America's coastlines

U.S. Census Bureau