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Americans are migrating from areas of high flood risk

Resiliency

Americans are migrating from areas of high flood risk

More than three million residents have abandoned neighborhoods due to flooding between 2000 and 2020.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 2, 2024
Image by lmaresz from Pixabay - Americans are migrating from areas of high flood risk
Image by lmaresz from Pixabay

Americans are abandoning areas of high flood risk in significant numbers, according to research by the First Street Foundation.

Climate Abandonment Areas account for more than 818,000 Census Blocks and lost a total of 3.2 million-plus residents due to flooding from 2000 to 2020, the study found. Analysts combined historic population change trends with flood risk data, identifying climate migration patterns in areas with high flood risk across the U.S.

In the next 30 years, current Climate Abandonment Areas are projected to lose 2.5 million more residents due to flood risk. Emerging Climate Abandonment Areas are expected to soon reach a tipping point and are projected to lose five million residents, 24% of their population, by 2053.

Those left behind in abandonment areas will likely be people of modest means who cannot afford to leave.

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