3.3 million people displaced by natural disasters in US last year | The Hill

Natural disasters displaced over three million Americans in 2022, including nearly one million in Florida alone, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data, first reported by Pluribus News, indicate about 3.33 million people were displaced by natural disasters over the last year. The plurality were in Florida, where such events forced 999,401 people — about 7 percent of the state’s population —from their homes in 2022. The state was hit in September by Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall in the southwest part of the state, killing at least 114 people and costing up to $65 billion in insured losses.

Louisiana saw a smaller number of people displaced, but a greater share of the population. The Census Bureau found 410,000 Louisianans, or 15 percent of the state’s population, were displaced last year. Natural disasters affecting the state in 2022 included multiple tornadoes, including a December outbreak that killed at least three people. However, the state saw an unusually low level of hurricane activity in the last year, with Ian the only major named storm affecting Louisiana.

Small New England, midwestern and Great Plains states saw the lowest percentage of their residents displaced by natural disasters in the last year, according to the census data. Indiana, Maine, North Dakota and Ohio all saw about 0.2 percent of residents displaced by disasters in 2022.

The United Nations’ refugee agency has identified natural disaster displacement as one of climate change’s “most devastating” impacts. The Biden administration has already taken steps to pay some tribal communities to voluntarily relocate from areas expected to be made increasingly unlivable by the effects of climate change. The Interior Department announced in November that it will provide $25 million each in relocation funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to Washington State’s Quinault Indian Nation and Alaska’s Newtok Village and Native Village of Napakiak.


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