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Facts for Features
CB11-FF.12
April 21, 2011

2011 Hurricane Season Begins

The north Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30. The U.S. Census Bureau produces timely local data that are critical to emergency planning, preparedness and recovery efforts. This edition of Facts for Features highlights the number of people living in areas that could be most affected by these dramatic acts of nature.

In the Hurricane's Path

36.8 million

2010 Census population, as of April 1, 2010, most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes: the coastal portion of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 12 percent of the nation's population live in these areas.
Source: 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

14.0 million

1960 coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Eight percent of the nation's population lived in these areas at that time.
Source: 1960 Census <http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>

163%

Percentage growth of the coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1960 and 2010.
Source: 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov> and 1960 Census <http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>

179,015

Collective land area in square miles of the coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

12

The number of hurricanes during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, five of which were major hurricanes at Category 3-strength or higher. None of these storms made landfall in the U.S., though Alex made landfall just south of Texas in Mexico and Earl brushed the East Coast.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2009atlan.shtml>

1950

The year the Weather Bureau officially began naming hurricanes.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory <http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J6.html>

Arlene

The name of the first Atlantic storm of 2011. Hurricane names rotate in a six-year cycle with the 2011 list being a repeat of the 2005 names. The World Meteorological Organization retired the names of four major hurricanes that made landfall in the United States during 2005: Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Stan, a Category 1 storm, was also retired after causing extensive loss of life in Central America. They have been replaced by Don, Katia, Rina, Sean and Whitney. Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml>

2005

In one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, 28 named storms formed, forcing use of the alternate Greek alphabet scheme for the first time. When the National Hurricane Center's list of 21 approved names runs out for the year, hurricanes are named after Greek letters. Of the 28 named storms in 2005, 15 were hurricanes, with four storms reaching Category 5 status (Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma) and three more being considered major.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory <http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J6.html>

Top Three States for Hurricane Impacts
Number of Hurricanes Making Landfall: 1851 - 2010
STATE HURRICANES MAJOR
Florida 113 37
Texas 63 19
Lousiana 55 20

Table: Hurricanes strikes (1851-2010) for select states by Saffir-Simpson category. Category 3-strength or higher, with sustained winds in excess of 110 miles per hour, is considered major. Updated and modified from Blake et al. (2006). Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/Deadliest_Costliest.shtml>

Preparing for Emergencies Using Census Data

The growth in population of coastal areas illustrates the importance of emergency planning and preparedness for areas that are more susceptible to inclement weather conditions. The U.S. Census Bureau's official decennial census and population estimates, along with annually updated socioeconomic data from the American Community Survey, provide a detailed look at the nation's growing coastal population. Emergency planners and community leaders can better assess the needs of coastal populations using census data.

Hurricane Andrew and Homestead, Fla.

1992

Hurricane Andrew forms in the Atlantic Ocean and makes landfall in Florida on Aug. 24, destroying a large swath of South Florida, most notably the city of Homestead. Andrew later made landfall on the central Louisiana coast on Aug. 26 as a Category 3 hurricane. Hurricane Andrew was the second costliest tropical cyclone in U.S history and killed 23 in the U.S.
Source: National Hurricane Center
<http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml>

Category 5

The strength of Hurricane Andrew at landfall based on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds measured at 165 mph. Andrew was originally measured as a Category 4 storm but was later upgraded to Category 5 status in 2002 based on a reanalysis of wind speeds.
Source: NOAA <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/NOAA_pr_8-21-02.html>

60,512

Population of Homestead, Fla., according to the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

106%

Percentage growth of the population in Homestead, Fla., between 1992 and 2010. The estimated 1992 population of Homestead, Fla., was 29,431.
Source: Vintage 1999 Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s>

23,419

The total number of housing units in Homestead, Fla., according to the 2010 Census.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

11.7 %

Percent of people in Homestead, Fla., with no motor vehicle access, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

$220,400

Median home value of owner-occupied units in Homestead, Fla., according to the latest data available.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

27.5%

The percent of people who live in poverty in Homestead, Fla., according to the latest data available. Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

2005

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall along the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29, leaving a devastating path of death and destruction in its wake as the city of New Orleans and surrounding region were inundated from the storm surge. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest tropical cyclone in U.S history, with an estimated cost of $125 billion (2005 USD), and killing 1,833 in the U.S.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml>

Category 3

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall along the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29, leaving a devastating path of death and destruction in its wake as the city of New Orleans and surrounding region were inundated from the storm surge. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest tropical cyclone in U.S history, with an estimated cost of $125 billion (2005 USD), and killing 1,833 in the U.S.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov>

343,829

Population of New Orleans, according to the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

-25%

Percentage decline of the population in New Orleans, between 2005 and 2010. The estimated 2005 population of New Orleans was 455,188.
Source: Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

189,896

The total number of housing units in New Orleans, according to the 2010 Census.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

18.2 %

Percent of people in New Orleans, with no motor vehicle access, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

$192,600

Median home value of owner-occupied units in New Orleans, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

23.8%

The percent of people who live below poverty level in New Orleans, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Hurricane Ike and Galveston, Texas

2008

Hurricane Ike makes landfall at Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 13, laying total destruction to Galveston Island and adjacent coastline as the storm moves ashore with an immense wind field and storm surge due to its massive size, becoming the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Hurricane Ike was the third costliest tropical cyclone in U.S history, killing 112 in the U.S.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml>

Category 2

The strength of Hurricane Ike at landfall based on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds measured at 110 mph. Ike had reached Category 4 strength over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov>

47,743

Population of Galveston, Texas, according to the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

-16%

Percentage decline of the population in Galveston, Texas, between 2008 and 2010. The estimated 2008 population of Galveston was 57,039.
Source: Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

32,368

The total number of housing units in Galveston, Texas, according to the 2010 Census.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

13.3%

Percent of people in Galveston, Texas, with no motor vehicle access, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

$115,500

Median home value of owner-occupied units in Galveston, Texas, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

22.6%

The percent of people who live in poverty in Galveston, Texas, according to the latest data available.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014