The 2019 hurricane season has begun and, once again, the number of people living in some of the most vulnerable coastline regions is growing.
About 94.7 million people, or about 29.1% of the total U.S. population, lived in coastline counties in 2017, a 15.3% growth since 2000.
The first hurricane of the season, Barry, made landfall Saturday in Louisiana as a Category 1 and was later downgraded to a tropical storm, causing widespread flooding and power outages along the Gulf Coast.
There were 13 hurricanes that caused more than $10 billion in damage each in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions between 2000 and 2017.
Coastline counties — those adjacent to coastal water or territorial sea — are grouped into the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific regions.
About 60.2 million people lived in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions — those most vulnerable to hurricanes. These areas added 8.3 million people between 2000 and 2017, a 16% increase.
A closer look at areas in the path of hurricanes:
Darryl Cohen is a geographer in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division.
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