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Facts for Features
CB09-FF.11
April 8, 2009

2009 Hurricane Season Begins

The north Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through November. 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.

35.7 million

Estimated July 1, 2008 population most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes: the coastal portion of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 12 percent of the nation's population lived in these areas.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

10.2 million

The 1950 coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Seven percent of the nation's population lived in these areas at that time.
Source: 1950 Decennial Census <http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>

251%

Percentage growth of the coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1950 and 2008.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html> and 1950 Decennial Census <http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>

180,155

Collective land area, in square miles, of the coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas.
Source: Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files <http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/places2k.html>

3

The number of the nation's 20 most populous metro areas in 2008 that were within Atlantic or Gulf coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas. These areas are Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (sixth); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.(seventh); and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (20th).
Source: County and metro population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-45.html>

8

The number of hurricanes during the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Five were major hurricanes at Category 3 strength or higher.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2008atlan.shtml>

Ana

The name of the first Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean storm of 2009. The second storm will be named Bill.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml>

Florida

17.9 million

Estimated 2008 coastal population of Florida, accounting for half (50 percent) of the coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Among the Sunshine State's coastal population, approximately 10.6 million lived along the Atlantic and 7.3 million along the Gulf.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

1%

Percentage growth of Florida's coastal population between 2007 and 2008.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>

Fay

The only storm on record to make landfall four times in the state of Florida, and to prompt tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings for the state's entire coastline (at various times during its August 2008 lifespan).
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081126_hurricaneseason.html>

Hurricanes Past

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>

2005

In one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, 28 named storms form, 15 of them hurricanes, seven of which are major, and four reach Category Five status. For the first time the alternate Greek alphabet scheme for naming storms has to be employed.
Source: Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory <http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J6.html>

455,056

Estimated population of New Orleans on July 1, 2005 -- about two months before Hurricane Katrina struck.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2008-01-22.xls>

311,853

Estimated population of New Orleans on July 1, 2008 -- three years after Hurricane Katrina struck.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2008-01-22.xls> and <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-45.html>

29,431

The population of Homestead, Fla., near the point of landfall of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. In 2007, the population of Homestead was 56,601.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/su-99-07/SU-99-7_FL.txt> and <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US1232275&-ds_name=PEP_2007_EST&-mt_name=PEP_2007_EST_G2007_T001>

37,789

Population of Galveston, Texas, at the time of the city's "Great Storm" on Sept. 8, 1900, which killed more than 8,000 people.
Source: <http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0076/twps0076.html>

Note: Coastal counties include those with at least 15 percent of their total land area within the nation's coastal watershed.
Source: NOAA's List of Coastal Counties <http://www.census.gov/geo/landview/lv6help/coastal_cty.pdf>

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)
  • 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: February 10, 2014