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Newsroom Archive

Facts for Features
May 31, 2012

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2012 Hurricane Season Begins

The north Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30. The U.S. Census Bureau produces timely local statistics 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

37.3 million

Population as of July 1, 2011, of the coastal portion of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas — the areas most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. Approximately 12 percent of the nation’s population live in these areas.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

14.0 million

1960 coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 8 percent of the nation’s population lived in these areas at that time.
Source: 1960 Census <https://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>


Percentage growth of the coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1960 and 2011.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates <http://factfinder2.census.gov> and 1960 Census <https://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts/>


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


The number of hurricanes during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, four of them Category 3-strength or higher. Irene was the only hurricane to make landfall in the U.S., though Subtropical Storm Lee and Tropical Storm Don both made landfall on the Gulf Coast.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2011atlan.shtml>


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


The name of the first Atlantic storm of 2012. Hurricane names rotate in a six-year cycle with the 2012 list being a repeat of the 2006 names.
Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml>


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 - 2011

Table: Hurricanes strikes (1851-2011) 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. (2011). Source: National Hurricane Center <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/nws-nhc-6.pdf>

Preparing for Emergencies Using Census Bureau Statistics

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 socio-economic 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 Bureau statistics.

Hurricane Irene


Hurricane Irene made landfall on Aug. 27 as a Category 1 hurricane and caused widespread damage across a large portion of the eastern United States as it moved north-northeastward. Catastrophic inland flooding occurred in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont. Irene was directly responsible for 40 deaths in the United States.
Source: National Hurricane Center: <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL092011_Irene.pdf>

20 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew


Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Florida on Aug. 24, destroying a large swath of South Florida, most notably the city of Homestead. Andrew later landed 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/1992andrew.html>

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>


Population of Homestead, Fla., according to the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US1232275>


Percentage growth of the population in Homestead, Fla., between 1992 and 2010. The estimated 1992 population of Homestead, Fla., was 29,431.
Source: Population Estimates <https://www.census.gov/popest/data/historical/1990s/index.html>


The number of housing units in Homestead, Fla., according to the 2010 Census.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US1232275>

11.5 %

Percent of workers 16 and over in Homestead, Fla., with no motor vehicle access.
Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Table S0802 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US1232275>


Median home value of owner-occupied units in Homestead, Fla.,
Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Table B25077 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US1232275>


The percent of people who live below poverty level in Homestead, Fla.,
Source: 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Table S1701 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US1232275>

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: May 19, 2016