Forced Retreat of Coastal Populations

Investigator(s): Barry Keim, Amy Wold
Research Dates: 2021
Affiliate Organization(s): Louisiana State University

This study will examine the redistribution of South Louisiana population over the past 20 years. While Katrina’s impacts were in southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, the other three hurricanes affected southwestern Louisiana, and some of Ike’s majorly impacted area included eastern Texas. The surge magnitudes of both Katrina and Rita led to a large number of individuals leaving New Orleans and the surrounding area for various periods, including permanently (Fussell et. al. 2014; Plyer 2011). We will examine population census statistics at the county and parish level for the coastal zone from Galveston County, Texas to Mobile County, Alabama to assess changes over time from 2000 to present. We will also conduct a survey assessing the decision making processes of inhabitants that both returned to the coast and those that did not. We will examine demographic data to assess ethnicity/race, socioeconomic status, levels of education, etc., and how these parameters have changed since Hurricane Katrina.

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