Due to climate change, extreme weather events and natural disasters are becoming more prevalent, and the severity of these events is increasing (Sheldon & Zhan, 2022). Over the last 40 years, the number of billion-dollar natural disasters has gone up. The U.S, averaged 3 billion-dollar disasters per year in the 1980s compared to the average 13 per year in the 2010s (USAFacts, 2023). With natural disasters comes loss of life, infrastructure, and resources that can leave a physical and economic toll on communities for many years if not generations. While some global studies have found that natural disasters increase households’ propensity to migrate out of their county, studies have not investigated whether this relationship holds within counties of the southeastern U.S. This study seeks to first confirm that the number of natural disasters has increased over time in the southeastern U.S. Second, it seeks to understand if there is a significant relationship between the number of natural disasters that occur within coastal counties of the southeastern U.S and the populations of these counties. I predict that for each additional natural disasters, there will be a decrease in coastal county populations.
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