From raging wildfires to tornadoes, floods and hurricanes, the U.S. sees its share of natural disasters every year. The latest of these disasters, Hurricane Ian, may have done as much as $57 billion in damage to Florida and South Carolina. Nine other natural disasters have already caused over $1 billion in damage each during 2022.
Millions of Americans’ homes and workplaces are damaged or destroyed by severe weather each year, leaving people to rebuild while still dealing with mental and emotional scars. However, people in some states are much less prone to having to deal with these tragic events than others. In order to shed light on the states most impacted by natural disasters, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key metrics. Those metrics are the number of climate disasters causing at least $1 billion in damage since 1980, as well as the loss amount per capita of those disasters.
States Most Impacted by Natural Disasters
Number of Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damage (1980-2022)
Loss Amount from Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damage per Capita (1980-2022)
Notes: *No. 1 = Most Impacted by Natural Disasters
With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the highest number of climate disasters, and the highest loss amount from climate disasters, respectively.
In order to determine which states are most impacted by natural disasters, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of vulnerability to natural disasters.
We then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
- Number of Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damage (1980-2022): Full Weight (~50.00 Points)
- Loss Amount from Climate Disasters Causing $1 Billion+ in Damage per Capita (1980-2022): Full Weight (~50.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Centers for Environmental Information.