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Social vulnerability and migration in the wake of disaster : The case of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

by Myers, Candice A; Slack, Tim; Singelmann, Joachim.
Publisher: Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008Summary: This study explores the relationship between place-based social vulnerability and post-disaster migration in the U.S. Gulf Coast region following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Using county-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we develop a regional index of social vulnerability and examine how its various dimensions are related to migration patterns in the wake of the storms. Our results show that places characterized by greater proportions of disadvantaged populations, housing damage, and, to a lesser degree, more densely built environments were significantly more likely to experience outmigration following the hurricanes. Our results also show that these relationships were not spatially random, but rather exhibited significant geographic clustering. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for future research and public policy.
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DOI: 10.1007/s11111-008-0072y

This study explores the relationship between place-based social vulnerability and post-disaster migration in the U.S. Gulf Coast region following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Using county-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we develop a regional index of social vulnerability and examine how its various dimensions are related to migration patterns in the wake of the storms. Our results show that places characterized by greater proportions of disadvantaged populations, housing damage, and, to a lesser degree, more densely built environments were significantly more likely to experience outmigration following the hurricanes. Our results also show that these relationships were not spatially random, but rather exhibited significant geographic clustering. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for future research and public policy.

Originally published in Population and Environment, v.29, 2008, pages 271-291

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