New Study Gives Details on States Most Impacted by Natural Disasters

A recent WalletHub story analyzed 50 states to understand which historically have been affected the most by natural disasters. The study focused on the number of climate disasters causing $1 billion or more in damages between 1980 and 2022, along with the amount of loss from climate disasters causing $1 billion or more in damage per capita. This year, natural disasters have already surpassed $1 billion worth of damage.

The following are the top five states the study found to be the most affected by natural disasters since 1980:

  1. Mississippi
    • Mississippi has had seven climate disasters causing at least $1 billion in damages. The state was hit by a Category 4 hurricane last year, known as Hurricane Ida, as well as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
  2. Louisiana
    • Louisiana has had 11 climate disasters causing at least $1 billion damages since 1980.  The state was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which was considered the costliest tropical cyclone to hit the U.S.
  3. Texas
    • Texas has had one climate disaster that has caused more than $1 billion in damages —Hurricane Harvey. It hit the state in 2017 and cost the U.S. about $149 billion, considered the second costliest tropical cyclone.
  4. Iowa
    • Iowa has had 22 climate disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages. The state has endured more frequent and intense rain, flooding, droughts and extreme heat. In 2019, Iowa was hit with record-breaking flooding and in 2012 suffered an extreme drought.
  5. Alabama
    • Alabama has had one climate disaster causing more than $1 billion in damage since 1980, known as the “storm of the century” in 1993. The state endured a record-breaking snowstorm that covered every square inch of the state and caused widespread power outages.

With natural disasters influencing all states in some capacity, click here for more information and the full ranking of states.