The report says that nearly 40% returned to their homes within a week while around 16% have not returned home (and may never do so)
Natural disasters forced an estimated 3.4 million people in the United States to leave their homes in 2022, new data has revealed.
The data by Census Bureau data, collected earlier this year, and reported by NBC news said the “overwhelming majority of these people were uprooted by hurricanes, followed by floods, then fires and tornadoes.”
It said that nearly 40% returned to their homes within a week while around 16% have not returned home (and may never do so). The report said that 12% were evacuated for more than six months.
The Census Bureau count is based on 68,504 responses it received as part of the Household Pulse Survey conducted Jan. 4-Jan. 16. The data collection is one of the few federal efforts to track displaced people, starting only in 2020.
The bureau does note that the data is “experimental and is extrapolated based on its sample data,” the report said.
Michael Gerrard, Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, termed the “numbers very distressing.”
Gerrard, who was not involved in the data collection told NBC that “these numbers are what one would expect to find in a developing country. It’s appalling to see them in the United States.”
In 2022, the U.S. was hit by multiple disasters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 18 extreme weather events had each caused at least $1 billion in damage.