Development impacts of disasters revealing longer-term effects on regional growth

Since 1980, billion-dollar climate disasters in the United States have increased an astonishing 749%, from averaging 3.3 throughout the 1980s to 28 in 2023 alone. These data from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information include floods, wildfires, droughts, severe storms, tropical cyclones, and winter storms. The finding is consistent with the Fifth National Climate Assessment, released last year, that concluded the rise is due to a combination of increased exposure (i.e., more assets at risk), vulnerability (i.e., how much damage a hazard of given intensity—wind speed, or flood depth, for example—causes at a location), and the fact that climate change is increasing the frequency of some types of extremes that lead to billion-dollar disasters. Because climate change will only get worse given its current trajectory, it is reasonable to expect the number and severity of disaster events will continue to grow. Research shows TBED, systems-based planning, and conventional economic development have roles to play in mitigating future risk.

In the zero-sum game of population migration, winners win and losers plan

The dynamics of population growth in the U.S. changed during the pandemic. As people migrated away to avoid the limitations of the pandemic, one region’s population loss was another region’s gain. Now, economists are analyzing the impact of migration on local economies.

Population patterns of US counties rebounding following pandemic contraction

Following a jolt of outmigration and population declines from some of the country’s most populous counties in 2021, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that county growth patterns are returning to pre-pandemic rates. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 estimates of population and components of change found that many college counties saw a rebound in 2022, a pattern that was observed in many metropolitan counties in the South and West.

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