Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hurricane Katrina: Who was hit? Who will return?

27.01.2006


The First In-Depth Demographic Analysis of the Strike Zone

The images were accurate: The Gulf Coast’s poor, black residents were hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, according to findings by a Brown University sociologist. Professor John Logan’s new research is the first of its kind from the disaster zone and raises provocative questions about the future population of New Orleans.

The Gulf Coast’s African Americans and poorest residents were disproportionately impacted by Hurricane Katrina, according to new findings from Brown University sociologist John Logan. His research, analyzing who lived in the most heavily damaged areas, is the first in-depth demographic analysis conducted in Katrina’s strike zone. It also raises serious questions about who will return to the storm-ravaged areas. The findings indicate New Orleans alone is at risk of losing more than 80 percent of its black population if people cannot return to flooded neighborhoods.



“The suffering from the storm certainly cut across racial and class lines,” said Logan, director of Brown University’s Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) Initiative. “But the odds of living in a damaged area were clearly much greater for blacks, residents who rented their homes, and poor people. In these respects, the most socially vulnerable residents also turned out to be most exposed to Katrina.”

Across the region, nearly 650,000 people lived in areas that sustained moderate to catastrophic damage. Logan’s research shows significant demographic disparities between that population and those who lived in undamaged zones. The population of the damaged areas was:

  • nearly half black (45.8 percent, compared to 26.4 percent of the undamaged areas);
  • living in rental housing (45.7 percent compared to 30.9 percent);
  • disproportionately below the poverty line (20.9 percent compared to 15.3 percent);
  • unemployed (7.6 percent compared to 6.0 percent).

Logan’s report features extensive detail on social differences among each of the city’s 13 planning districts and 72 neighborhoods. “The analysis reveals great variation within New Orleans, but there is a general tendency for blacks and poor residents to have greater odds of being in harm’s way, because they lived in less desirable, low-lying areas,” Logan said.

Logan believes the findings have implications for the future of the Gulf region, and especially for the city itself. Blacks were less likely to be homeowners and had average incomes 60 percent lower than whites. This means that it will be more difficult for them to reestablish their lives in New Orleans without assistance. In addition, damaged neighborhoods housed just half of the city’s whites but more than 80 percent of its African-American population. Decisions to prevent rebuilding in heavily flooded areas will disproportionately affect blacks simply because of where they lived.

The findings are based on a combination of U.S. Census data and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster classification for each area. This report is the first fruit of a collaborative project studying Hurricane Katrina’s social and environmental impacts. In addition to Logan, the interdisciplinary team includes Phil Brown, professor of sociology; Steve Hamburg, associate professor of environmental studies; Rachel Morello-Frosch, assistant professor of environmental studies; and Jack Mustard, associate professor of geological sciences. The group received an SGER award from the National Science Foundation for the research. Subsequent analyses will use remote sensing to map patterns of damage in more detail and trace the rebuilding of neighborhoods in the region.

To supplement this report, Brown University’s American Communities Project developed a Web-based map system, which allows users to identify damaged areas and sort the information by census variables. More information on the project is online at www.s4.brown.edu/katrina.

Deborah Goldstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.s4.brown.edu/katrina

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>