Approximately 1.7 million people and their relatives were displaced on account of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, constituting the largest internal migration in recent U.S. history (Falk et al., 2006; Picou & Marshall, 2007). New Orleans residents were moved to all fifty states, with large concentrations in Baton Rouge, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta. While some returned to New Orleans, many did not. A wide range of studies, including from our team (e.g. Elliot & Pais, 2006; Fussell et al., 2009, 2010) found that Blacks and people with lower incomes were significantly more likely to experience higher levels of hurricane exposure, including greater flooding and housing damage, than Whites and people with higher incomes. Our team is investigating the impact of race, income level, pre-Katrina homeownership status, and number of post-Katrina residential moves on the duration of displacement, the extent of property loss and housing damage, rate of return to New Orleans, and mental and physical health.


Graif, C. (2016). (Un) natural disaster: vulnerability, long-distance displacement, and the extended geography of neighborhood distress and attainment after Katrina. Population and Environment, 37(3), 288-318. doi:10.1007/s11111-015-0243-6.

Asad, A. L. (2015). Contexts of reception, post-disaster migration, and socioeconomic mobility. Population and Environment 36(3), 279-310. doi:10.1007/s11111-014-0221-4.

Arcaya, M., Subramanian, S. V., Rhodes, J. E. & Waters, M. C. (2014). Role of health in predicting moves to poor neighborhoods among Hurricane Katrina survivors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(46), 16246-16253. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1416950111.

Fussell, E. & Harris, E. (2014). Homeownership and vulnerability to Housing Displacement after Hurricane Katrina. Social Science Quarterly, 95(4): 1086-1100. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12114.

Fussell, E. &, Lowe, S.R. (2014). The Impact of Housing Displacement on Mental Health among Low-Income Parents after Hurricane Katrina. Social Science & Medicine 113, 137-144. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.05.025.