| Share

Hurricanes by the Numbers (Atlantic hurricane statistics)

Millions live in the paths of the biggest storms

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Hurricane Katrina

Related Links

In the Hurricane's Path


The number of hurricanes during the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, with only two of them as major hurricanes (Category 3-strength or higher). However, one of the major hurricanes was Hurricane Sandy. It struck southeastern Cuba at Category 3 strength, then made landfall in New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone. It was the second costliest cyclone on record (not adjusted for inflation) at $50 billion, ranking only behind Hurricane Katrina from 2005. The only other hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in 2012 was Hurricane Isaac, which hit Louisiana.

82.2 million

Population as of July 1, 2012, of coastal states stretching from North Carolina to Texas — the areas most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. An estimated 26.2 percent of the nation's population live in these states.

34.1 million

Population in 1960 of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 19 percent of the nation's population lived in these areas at that time.


Percentage growth of the population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1960 and 2012.


Collective land area in square miles of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas.

10 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Isabel


The costliest and deadliest hurricane of 2003, Hurricane Isabel made landfall in the U.S. on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Sept. 18, destroying many homes on the barrier island. Isabel later moved north through Virginia and Washington, D.C., and ended up causing about $3 billion in damage to the mid-Atlantic region.

Category 2

The strength of Hurricane Isabel at landfall based on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds measured at 105 mph. Isabel reached a peak as a Category 5 storm on Sept. 11 south of Bermuda, but gradually weakened as it approached landfall.


Counties that encompass the land area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The area includes parts of Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties.


Population of Currituck County, Dare County and Hyde County in North Carolina in 2012.


The number of occupied housing units in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties combined.

$236,500; 321,200; and 93,600

Median home value of owner-occupied units in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.

32.0, 19.5 and 25.1 minutes

Mean commuting time to work for residents in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.

7.8%, 11.1% and 25.1%

The percent of people who live below poverty level in in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, respectively.

History of Hurricane Naming Conventions


The name of the first Atlantic storm of 2013. Hurricane names rotate in a six-year cycle with the 2013 list being a repeat of the 2007 names.


The number of hurricane names officially retired by the World Meteorological Organization. Although hurricane names are recycled every six years, for reasons of sensitivity, hurricane names that were so deadly and costly that re-use of the name would be considered inappropriate are retired.


The year the Weather Bureau officially began naming hurricanes.


In one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, 28 named storms formed, forcing use of the alternate Greek alphabet scheme for the first time. When the National Hurricane Center's list of 21 approved names runs out for the year, hurricanes are named after Greek letters. Of the 28 named storms in 2005, 15 were hurricanes, with four storms reaching Category 5 status (Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma) and three more being considered major.

Preparing for Emergencies Using Census Bureau Statistics

The growth in population of coastal areas illustrates the importance of emergency planning and preparedness for areas that are more susceptible to inclement weather conditions. The U.S. Census Bureau's official decennial census and population estimates, along with annually updated socio-economic data from the American Community Survey, provide a detailed look at the nation's growing coastal population. Emergency planners and community leaders can better assess the needs of coastal populations using Census Bureau statistics.

More on Hurricanes

Information Please® Database, © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring