Recently, WalletHub, an entity renowned for its focus on financial and economic information, conducted a comprehensive study to identify which U.S. states are most affected by natural disasters in 2023. According to the report, Mississippi tops the list as the state most vulnerable to natural phenomena.
WalletHub’s report emphasizes: “From wildfires to tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes, the U.S. faces a slew of natural disasters year after year. However, 2023 has been particularly devastating. Surprisingly, Hawaii, which has historically been shielded from these events, has experienced the deadliest wildfires in the country’s history, with damages estimated at $5.5 billion and nearly 100 lives lost. The figures could rise as rescue and search operations progress”.
The study also reveals that, in 2023 alone, 15 natural disasters have caused damages exceeding $1 billion each. These events have left millions of Americans homeless and with deep emotional scars.
To determine each state’s vulnerability, WalletHub used two key metrics: the number of weather-related disasters causing at least $1 billion in damages since 1980 and the per capita loss from these disasters. Despite the recent tragedy in Hawaii, the state still ranks relatively low due to the lack of costly disasters in previous years.
The U.S. states most affected by natural disasters
- Mississippi – Total Score: 92.08
- Louisiana – Total Score: 89.17
- Texas – Total Score: 87.88
- Florida – Total Score: 82.78
- Iowa – Total Score: 81.67
In contrast, Maine, with a total score of 11.85, ranks 50th, being the state least affected by natural disasters.
It’s essential to highlight that while the “total score” reflects a state’s overall vulnerability, the other columns represent a relative ranking in terms of the number of disasters and economic losses.
See the full WalletHub Report