A US Census Bureau report says coastal counties and parishes along the Gulf of Mexico have seen an increase of 3 million people, or 24.5%, between 2000 and 2016.

The US itself has grown by nearly 15-percent over the same time. The reason for the coastal boom? Demographer Greg Rigamer says it boils down to one thing.
“People follow jobs period; it’s an economic factor.”

Rigamer credits much of the coastal population boom to the need for construction following natural disasters such as hurricanes.

“Really a lot of disasters on the gulf coast and the inflow of federal money and insurance money to support rebuilding creates construction jobs.”

With the exception of 2005, a year that saw an intense hurricane season with three of the costliest hurricanes on record, Rigamer says every year since 2000 has shown growth, despite the threat of danger from natural disasters.

“The census puts out the charts showing the growth from 2000 in the coastal counties and it is a straight line projection up. The desire to stay out of harm’s way is clearly second to making a living.”

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