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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Natural disasters hit 1 in 5 US adults’ finances in 2023: Fed

Fed´s annual report into the economic wellbeing of US households found that 19 percent of adults reported being financially affected by natural disasters

By AFP
May 22, 2024
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference on interest rates, the economy and monetary policy actions, at the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC, June 15, 2022.— AFP/File
US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference on interest rates, the economy and monetary policy actions, at the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC, June 15, 2022.— AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Almost 20 percent of adults in the United States were financially impacted by natural disasters last year, the Federal Reserve said on Tuesday, marking a nearly 50-percent rise from 2022.

The Fed´s annual report into the economic wellbeing of US households found that 19 percent of adults reported being financially affected by natural disasters or severe weather events like flooding and wildfires over the last 12 months.

This was up sharply from 13 percent in 2022, with some of the biggest changes seen in the West of the country, where the percentage of people noting a financial impact from natural disasters almost doubled. In the US South, which includes hurricane-prone states such as Florida, almost a quarter of all respondents said they were financially hit by natural disasters, while just 13 percent did so in the northeast.

In its report, the Fed noted that some of those people at highest risk from natural disasters were also less likely to have homeowners insurance.

“Homeowners with lower income, those living in the South, and homeowners who had already been financially affected by a natural disaster were all less likely to have homeowners insurance,” the report found.