Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 18;14(1):7870. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-43493-8.
Flood exposure has been linked to shifts in population sizes and composition. Traditionally, these changes have been observed at a local level providing insight to local dynamics but not general trends, or at a coarse resolution that does not capture localized shifts. Using historic flood data between 2000-2023 across the Contiguous United States (CONUS), we identify the relationships between flood exposure and population change. We demonstrate that observed declines in population are statistically associated with higher levels of historic flood exposure, which may be subsequently coupled with future population projections. Several locations have already begun to see population responses to observed flood exposure and are forecasted to have decreased future growth rates as a result. Finally, we find that exposure to high frequency flooding (5 and 20-year return periods) results in 2-7% lower growth rates than baseline projections. This is exacerbated in areas with relatively high exposure to frequent flooding where growth is expected to decline over the next 30 years.