Internal Migration of Floodplain Populations in Four Riverine U.S. Cities

Daniel H. de Vries, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
James Fraser, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Since the early 1970s “buyout” programs which acquire and remove repetitively flooded properties from flood prone areas have been implemented in hundreds of communities across the United States as a new focus in the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) overall strategy to mitigate flood losses. Yet, very little is known about floodplain and buyout populations and the consequences and motivations behind such small-scale risk induced internal migrations. This paper will provides a descriptive socio-demographic and geographic overview of a buyout population sample from four U.S. cities that experienced flooding and decided to participate in a buyout program in order to relocated elsewhere. The surveyed Cities are Austin (TX), Grand Forks (ND), Kinston (NC), and Greenville (NC). Two questions will be answered. First, what populations are impacted by buyout and acquisitions programs? Second, to what extent did this demographic displacement help property owners relocate to better off areas? Results illustrate the population diversity and commonalities across sites.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context