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Texas in Depth: The Path of Hurricane Harvey

TUESDAY, AUG 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and the rain continues to fall. At least 10 people died and countless homes have flooded.

Using Social Explorer’s American Community Survey maps and data, we took a look at the hardest hit areas to find out more about those most affected.

Texas Governor Abbott declared a state of emergency in 30 counties, which has since been expanded to 58 counties. The following map highlights the disaster area, which includes 11,083,255 residents—more than two fifths of the state population. Zoom in to see the counties up close.

Concentrated in the southeast portion of the state, the counties span from the Mexico border to Louisiana. Their populations range from 7,277 (Refugio County) to 4,356,362 (Harris County, which includes Houston).

Fort Bend County has the highest median income ($89,152) and lowest poverty rate (8.2%). Meanwhile, Willacy County has the lowest median income ($26,495) and the highest poverty rate (39.0%).

As part of covering the hurricane, the New York Times used Social Explorer to map median income in the Houston area. 


Using Social Explorer, we created an interactive map of median income in Houston that you can explore:

Next, we examined the potential economic impact of the storm. According to the Census Bureau’s County Business Patten data, over four million people living in these counties are employed. In 2014, they earned nearly $217 billion ($217,417,273,000), making up 43.4% of Texas’ $501,456,595,000 annual payroll.

The top industries for these areas are:

1) Health Care and Social Services

2) Retail Trade and Accommodation

3) Food Services

Other popular industries include:

4) Construction

5) Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

6) Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.

Explore our maps and tables to learn more about these Texas counties and other areas.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast 12 years after Hurricane Katrina. Click here to learn more about the impact of and recovery from that storm.

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