US Coastal Property at Risk from Rising Seas

Posted on: 6/21/2018 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

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This national analysis identifies the number of US homes at risk from chronic flooding over the coming decades due to sea level rise. It also shows the current property value, estimated population, and portion of the property tax base at risk. Information is available by state, community, and zip code.

It is important to note that the flooding highlighted here is not caused by storms—it is simply the result of high tides rising higher, and reaching farther inland, as sea levels rise. For this analysis, chronic flooding is defined to be flooding that occurs 26 times or more per year, a level of disruption also referred to as chronic inundation.

Two time frames are featured. The first falls within the lifespan of a 30-year mortgage issued today. The second extends out to 2100, when more than 2.4 million of today's homes could be at risk. 

The challenges and choices that come with rising seas are profound and have significant implications for coastal residents, communities, and the broader economy. We explore these implications in the closing section.  

Data is drawn from the analyses Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate (2018) and When Rising Seas Hit Home:Hard Choices Ahead for Hundreds of US Coastal Communities (2017)


Related External Links

Underwater Project Page

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The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

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