Break-up of New Orleans Households after Hurricane Katrina.
ABSTRACT Theory and evidence on disaster-induced population displacement have focused on individual and population-subgroup characteristics. Less is known about impacts on households. I estimate excess incidence of household break-up due to Hurricane Katrina by comparing a probability sample of pre-Katrina New Orleans resident adult household heads and non-household heads (N = 242), traced just over a year later, with a matched sample from a nationally representative survey over an equivalent period. One in three among all adult non-household heads, and one in two among adult children of household heads, had separated from the household head 1 year post-Katrina. These rates were, respectively, 2.2 and 2.7 times higher than national rates. A 50% higher prevalence of adult children living with parents in pre-Katrina New Orleans than nationally increased the hurricane's impact on household break-up. Attention to living arrangements as a dimension of social vulnerability in disaster recovery is suggested.