Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Summary Stats

The distribution of damage from U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events from 1980 to 2019 is dominated by tropical cyclone losses. Tropical cyclones have caused the most damage ($945.9 billion, CPI-adjusted) and also have the highest average event cost ($21.5 billion per event, CPI-adjusted). Drought ($249.7 billion, CPI-adjusted), severe storms ($247.8 billion, CPI-adjusted) and inland flooding ($146.5 billion, CPI-adjusted) have also caused considerable damage based on the list of billion-dollar events.

Severe storms have caused the highest number of billion-dollar disaster events (113), while the average event cost is the lowest ($2.2 billion, CPI-adjusted). Tropical cyclones and flooding represent the second and third most frequent event types (44 and 32), respectively. Tropical cyclones are responsible for the highest number of deaths (6,502), followed by drought/heatwave events (2,993) and severe storms (1,642).

Temporal Comparison of U.S. Billion-Dollar Disaster Statistics (CPI-AUnadjusted)
Time Period Billion-Dollar
Disasters
Events/Year Cost Cost/Year Deaths Deaths/Year
1980s (1980-1989) 28 2.8 $127.7B $12.8B 2,808 281
1990s (1990-1999) 52 5.2 $269.6B $27.0B 2,173 217
2000s (2000-2009) 59 5.9 $510.3B $51.0B 3,051 305
2010s (2010-2019) 119 11.9 $802.0B $80.2B 5,217 522
Last 5 Years (2015-2019) 69 13.8 $531.7B $106.3B 3,862 772
Last 3 Years (2017-2019) 44 14.7 $456.7B $152.2B 3,569 1,190
Overall 258 6.5 $1,754.6B $43.9B 13,249 331
1980s (1980-1989) 14 1.4 $60.8B $4.3B 2,244 224
1990s (1990-1999) 41 4.1 $145.4B $3.5B 2,107 211
2000s (2000-2009) 54 5.4 $376.3B $37.6B 3,036 304
2010s (2010-2019) 117 11.7 $745.5B $74.6B 5,215 522
Last 5 Years (2015-2019) 69 13.8 $510.6B $102.1B 3,862 772
Last 3 Years (2017-2019) 44 14.7 $441.8B $147.3B 3,569 1,190
Overall 226 5.7 $1,328.0B $33.2B 12,602 315

Citing this information:

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2020). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/