Katrina's Victims Viewed Through U.S. Census Data

An Associated Press analysis of Census data shows that the residents in the three dozen hardest-hit neighborhoods in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama also were disproportionately minority and had incomes $10,000 below the national average.

People living in the path of Hurricane Katrina’s worst devastation were twice as likely as most Americans to be poor and without a car — factors that may help explain why so many failed to evacuate as the storm approached.

Median household income in the most devastated neighborhood was $32,000, or $10,000 less than the national average.

Two in 10 households in the disaster area had no car, compared with 1 in 10 in nationwide.

Nearly 25 percent of those living in the hardest-hit areas were below the poverty line, about double the national average. About 4.5 percent in the disaster area received public assistance; nationwide, the number was about 3.5 percent.

About 60 percent of the 700,000 people in the three dozen neighborhoods were minority. Nationwide, about 1 in 3 Americans is a racial minority.

One in 200 American households doesn’t have adequate plumbing. One in 100 households in the most affected areas didn’t have decent plumbing, which, according to the Census, includes running hot and cold water, a shower or bath and an indoor toilet.

Nationwide, about 7 percent of households with children are headed by a single mother. In the three dozen neighborhoods, 12 percent were single-mother households.

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