Breakup of New Orleans Households after Hurricane Katrina

by Michael S. Rendall

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The resilience of family and household structure to displacement-inducing natural disaster is investigated. Households from a survey that traces the outcomes of a population-representative sample of households in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina are compared statistically to households from a national sample. Household breakup following Katrina was extremely high among extended-family households, exacerbated by the high prevalence of extended-family households in New Orleans before the hurricane. While the highest rates of household breakup occurred among households whose residences were made uninhabitable by the Hurricane and its aftermath, city-wide impacts on household breakup were found.

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