Median Income versus Damaged Housing

Map 1–Median Household Income by 2010 Census Tracts.  Source: NHGIS

Map 2–Median Household Income versus Total Housing Registered as Damaged by Sandy, by 2010 Census Block Groups.  Only some block groups had enough damaged homes registered with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to appear here.   You can see how many damaged homes were registered in a particular block group by hovering over/clicking on that area.  Sources: NHGIS and HUD

Superstorm Sandy inflicted much of its greatest damage along the poorer coastlines of Greater New York, while sparing many if not all of its wealthiest beach fronts. The first map here shows how 2010 median incomes vary across the Long Island and Greater New York, with dark red the highest and light yellow the lowest. The second illustrates those areas where the greatest over damage to housing concentrated, based on totals compiled by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.   Not all tracts had reimbursed repairs that show here, but tracts having the homes registered as damaged are the darkest, while lesser amounts of registered damage are rendered by progressively lighter shades of blue.  

Inland damages came mostly from high winds and toppled trees. While some of these occurred in wealthier tracts in the townships of Oyster Bay and Huntington, the majority happened in lower income tracts across Hempstead, West Babylon, and Islip. Coastal damages came largely from water and inundations.  By far the highest levels of damage, and most all of the darkest colored block groups, lie along the southerly coast from the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens into Nassau County.   Further east, out along Suffolk’s southern coast, while the damage was also severe, wealthier tracts were far more interspersed with less wealthy ones, spreading more the damage across differences of income and affluence.   Zoom in closer to an area containing both–for instance, the southwestern corner of Nassau County–however, and you can see some real differences in demonstrated vulnerability.  Less affluent towns such as Inwood, Island Park and Long Beach were hit harder than richer ones such as Hewlett Harbor, Woodmere, and Lawrence.