The risks of climate change and extreme weather events should be clear to people and communities along our national coastlines. I am not sure we have come to gripes with the likely consequences. Thirty nine percent of the population lives in coastal shoreline countries. This population grew by 39% between 1970 and 2010, and is projected to grow by 8.3% by 2020. The population density of coastal countries is 446 people per square mile which is over four times that of inland counties.
Consider the following statistics:
- $6.6 trillion contribution to GDP of the coastal shoreline counties, just under half of U.S. GDP in 2011.
- Total number of jobs is 51 million in the coastal communities in 2011.
- $2.8 trillion in wages paid out to employers working at establishments in 2011.
- Ranks #3 in global GDP (behind the United States and China) if coastal communities were considered a separate country.
- The expected increase in the coastal communities density - 37 persons per square mile - a projected 8.3% increase.