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Mournful Calgary Resident Hopelessly Vie

The Impact Census

The Problem

There is currently little information or research on how climate impacts are financially affecting cities and the American public. People and municipalities are coping with numerous impacts causing damaged infrastructure, agriculture and property losses, lost work and, in some cases, relocation costs. These impacts include extreme weather, chronic flooding, fires, drought, and disruptive changes to the ocean environment. Infectious disease, extreme heat, and exacerbated air pollution are harming public health.  


These are just some of the costs of climate change that are being felt by the American public. Many of these costs, particularly those that are not covered by insurance, are not captured by present research. The result is a poor understanding of the impacts of climate change on American communities, a systematic underestimation of climate change costs, and insufficient information for researchers and the public in understanding and adapting to changes.

What We Do 

We use the Impact Census to help communities around the country get a clearer picture of the economic impacts of climate change on local households and businesses. Through our household and business economic surveys, we help to identify common, and sometimes unexpected, pressure points in the community to give residents and governments the tools they need to move forward. We design the surveys in cooperation with affected communities who use our analysis to help with their planning or advocacy efforts.

Examples of our past and ongoing projects include: 

  • Surveying economic losses from repeat flooding, flood patterns, and FEMA's role in helping/hindering recovery within a repeat flooding community

  • Helping a community advocate for a proposed ecosystems services project by providing a better understanding of how residents’ finances are impacted by flooding 

  • Working to help a local government see how small businesses have been affected by climate impacts

The Climate Cost Project does not charge communities for its services. If you feel that the Impact Census surveys could help your community, or have questions about our work, please send inquiries to

Read the Impact Census report on repeat flooding in Horry County, South Carolina

See Horry County's Flooding ArcGIS StoryMap

Stay updated.

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