Population and Housing data are important parts of ocean and
coastal economic picture. Like employment, wages and GDP, the growth
or decline in population and housing is an essential measure of economic
The vast majority of the nation's population and growth is found along
the coasts of the oceans and Great Lakes:
- 81.5% of the population lives in coastal states on 57% of the
nation's land area.
- 37% of the population can be found in counties adjacent to the
oceans and Great Lakes. These counties occupy only 18% of the
- Population densities continue to grow highest in coastal states
where dependence on ocean resources are greatest. The coastal states
population density in 2012 was about 127 per sq. mile while
non-coastal states average density was 38. Shoreline counties had about 182
people per sq. mile; however the nearby non-adjacent Coastal Zone
counties had a population density of nearly 189.
- Overall population growth for the 10 year, 2002-2012 period was 25.8
million people. 79% of the growth occurred in the coastal states and
29% in non-coastal state.
The growth and density of U.S. housing units is similar to those of the population:
- Of the 132.3 million U.S. housing units in 2011, 81% were in the
- The overall density of U.S. housing units was 37.4 per sq. mile. For coastal
states, the density was 53, compared with a housing density of only 16.7
for non-coastal states. While the shore adjacent counties show a high
density of 75.7 per sq. mile, it is the nearby non-adjacent coastal
counties that hold the highest density of 117.7.
- Of the 14.4 million U.S. housing units added between 2001 and 2011, 79%
were in coastal states and 29% were in shoreline adjacent counties.