5 Worst and Best States For Climate Change


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 08, 2022 | 2 MIN READ

A stern warning has been sent to the world about global warming: If carbon emissions aren’t drastically cut in the next 12 years, we’ll experience severe flooding, heat, droughts, and climate change-related poverty. That means more extreme weather for people living in states that are more affected by climate change.

Some states experience flooding more than others, while some states experience extreme heat, and so on. We’ll look at the five states that are best and the worst for climate change. 

Climate Change Risks

There are five main categories of effects of climate change—drought, wildfires, extreme heat, inland flooding, and coastal flooding. Each has a separate impact; for example, extreme heat increases the risk of death in animals and humans and strains agricultural yields.

Extreme heat

Extreme heat is one of the most common signs of climate change impact. The ocean is one area that’s already being impacted by global warming. Since 1995, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has already lost half of its coral due to warmer seas. Wildfires are becoming more frequent due to the extreme heat coming in.

Inland and Coastal Flooding

Flooding is one of the most dangerous natural disasters in the United States. Climate change triggers hurricanes, intense precipitations, and rainstorms which bring about an accumulation of water, leading to inland flooding. The floodplains are expected to grow by approximately 45% by the end of the century while coastal flooding doubles.

Droughts

Drought is a prolonged period of dry weather that results in a severe water shortage. This affects the agriculture sector, decreasing the productivity of the farmland. In California, 88% of the population lived in drought, experiencing intense conditions. The impacts of climate change is going to become more frequent and intense in the future.

Where Is Climate Change the Best?

Certain states don’t experience the adverse effects of climate change as much as other states. These are the best states to live in if you don’t want to deal with extreme weather.

Vermont

Vermont has a low risk of extreme heat. It’s only projected to see one day yearly when the heat index is above 100 degrees by 2050. Residents of the state are among the least vulnerable to extreme heat waves, and only about 1.76% of the population under the age of 5 or above 65 live in poverty.

Pennsylvania 

Drought isn’t predicted to be a significant issue as we go into the next century. Pennsylvania’s drought vulnerability is due to low sensitivity and low exposure. The state scored a perfect A on Climate Centra’s preparedness scale, meaning it’s well-prepared to take on climate threats.

Michigan

Michigan has a low susceptibility to most major climate threats. It received a B grade for preparedness from Climate Central, meaning that they have adapted and improved resilience to climate change-related drought.

Colorado

Colorado does have large wildfires and water-stress risk, but it also has low susceptibility to extreme heat. The state is expected to only see one day with a heat index above 100 degrees by 2050.

Minnesota

Minnesota has a low susceptibility to inland flooding. Only 3% of Minnesota residents live in 100- and 500- year floodplains. According to Flood Factor, the state is only expected to see a 1.4% increase in properties with flood risk.

Where Is Climate Change the Worst?

Certain states experience the adverse effects of climate change much more than others. The IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change) works with states to ensure they meet the emissions target. These are the worst states to live in if you don’t want to deal with extreme weather.

Florida

Florida has a dire outlook on climate change and ranks as one of the top five worst states for coastal flooding, tropical cyclones, and extreme heat. The state is expected to see a whopping 86 days with a heat index above 100 degrees by 2050.

That’s a 61% increase over the historical average. It’s the 6th most heat-vulnerable population, and in addition to heat, sea level rise is expected to increase the number of properties with flood risk by 17.5% in the next 30 years. With the annual hurricane season in Florida, this it less than ideal.

Mississippi

Mississippi is part of the list because of the vulnerability of residents to heat waves. It’s projected to have 68 days with a heat index above 100 by 2050 in a low-emissions future.

It’s also vulnerable to sea level rise, and coastal flooding. They scored an F for climate change preparedness by Climate Central, as it’s done virtually nothing to address future vulnerabilities.

Louisiana

Louisiana experiences higher flood risk, and extreme heat risk than most states. The state likely expects an increase of 62.8% in the number of properties at risk for inland flooding. That’s three times as high as Delaware.

Arkansas

Arkansas experiences rising temperatures leading to considerable heat stress, and higher wildfire risks. Climate Central scored the state with an F, as it has done nothing to protect its residents from the impacts of climate change.

Texas

Texas is ecologically diverse but still prone to climate-change-related risk. The state is impacted by water stress, and drought in the inland regions. They typically experience hurricane storm surges, and devastating flooding in the coastal areas. They scored a failing grade with Climate Central due to its lack of climate change preparedness.

FAQs

What are the worst states to live in for climate change?

The worst states to live in for climate change are Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

What states are best positioned for climate change?

The states best positioned for climate change are Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Colorado.

Where is the best place to live as climate change gets worse?

Vermont is the best state to live in during climate change.

Where is the safest place in the US for climate change?

The Pacific Northwest is the most climate-resilient area in the United States. Portland was the first United States city to create an action plan to cut down on carbon.

What are some of the problems that climate change will cause?

Climate change causes frequent and intense droughts, heat waves, storms, melting glaciers, warming oceans, and rising sea levels. These things destroy the places we live, harm animals, and wreak havoc on livelihoods and communities.

Which states will be the least affected by climate change?

Vermont scores the lowest on the SafeHome.org Risk Index. Only the extreme heat threatens Vermont, and it’s a relatively low risk.

What are the most likely aspects of climate change affecting where people live?

Climate change impacts people who live in areas vulnerable to droughts, coastal storms, and sea level rise. Industries and professions might face considerable challenges from climate change.

Affordable Home Insurance For Climate Change Disasters

As climate change worsens, homeowners insurance gets more expensive and harder to obtain in states that are at high-risk.

Many insurance companies aren’t insuring homes in areas with increased risk of tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires. Talking to an insurance agent to protect your home from climate change disasters is essential.

If you’re ready to get home insurance quotes, it’s as easy as comparing rates, as quotes vary by company. We have a helpful tool to find the best home insurance.