Social Vulnerability Index

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What is the social vulnerability index?

Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the purpose of identifying communities that may need support before, during, or after disasters. Socially vulnerable populations are identified using factors such as socioeconomic status, household composition, minority status, and housing type and transportation.

  1. State of Delaware
  2. /
  3. Sussex County

Social Vulnerability Index

Overall Vulnerability Percentile

Overall Ranking

Possible values range from 0 (lowest vulnerability) to 1 (highest vulnerability).

Sussex County's ranking of 0.4 indicates a Moderate to Low level of vulnerability.

SVI percentiles are based on 15 census variables, which are grouped into four sub-themes: Socioeconomic Status, Household Composition and Disability, Minority Status and Language, Housing Type and Transportation. Communities are also given an overall ranking based on the values for the four sub-themes. Higher values indicate greater vulnerability.

Social Vulnerability Index

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) using 15 census variables. Social Vulnerability is the extent to which an area’s social conditions affect the response and prevention of disasters. The SVI was created to help differentiate the relative vulnerability of a particular place from those around it.

    The 15 census tract variables are sorted by commonality into four different themes: Socioeconomic Status, Household Composition & Disability, Minority & Language, Housing & Transportation. These four themes comprise the SVI.

    The SVI’s objective is to allow key stakeholders to design more beneficial and efficient response strategies and predict the level of support and resources needed in an area following a disastrous event. It allows for improved response preparation, funding allocation, and resource distribution proportionally across communities by their vulnerability.
    Temporal Resolution
    2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018
    Spatial Resolution
    County, census tract
    The SVI is presented as a percentile that allows a location to be directly compared to areas around it. An SVI of zero means that an area is least vulnerable. An SVI of one means that an area is most vulnerable. For further information on how the SVI is calculated see CDC Social Vulnerability Index

    The county-level SVI Percentile compares the counties within Delaware to all other counties within the United States. The interpretation of the county level percentiles is that N county with an SVI of X means that X % of counties in the United States are less vulnerable than N county and (1-X)% of counties in the US are more vulnerable than N county (where N is the county selected for interpretation and X is the SVI Percentile of the chosen county).

    The census tract level SVI Percentile compares the census tracts within Delaware to all other census tracts within the State of Delaware. The interpretation of the census tract level percentile is that Census Tract N with an SVI of X means that X % of census tracts in Delaware are less vulnerable than Census Tract N and (1-X)% of Census Tracts in Delaware are more vulnerable than N census tract (where N is the census tract selected for interpretation and X is the SVI Percentile of the chosen census tract).

    This interpretation can apply the understanding for the county and census tract level data to the Overall Rating Percentile and the Percentile for each of the four themes that make up the Overall SVI Percentile.

    • Age 17 or Younger
    • Age 65 or Older
    • Crowding
    • Disability
    • Group Quarters
    • Household Composition and Disability
    • Housing Type and Transportation
    • Living below the poverty line
    • Minority
    • Minority Status and Language
    • Mobile Homes
    • Multi-Unit Structures
    • No High School Diploma
    • No Vehicle
    • Overall Vulnerability Percentile
    • Per Capita Income
    • Single Parent Households
    • Socioeconomic Status
    • Speaks English "Less than Well"
    • Unemployed

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