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.
    2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018
    Temporal Resolution
    Spatial Resolution
    Census tract and county
    • 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