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

Social Vulnerability Index

Overall Ranking by County

Social Vulnerability Index percentile values are available at county and census tract levels. For sub-theme percentiles, see counties and census tracts.

SVI percentiles are based on 15 census variables, which are grouped into four sub-themes: Household Composition and Disability, Socioeconomic Status, Housing Type and Transportation, and Minority Status and Language. Communities are also given an overall ranking based on the values of the four sub-themes. Higher values indicate greater vulnerability. Possible scores range from 0 (lowest vulnerability) to 1 (highest 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