Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, University of South Carolina
The Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) measures the social vulnerability of U.S. counties to environmental hazards. The index is a comparative metric that facilitates the examination of the differences in social vulnerability among counties. SoVI is a valuable tool for policy makers and practitioners. It graphically illustrates the geographic variation in social vulnerability. It shows where there is uneven capacity for preparedness and response and where resources might be used most effectively to reduce the pre-existing vulnerability. SoVI also is useful as an indicator in determining the differential recovery from disasters.
The index synthesizes 30 socioeconomic variables, which the research literature suggests contribute to reduction in a community's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazards. SoVI data sources include primarily those from the United States Census Bureau.