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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

SoVI® 2000 42 Variables

Social Vulnerability Index for the United States - 42 Variables

SoVI 2010-2014     SoVI 2006-2010     SoVI 2000 - 32 Variables

This formulation of SoVI® is outdated, and presented here for information purposes only.

Social vulnerability is a culmination of economic, demographic, and housing characteristics that influence a community’s ability to respond to, cope with, recover from, and adapt to environmental hazards. The Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI®) quantifies the social vulnerability of U.S. counties to environmental hazards and results in a comparative metric that facilitates the examination of the differences in social vulnerability among them. SoVI® synthesizes 42 socioeconomic and built environment variables, which the research literature suggests influence a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazards.

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 initial SoVI® methodology and results for 1990 were originally published in:
S. L. Cutter, B. J. Boruff, and W. L. Shirley 2003. “Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards,” Social Science Quarterly 84 (2): 242-261.


Maps for this 42-variable formulation can be found here.