Social Vulnerability Index

After floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters strike, some communities are resilient and can ‘bounce back’ quickly, but in other communities, it can take a lot longer. Researchers at the CDC have found that four main features of communities are useful in predicting whether communities will be able to bounce back quickly.Communities that are vulnerable – those that may be hard-hit and take a long time recover after a natural disaster – have:

  • Many people who live in poverty and are unemployed.
  • Many people who have not completed high school.
  • A lot of families with small children, a lot of senior citizens, or a lot of people with disabilities are vulnerable to natural disasters.
  • A lot of people who don’t speak English well.
  • A lot of people who live in crowded conditions or in RV parks.
  • A large number of families who don’t have a car.

The CDC combines these and other facts about communities into a “Social Vulnerability Index” or “SVI.” We used the SVI to identify communities in Illinois that may have a hard time managing the health problems that might happen due to extreme weather and climate change. This information can help the Illinois Department of Public Health plan and assist communities.   Click here to take a closer look at your county. More information about the SVI is available at:


Socioeconomic Household Composition Minority Status/Language
SVI_County_Housing_Transportation SVI_County_household_comp SVI_County_Minority_Status_Language
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Housing / Transportation Overall SVI
SVI_County_Housing_Transportation (1) SVI_County_Overall
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