Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 7, pp 3109–3117 | Cite as

Analysis of social vulnerability to hazards in China

  • Yi LixinEmail author
  • Zhang Xi
  • Ge Lingling
  • Zhao Dong
Original Article


To improve natural disaster management, it is important to recognize the variability of the vulnerable populations exposed to hazards and to develop location-based emergency plans accordingly. This paper presents a mathematical model to establish a model of social vulnerability index (SoVI), which includes 12 social variables, and the regional social vulnerability to natural hazards was formulated by them. Taking a city as statistical unit, the variability of vulnerability to natural hazards was explored among the 323 cities based on the SoVI. The results indicate that vulnerability is a location-based regional phenomenon, with the most vulnerable cities being located in the southwest of China and the eastern areas being generally less vulnerable. The results will be helpful for policy makers to formulate disaster management plans, which can be beneficial for people in more vulnerable areas who are responding to, coping with, and recovering from natural disasters.


Social vulnerability Natural hazards Social vulnerability index Vulnerable city 



This research was funded by Asian Studies Center of Nankai University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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