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Vulnerable Populations

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Disadvantaged populations; Populations at risk


Vulnerable populations are individuals who are at greater risk of poor physical and social health status. They are considered vulnerable because of disparities in physical, economic, and social health status when compared with the dominant population. Vulnerability refers to the likelihood of contracting disease or illness. Vulnerable populations may be less able to anticipate, cope with, resist, or recover from the impacts of a hazard. The degree to which populations are vulnerable to disasters is not primarily dependent on proximity to the source of disaster. For instance, it may take only a moderate hazard event to disrupt the well-being of many socially vulnerable populations.


Scholars have developed conceptualizations and representations of vulnerability (Cook et al. 2008; Cutter and Finch 2008). Vulnerability is linked to factors that increase the likelihood of an individual to contract illness or...

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Correspondence to Deden Rukmana .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Rukmana, D. (2014). Vulnerable Populations. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht.

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