The Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina has released a Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) for the United States. SoVI provides comparative data at the county level on social vulnerability to hazards and extreme events, based on the synthesis of 42 socioeconomic, demographic, and built environment variables. The county-level data have been geo-coded, facilitating comparison of vulnerability within and across states.
HVRI Director and START Researcher Susan Cutter notes that SoVI "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."
SoVI data and state-level maps presenting social vulnerability by county can be downloaded at HVRI's website (best viewed in Internet Explorer). This project received significant support from the National Science Foundation, as well as START.