U.S. Census Bureau Releases Community Resilience Estimates

July 7, 2020

U.S. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau released Community Resilience Estimates, a new experimental data product which shows risk levels by state, county, and census tract.

Community resilience is the capacity of individuals and households to absorb, endure, and recover from the health, social, and economic impacts of a disaster such as a hurricane or pandemic. When disasters occur, recovery depends on the community’s ability to withstand the effects of the event. In order to facilitate disaster preparedness, the Census Bureau has developed new small area estimates, identifying communities where resources and information may effectively mitigate the impact of disasters.

Variation in individual and household characteristics are determining factors in the differential impact of a disaster. Some groups are less likely to have the capacity and resources to overcome the obstacles presented during a hazardous event. Resilience estimates can aid stakeholders and public health officials in modeling these differential impacts and developing plans to reduce a disaster’s potential effects.

Individual and household characteristics from the 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) were modeled, in combination with publicly-available data from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), to provide estimates. The tool is based on a risk index constructed with specific measures (adding up to 11 possible risks) as listed in the technical documentation.

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