US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources Website

Economics Tools and Software

Social Vulnerability Index-Explorer (SOVI-X)

This software allows users to perform social vulnerability analysis.  Exposure to flooding and other hazards often fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable in our communities. Those who lack access to education, adequate housing, economic resources, health care, and support services have the fewest resources to prepare and recover and often live in the highest-risk locations.  Children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities are among the most vulnerable. Information on social vulnerability is essential to enrich understanding of issues and factors that are critical in addressing the needs of these populations. A deliberate focus on social vulnerability is meant to further encourage personnel to consider the “people” part of our work. Information on social vulnerability is essential. Information gaps are a significant hurtle for agencies trying to inform their decisions by utilizing social vulnerability characteristics.

Social vulnerability analysis is a form of geographic analysis which examines vulnerability and resiliency of populated places to hazards. It is conducted by overlaying the spatial distribution of population characteristics with hazard areas, and tallying populations and subgroups at risk by their relative vulnerabilities. SOVI-X (Social Vulnerability Index Explorer) is a Graphical User Interface data extraction and formatting framework to facilitate social vulnerability analysis. It is designed to help decision makers understand how social vulnerability characteristics and their spatial distribution can be used to better address public safety and community resiliency needs. It uses US Census Bureau demographic, socioeconomic, and housing unit data, and simplifies the task of simultaneously assessing multiple profile variables by representing social vulnerability as a single numeric value, provided by census unit. The SoVI value for each census unit is a statistical measurement of its vulnerability in relationship to the average vulnerability of neighboring census units across a broader region, as expressed by a Z-Score. SOVI-X is a comparative metric that provides a snapshot of an area’s relative social vulnerability to hazard exposure and can be used for any hazard. It provides the option to do without and with project analysis with outputs which can be exported for direct use in reports.


User’s Guide 

Installation Guide