Social Index

The Social Index uses data about social vulnerability from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected within the American Community Survey. Social vulnerability is defined by the CDC as a measure of how able a community is to respond and bounce back from hazardous events such as natural disaster, tornado, or disease outbreak. Some of the measures in the index include socioeconomic status, household composition, diversity, minority status, language, housing, and transportation.

Aerial view of Baltimore and Baltimore Harbor. Photo by Alexandra Fries.

How is it measured?

The report card scores regions that are more vulnerable according to the CDC as less healthy, and regions that are less vulnerable as more healthy. According to the CDC, a social vulnerability index score of a 1 is the highest vulnerability a census tract can have. This would translate to a score of a zero in the report card.

Social Vulnerability data* came from the CDC’s website ( for 2018. The data are scored by census tract. Census tracts are weighted by population to a score for each reporting region.

*CDC Documentation