COVID-19 News

Census Bureau estimates communites' resilience to COVID-19 and other crises

The U.S. Census Bureau on June 22 released the Community Resilience Estimates on to measure the ability of a population to absorb, endure and recover from the impacts of disasters, including weather-related and disease-related hazard events such as COVID-19. The new experimental data product will be available through a tool which shows risk level by state, county and 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 tract and county level estimates.

These estimates come from the 2018 ACS, the 2018 National Center for Health Statistics National Health Interview Survey, and Population and Housing Unit Estimates.

Stakeholders including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, academic researchers, and local planners can use the estimates to study the impacts of or plan for mitigation for disasters.

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