Data overview

The social vulnerability indicators for Chile are spread over the themes of population, economy, infrastructure, education,and health. The dataset of Chile is composed of 68 indicators at level P3 of subnational geographic organization given in 344 subdivisions distributed into parishes known in Chile as comunas. The chart below (figure 1) explains the percentage of variables in the total dataset under each specific main theme.

Figure 1

Indicators are separated into groups (or sub-indices) that share the same dimension (e.g. population, economy, infrastructure, etc.). These individual indicators are aggregated into sub-indices, and the sub-indices are, in turn, aggregated to construct the final composite model. Table 1 shows the entire dataset variables for Chile divided in the respective themes and subthemes.

Table 1. Chile variables of social vulnerability

ThemeSub-themeVariable
PopulationVulnerable PopulationHomeless Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationFemale Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationNative Indigeneous Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation Age 0 - 10
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation Age 0 - 17
PopulationVulnerable PopulationWomen Head of Household
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation over 65
PopulationVulnerable PopulationTotal population with a disability
PopulationVulnerable PopulationHousehold - Paying monthly rent
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation under 5
PopulationVulnerable PopulationAge dependance
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation not in the labor force (Age 0-15 and 65+)
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation
PopulationPopulation StructureMale Population
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation Density
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of Households
PopulationPopulation StructureIn Family Household
PopulationPopulation StructureHouseholder - Living Alone
PopulationPopulation StructureUrban Dwelling
PopulationPopulation StructureRural Dwelling
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - House
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Apartment Building
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Tenement (Inquilinato)
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Drift Water
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Hut
PopulationPopulation StructureMulti residential building, hotels, hospitals
PopulationPopulation StructureHousehold - property owned fully paid
PopulationPopulation StructureHousehold - Property owned but paying mortgage
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of people per Household
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationMobile cellular subscriptions
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationIn Household Computer
InfrastructureTransport and Communicationhousehold with Computer and Internet
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationTelephone lines
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHousehols wth NO Vehicle Automotor
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with access to improved water source
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with access to Electric Energy Public distribution
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds Electric Energy provided by Own Generator
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with No Electric Energy Access
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationSewage System Inhouse
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationSewage System Outdoors
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNo Sewage system
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation registered to national healthcare
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation registered to ISAPRE private healthcare Chile
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with no healthcare
HealthHealthcare resourcesAnnual Income - Public Health Service
HealthHealthcare resourcesAnnual Income provided by Min Salud
HealthHealthcare resourcesHelthcare budget available per inhabitant
HealthHealthcare resourcesDistance to the nearest healtcare center
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation Knows how to Read and Write
EducationEducation OutcomeEducation Level Completed (Primary and Secondary)
EducationEducation OutcomeEducation Level Completed (Superior, Technical, University)
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation with NO formal education
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation that does not read and Write (15+ years)
EconomyLabour MarketLabor Force Age 15-64
EconomyLabour MarketAgricultural Labor Force
EconomyLabour MarketFisheries Labor Force
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation working on primary sector of economy
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation working on Secondary sector of economy
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation working on terciary sector of economy
EconomyLabour MarketUnemployment Rate (Including homemakers)
EconomyLabour MarketUnemployment Rate
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employed in the Hotels/Restaurant sector
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employeed in the Commercial Industry (15-64)
EconomyLabour MarketLabor force employed in all sectors of the economy
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyGINI index
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyPoverty population but not homeless 2009
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyTotal population in poverty
EconomyEconomic ActivityAverage GDP per capita


The entire 68 indicators were statistically analyzed. In addition to a harmonized dataset, a reduction of the socio-economic indicators into a smaller parsimonious set of variables that best represent social and economic vulnerability cluster analysis was performed. The multi-variable statistical analysis was utilized to provide a statistical basis for the choice of indicators.

Final variable selection

A correlation analysis was performed on the above variables (table 1). Highly correlated variables (Spearman’s R>0.700) were eliminated from further consideration to avoid subjectively choosing one variable over another for inclusion in subsequent analyses. The correlation analysis is useful in reducing the data to a set of variables that are parsimonious and acceptable to represent the social vulnerability of the population in Chile.

Table 2. Chile final variable selection

ThemeSub-themeVariable
PopulationPopulation structureTotal Female population (%)
PopulationPopulation structureNumber of people per Household
PopulationPopulation structurepopulation density (people/sqkm)
PopulationVulnerable populationNative Indigeneous Population (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationHouseholdPaying monthly rent (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationWomen Head of Household (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationTotal Population with a disability (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationAge Dependance (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationHomeless Population 2009 (%)
EducationEducation outcomePopulation with NO formal education (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationHouseholds with NO access to improved water source (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationHouseholds with No Electric Energy Access (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the Hotel/restaurant sector (15-64) (%)
EconomyIncome distribution and povertyGINI coefficient
EconomyLabor marketUnemployment Rate
EconomyIncome distribution and povertyTotal population in poverty (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the Commercial Industry (15-64) (%)
HealthHealthcare resourcesDistance to the nearest healthcare center (km)
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with no healthcare (%)


Social Vulnerability components

The spatial distribution of the social vulnerability in Chile explains the socio-economic conditions of the population at subnational level in the country. The following figures provide the social vulnerability subcomponents at the subnational parishes in the country. The spatial of the sub-component population (figure 2A) shows high levels of social vulnerability in the parishes around Iquique in the north, and Concepcion, and Temuco in the mid part of the parishes below the metropolitan area of Santiago. Variables such as population density, age dependence, native indigenous population, and women head of household score high on social vulnerability at those parishes. Likewise, the education and health components (figure 2B-C) show high levels of social vulnerability at the aforementioned parishes, indicating that these parishes concentrate a great amount of population with no formal education and with limited access to healthcare and hence high rates of social vulnerability.


Figure 2. Chile components of social vulnerability

(A) (B) (C)
(D) (F)


Integrated Risk


The integrated risk for Chile is obtained from combining the social vulnerability and the risk average annual losses indexes. High integrated risk can be understood as those subnational areas experiencing high seismicity, high physical earthquake risk, and high levels of social vulnerability. Chile’s social vulnerability index resulted in moderate to high levels of social vulnerability at the subnational parishes surrounding Iquique, Concepcion, and Temuco (Figure 3A). The integrated risk index marks the aforementioned subdivisions as high risk, but also parishes marking major urban areas like Santiago, Valparaíso, y Antofagasta are under high risk as they are located in the high seismic risk zones (Figure 3B). Major cities across chile play an important role as economic and population hubs, especially if located in high risk seismicity zones, and giving high levels of risk under the integrated risk spatial distribution (figure 3C) an earthquake would bring devastating impacts to the economy and the well being of the population and their livelihoods.

Figure 3. Chile integrated risk

(A) (B) (C)
  • chile.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/11/08 15:50
  • by Miguel Toquica