Colombia: Social vulnerability and integrated risk

Data overview

The social vulnerability indicators for Colombia are spread over the themes of population, economy, infrastructure, education,and health. The dataset is composed of 60 indicators at level P3 of subnational geographic organization given in 1114 subdivisions distributed into parishes known in Colombia as: Municipios. The chart below explains the percentage of variables in the total dataset under each specific main theme.

Figure 1

The entire 60 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.

Table 1
Colombia variables of social vulnerability

ThemeSub-themeVariable
PopulationVulnerable PopulationFemale Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation relocated in search of employment
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation relocated for Natural Hazard Risk
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation relocated due to life threatened
PopulationVulnerable PopulationDwelling used for living and Economic Activity
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation living Dwelling with unadequated physical Characteristics
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation living in Overcrowded Dwellings
PopulationVulnerable PopulationTotal population with a disability
PopulationVulnerable PopulationHousehold - Paying monthly rent
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation under 5
PopulationVulnerable PopulationNative Indigeneous Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationAfro-Colombian Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation over 65
PopulationVulnerable PopulationAge dependance
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation not in the labor force (Age 0-15 and 65+)
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation
PopulationPopulation StructureMale Population
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation enrrolled in Community Aid
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation Density (inhabitants/km2)
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of Households
PopulationPopulation StructureTotal Dwellings
PopulationPopulation StructureMulti residential building, hotels, hospitals
PopulationPopulation StructureHousehold - property owned fully paid
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of people per Household
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationPopulation with Computer Access
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationPopulation with NO Computer Access
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHouseholds with NO Computer
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationIn Household Computer
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHousehold with NO Television
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationTelephone lines
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHousehols wth NO Vehicle Automotor
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHousehols with no Lifelines, No water Elec, Sewage
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with accessto improved water source
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNO Natural Gas public distribution
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNatural Gas public distribution to dwelling
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with access to Electric Energy Public distribution (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with No Electric Energy Access
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNo Sewage system
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with NO access to improved water source
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with no healthcare
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation that does not read and Write (15+ years)
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation Knows how to Read and Write
EducationEducation OutcomeIlliteracy Rate
EducationEducation OutcomeEducation Level completed Primary
EducationEducation OutcomeEducation Level Secondary
EducationEducation OutcomeEducation Level Completed (Superior, Technical, University)
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation with NO formal education
EducationEducation AccessChildren (Age 7-11) not enrrolled in schoool
EducationEducation AccessPopulation Enrolled in Education Institution
EconomyLabour MarketEconomically Active Population (EAP)
EconomyLabour MarketLabor Force Age 15-64
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employed in the Hotels/Restaurant sector
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employeed in the Commercial Industry (15-64)
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation looking for employment
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyPopulation with One unsatisfied basic need
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyPopulation with Two+ unsatisfied basic need
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyHousehold with less than US$100 monthly income
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyHousehold with US$100 - 200 monthly income
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyHousehold with US$200 - 500 monthly income
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyHousehold with US$1000+ monthly income


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 Colombian population.

Table 2. Colombia final variable selection

ThemeSub-themeIndicator
PopulationVulnerable populationTotal population with a disability (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationHouseholds paying rent (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationNative Indigeneous population (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationAfro-Colombian population (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationAge dependance (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationPopulation living in dwelling with unadequated physical characteristics (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationDwelling used for living and economic activity (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationFemale population (%)
PopulationPopulation structure Number of people per household
PopulationPopulation structurePopulation density (people/sqkm)
Infrastructure Energy, water, and sanitation Households with no access to improved water source (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationHouseholds with no electric energy access (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationNo natural gas public distribution
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationNo sewage system (%)
EducationEducation outcome Population with no formal education (%)
Education Education accessChildren (Age 7-11) not enrrolled in schoool (%)
EconomyIncome distribution and povertyHousehold with less than US$100 monthly income (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the hotel/restaurant sector (15-64) (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the commercial industry (15-64) (%)
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with no healthcare (%)

Social Vulnerability components

The social vulnerability index for Colombia is composed by the subcomponents of population, economy, infrastructure, access to education and health. The spatial distribution of the population subcomponent (figure 1A) shows high levels of social vulnerability in the rural areas across the country. Whereas, the economy subcomponent (figure 2B) shows high levels of social vulnerability in the central part of the country, along the andes mountains range where major urban and economic centers e.g. Bogota, Medellin, Cali, etc. The subcomponent infrastructure (figure 1C) makes reference to the access to basic services i.e water, electricity, sewage; the spatial distribution for this component in Colombia reveals high levels of social vulnerability in the rural areas. The five components of social vulnerability (population, economy, education, infrastructure and health) are subsequently summed and normalized to produce the final social vulnerability score.


Figure 1

(A) (B)


(C) (D) (E)


Integrated Risk

The integrated risk for Colombia 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. The spatial distribution shows the levels of social vulnerability across Colombia (figure 2A). Major urban centres i.e Bogota, Medellin, Cali, remain at low to moderate social vulnerability, the rural areas across the country experience moderate to high levels of vulnerability due to the lack of access to basic services, lifelines, sewage system, education access, and healthcare. The Colombia high seismicity risk zone is along the west part of the country into the Andes mountains range; the spatial distribution of the physical risk (figure 2B) shows high levels of risk in the parishes along the pacific coast, in the Andes major cities and surrounding parishes experience high levels of risk which would result in high losses in the event of an earthquake. In consequence, the integrated risk (figure 2C) shows moderate to high levels of risk along the high seismicity zones in Colombia at both urban and rural areas; rural areas experiencing high levels of social vulnerability but not located in the high seismicity risk zones remain low to moderate risk.


Figure 2

(A) (B) (C)
  • colombia.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/11/07 11:30
  • by Miguel Toquica