Data overview

The social vulnerability indicators for Ecuador are spread over the themes of population, economy, infrastructure, education,and health. The dataset of Ecuador is composed by 56 indicators at level P3 of subnational geographic organization given in 1024 subdivisions distributed into parishes known in Ecuador as parroquias. 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 Ecuador divided in the respective themes and subthemes.

Table 1. Ecuador variables of social vulnerability

ThemeSub-themeVariable
PopulationVulnerable PopulationFemale Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationNative Indigeneous Population
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation Age 0 - 10
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation not in the labor force (Age 0-15 and 65+)
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation with NO birth certificate
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation over 65
PopulationVulnerable PopulationTotal population with a disability
PopulationVulnerable PopulationHousehold - Paying monthly rent
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation under 5 years old
PopulationVulnerable PopulationPopulation speaking a native indigenous language
PopulationVulnerable PopulationAge dependance
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation
PopulationPopulation StructureMale Population
PopulationPopulation StructurePopulation Density (inhabitants/km2)
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of Households
PopulationPopulation StructureTotal Dwellings
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - House
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Apartment Building
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Tenement (Inquilinato)
PopulationPopulation StructureDwelling Type - Hut
PopulationPopulation StructureMulti residential building, hotels, hospitals
PopulationPopulation StructureNumber of people per Household
PopulationLabour MarketLabor Force Age 15-64
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationMobile cellular subscriptions
InfrastructureTransport and Communicationhousehold with Computer and Internet
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHousehold with NO Cable Television
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationHousehold with NO fixed Telephone line
InfrastructureTransport and CommunicationIn household Cell phone
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with accessto improved water source
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHouseholds with access to Electric Energy Public distribution
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationPropane Gas tank as fuel to cook
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNatural Gas public distribution to dwelling
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationHousehold with NO bathroom
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationDwelling with public sewage system
InfrastructureEnergy, Water and SanitationNo Sewage system
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation registered to national healthcare
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with Private healthcare insurance
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with no healthcare
HealthHealthcare resourcesPopulation employed in the Health sector
HealthHealthcare resourcesHospital Clinics
HealthHealthcare resourcesHospital , Clinics per 1000 population
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 OutcomePopulation with NO formal education
EducationEducation OutcomePopulation that does not read and Write (15+ years)
EducationEducation AccessPopulation Knows how to Read and Write
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employeed in the Manufacturing Industry (15-64)
EconomyLabour MarketNOT Economically Active Population (EAP)
EconomyLabour MarketEconomically Active Population (EAP)
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employeed in the Commercial Industry (15-64)
EconomyLabour MarketPopulation employed in the Hotels/Restaurant sector
EconomyIncome distribution and PovertyHouseholds in poverty by UBN
EconomyIncome distribution and Povertypopulation in poverty by UBN


The entire 56 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 Ecuador.

Table 2. Ecuador final variable selection

ThemeSub-themeVariable
PopulationPopulation structureFemale Population (%)
PopulationPopulation structurepopulation density (people/sqkm)
PopulationVulnerable populationTotal Population with a disability (%)
PopulationPopulation structureNumber of people per Household
PopulationVulnerable populationAge Dependance (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationNative Indigeneous Population (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationPopulation with NO national I.D. (%)
PopulationVulnerable populationHouseholds paying rent (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationHouseholds with No Electric Energy Access (%)
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationNO Natural Gas public distribution
InfrastructureEnergy, water, and sanitationNo Sewage system (%)
HealthHealthcare statusPopulation with No HealthCARE (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the manufacturing Industry (15-64) (%)
EconomyIncome distribution and povertyPoverty population by UBN (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the Commercial Industry (15-64) (%)
EconomyLabor marketPopulation working in the Hotel/restaurant sector (15-64) (%)
EducationEducation outcomePopulation with NO formal education (%)


Social Vulnerability components

The spatial distribution of the social vulnerability in Ecuador explains the socio-economic conditions of the population at subnational level in the country. Figure 2 provides the social vulnerability overview of the subcomponents at the subnational parishes in the country; the spatial distribution of the sub-components shows high levels of social vulnerability in the population subcomponent (figure 2A) in the rural areas across the country mostly in the Andes and the Amazon regions. Limited access to education (figure 2B) and basic services i.e water and electricity under the infrastructure subcomponent (figure 2C) tend to be more present in urban areas reason why the Major cities like Quito, Guayaquil, and Ibarra remain in the low to moderate levels of social vulnerability. Likewise, the economy subcomponent (figure 2D) show high levels of social vulnerability in major urban areas i.e Guayaquil, Quito, this is due to the fact that urban areas are the economic hubs of the country and the majority of the population and their livelihoods are concentrated in major cities. Lastly, the health subcomponent shows high levels of social vulnerability in rural parishes in most cases away from major cities where the health assistance may not be permanent available.


Figure 2. Ecuador sub-components of social vulnerability

(A) (B) (C)


(D) (E)


Integrated Risk


The spatial distribution of the integrated risk for Ecuador 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 social vulnerability index for Ecuador revealed that rural parishes experience the highest levels of social vulnerability (figure 3A); whereas, the major urban cities Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Portoviejo, Esmeraldas remain at low to moderate social vulnerability. The integrated risk (figure 3C), however; marks major urban cities has high risk, this is due to the fact that the aforementioned cities and surrounding parishes are located in high seismic risk zones as seen in the physical risk results (Figure 3B). Major cities experience great losses and moderate levels of social vulnerability, resulting in high risk areas in the integrated risk model.


Figure 3. Ecuador integrated risk index

(A) (B) (C)

  • ecuador.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/11/08 16:25
  • by Miguel Toquica