Social vulnerability change assessment: monitoring longitudinal demographic indicators of disaster risk in Germany from 2005 to 2015

  • Alexander FeketeEmail author
Original Paper


Social vulnerability assessments of disaster risks related to natural or man-made hazards have become state of the art, while not undisputed. One critique—that most assessments are static—is addressed here by analysing indicators over a 10-year period at a research area in Germany using county-level administrative units. The indicators (and an index) are displayed as maps using publicly available statistical data from a single government source to establish consistency. In addition, maps of changes in indicator values per 5 or 10 years are visualised. As a result, spatial regions within Germany that have received increases in, for instance, higher numbers of elderly citizens can be visualised. Maps visualise the increasing susceptibility to hazards such as floods, heatwaves, storms or technological accidents. At the same time, increases or decreases in capacities, such as hospital density or care homes, highlight regions that have adjusted or still have to adjust to demographic change demands. The main purpose of this paper is to test stability and heterogeneity of indicators over time and offer advice on a selection of indicators that are not only based on static and singular assessments but also take dynamics and related richness of additional temporal change information into account for longitudinal monitoring of disaster risk with a focus on vulnerability.


Societal resilience Disaster risk management Vulnerability index Vulnerability dynamics Demographic change 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TH Köln University of Applied SciencesCologneGermany

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