Risks of Exposure and Vulnerability to Natural Disasters at the City Level: A Global Overview

Danan Gu, United Nations Population Division
Patrick Gerland, United Nations Population Division
Fran├žois Pelletier, United Nations Population Division

Using the data from the 2014 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects and the spatial hotspot data about natural disasters, this study shows that 944 of 1,692 world's cities with 300, 000 inhabitants or more on July 1, 2014, or 1.4 billion people, face a relatively high risk of exposure to at least one of six types of natural disasters analyzed, representing 56% of all 1,692 cities and 62% of 2.2 billion people in these cities. Furthermore, about 82% of cities and 88%t of city populations are highly vulnerable to disaster-related deaths, and that nearly 90% of cities and more than 93% of city populations are highly vulnerable to disaster-related economic losses. We also illustrate a large variation in hazard risks and vulnerabilities across city sizes, development groups, major areas, and income groups. Overall, we show that natural disasters have been a major threat to dense urban spaces worldwide.

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Presented in Session 223: Population and Natural Disasters