The analysis of the data shown in this map revealed that over 3.3 billion people are living in countries classified as very highly and highly vulnerable, while approximately 1.8 billion people live in countries with low and very low vulnerability.
The map below, painted with a palette of vulnerability, unveils a sobering reality: vast swaths of our planet grapple with varying degrees of exposure to hazards. Yellow hues mark regions of relative resilience, while crimson shades reveal areas drowning in heightened susceptibility. But this is not a mere cartographic exercise; it is a stark reminder of the human cost woven into the fabric of these geographic variations.
The map goes beyond vulnerability indices; it overlays population density, highlighting the chilling convergence of high exposure and high concentration of people. Densely populated regions like Southeast Asia and parts of Africa stare into the abyss of vulnerability, while sparsely populated areas harbor isolated pockets of highly susceptible communities. Even within countries deemed less vulnerable at a national level, the map pinpoints local case studies like indigenous communities, exposing their stark reality of living on the precipice of disaster.
The pie charts accompanying the map are grim testimonies to the human toll of natural hazards. Their sizes, bloated by staggering numbers, reveal the disproportionate burden borne by regions like Africa and Asia. Each slice, a sliver of lost lives, tells a story of storms tearing through communities, floods engulfing homes, droughts sucking the life out of landscapes, heatwaves turning air into poison, and wildfires leaving behind scars of devastation.
Over the past decade, this macabre data dance reveals a tragic truth: vulnerability translates into death. More than 3.3 billion individuals, shackled by their circumstances, call highly and very highly vulnerable countries home. In stark contrast, roughly 1.8 billion navigate life in the relative safety of low and very low vulnerability environments.
These figures, calculated by averaging vulnerability components from INFORM Index and WorldRiskIndex, paint a nuanced picture, devoid of false comfort. While other studies, employing different methodologies, might offer slightly different numbers, the underlying truth remains unchanged – the world’s vulnerable far outnumber the secure.