An Index of Community Vulnerability: Conceptual Framework and Application to Population and Employment Changes

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By Alessandro Alasia and Ray D. Bollman (Agriculture Division, Statistics Canada), John Parkins (University of Alberta), and Bill Reimer (Concordia University)

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This paper develops a conceptual and operational framework for the analysis of community socio-economic vulnerability. This framework is then used to develop two indices of community vulnerability: one for population and the other for employment decline.

Vulnerability is defined as the likelihood of a worsening of socio-economic conditions for the community. The conceptual framework for vulnerability analysis includes three main dimensions: stressors (e.g. exposure to global competition), assets (e.g. human capital), and outcomes (in this context, population and employment decline). Using this framework, a set of econometric models was estimated using census data for the period 1981 to 2001.

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