Health Equity Zones

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Health equity zone initiative

Data Sources

Social Vulnerability Data

Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks. Reducing social vulnerability can decrease both human suffering and economic loss. more


To assess Rhode Island's progress towards advancing health equity, as part of Rhode Island's statewide health equity indicators.

Key Information

Measure Index score that reflects the social vulnerability of communities
Data Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (updated periodically, 2016 most recent), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Strata Census tract
What this measure means The measure for this determinant is the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. This index ranks each census tract in Rhode Island on 15 social factors, including poverty, vehicle access, and population density. This measure can help identify communities that are likely to need support before, during, and after a hazardous event and help public health officials and local planners prepare for, and respond to, emergency events. The data for this indicator are available by census tract in an interactive map.

Key Findings, 2016

  • Census Tracts 2 and 7 in Providence, Census Tract 152 in Pawtucket, and Census Tract 108 in Central Falls were ranked as the most vulnerable communities in the state.
  • 48 of the top 50 most vulnerable census tracts in Rhode Island are in Providence County.