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California Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (CalBRACE)

Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Indicators for California

Indicators, data and narratives to assess exposures, social vulnerability and adaptive capacity


The CalBRACE Project developed climate change and health indicators narratives and data to provide local health departments and partners tools to better understand the people and places in their jurisdictions that are more susceptible to adverse health impacts associated with climate change, specifically extreme heat, wildfire, sea level rise, drought, and poor air quality. The assessment data can be used to screen and prioritize where to focus deeper analysis and plan for public health actions to increase resilience.



View the new CCHVIz interactive data visualization platform for the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Indicators:


CalBRACE Vulnerability Assessment Framework

Vulnerability assessments are a key tool to begin to prepare and plan for resilience to climate change and health impacts. A climate change and health vulnerability assessment helps to identify where a person’s or neighborhood’s susceptibilities to injury or disease exist due to their distance and sensitivity to climate-related environmental exposures or hazards. Adaptive capacity can offset the potential for injury and disease from exposure and sensitivity to hazards associated with climate change. Understanding more about neighborhoods and populations with multiple or complex social vulnerabilities can improve prioritization of efforts, inclusive planning, communication, and evaluation of adaptation and interventions developed to protect communities from the effects of climate change. The suite of domains and indicators developed by the CalBRACE Project is focused on assessing current and future climate change exposures (such as wildfires, extreme heat, air pollution, sea level rise, and drought), the people and places most susceptible to health risks from climate exposures, and the capacity to adapt to a changing climate. Also see: The CalBRACE Climate Change and Health Profile reports and Resources for adaptation planning for climate change and public health.

Climate Change & Health Vulnerability Data and Indicators

The CalBRACE Project produced climate change and health vulnerability indicators for download using the link below. Each indicator includes the data in an Excel file as well as a narrative in PDF format. Each narrative describes the indicator’s significance to climate change and health, the evidence that links the indicator to health outcomes, data sources, bibliographic references, methodology, and limitations that impact the interpretation of the indicator. Examples of maps, charts, and tables are also included. We invite you to download the data and narrative files and use them to create maps, charts, and tables of your own counties and communities.

The most up to date climate change data for California can be viewed and downloaded from

The indicators are organized in three domains: Environmental Exposures, Population Sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity.


Environmental Exposures Domain

Environmental exposure refers to the magnitude, frequency, and duration of an environmental exposure or disease risk.

Indicator Short Name

Indicator Definition

Excel Data

Narrative (PDFs)

Extreme Heat Days

Projected number of extreme heat daysextreme heat data (XLSX)extreme heat narrative

Air Quality (PM2.5)

Three-year annual mean concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5)

PM2.5 data (XLSX)PM2.5 narrative

Air Quality (Ozone)

Three-year ozone concentration exceedance above state standard

ozone data (XLSX)ozone narrative


Palmer Drought Severity Index for August 2014drought datadrought narrative


Percent of population currently living in high fire risk hazard zonewildfire data (XLSX)wildfire narrative

Sea Level Rise

Percent of population living in 100-year flood zone and 55 inches of sea level risesea level rise data (XLSX)sea level rise narrative

Population Sensitivity Domain

Sensitivity refers to the physiological and socio-economic factors which directly or indirectly affect the degree to which a population is impacted by climate-related changes.

Indicator Short NameIndicator DefinitionExcel DataNarrative (PDFs)


Percent of population aged less than 5 yearschildren data (XLSX)children narrative


Percent of population aged 65 years or olderelderly data (XLSX)elderly narrative


Percent of population whose income in the past year was below poverty level

poverty data (XLSX, 14.3MB)

poverty narrative


Percent of population aged >=25 years with less than high school educational attainment

education data (XLSX, 8.2MB) 

education narrative

Race and Ethnicity

Percent of population of colorrace/ethnicity data (XLSX)race/ethnicity narrative

Outdoor Workers

Percent of population employed and aged >=16 years working outdoorsoutdoor workers data (XLSX)outdoor workers narrative

Vehicle Ownership

Percent of occupied households with no vehicle ownershipvehicle ownership data (XLSX)vehicle ownership narrative

Linguistic Isolation

Percent of households with no one aged >=14 years speaking Englishlinguistic isolation data (XLSX)linguistic isolation narrative

Physical and Mental Disability

Percent of population living with physical disability

Percent of population living with mental disability

disability data (XLSX)disability narrative

Health Insurance

Percent of population without health insurancehealth insurance data (XLSX)health insurance narrative

Violent Crime Rate

Number of violent crimes per 1,000 residentsviolent crime data (XLSX)violent crime narrative

Adaptive Capacity Domain

Adaptive capacity refers to the broad range of responses and adjustments to the impacts of climate change, including the capacity to moderate potential damages, take advantage of opportunities, and cope with the consequences.

Indicator Short NameIndicator DefinitionExcel DataNarrative (PDFs)

Air Conditioning

Percent of households without air conditioningair conditioning data (XLSX)air conditioning narrative

Tree Canopy

Percent of area not covered by tree canopytree canopy data (XLSX)tree canopy narrative

Impervious Surfaces

Percent of area covered by impervious surfacesimpervious surfaces data (XLSX)impervious surfaces narrative

Public Transit Access

Percent of population not residing within 0.5 mile of bus/ferry/ferry stop with <15 minutes waiting time during peak commute hourspublic transit access datapublic transit access narrative



Data and Indicators:  Excel files with data for California, its counties, cities, towns, and census tracts (depending on availability) and narratives in PDF files for each indicator.

CalBRACE indicators were developed using the same methods used by Healthy Communities Data and Indicators Project (HCI). Please see the Users’ Tool Kit to view instructions for creating maps, graphs, tables, and explanatory texts using the indicators’ data files. Please see their Technical Information section for detailed information about indicator production and example SAS codes.


The CalBRACE project was partially supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative (CRSCI) through Cooperative Agreement 5UE1EH001052. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or the US Health and Human Services Agency.


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​Office of Health Equity​OHE | Health Equity Policy & Planning Unit​Climate Change & Health Equity Program
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