Climate Change & Health Vulnerability

Definitions of Reported Measures

  • Extreme heat days, Projected number of extreme heat days
  • PM2.5, Three-year annual mean concentration of PM2.5 (average of quarterly means in µg/m3)
  • Ozone, average daily maximum 8-hour ozone concentration (ppm), averaged over three years for summer months (May-October)
  • Wildfires, % of population living in very high fire hazard severity zone
  • Sea level rise, % of population living in 100-year flood zone and 55 inches of sea level rise (Note: Data are from 2009 research. Current sea level rise projections are 66 inches above sea level in a 2100 high emissions scenario.)
  • Children, % of population age less than 5 years
  • Elderly, % of population age 65 years or older
  • Poverty, % of all individuals whose family income in the past 12 months is below 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Education, % of population 25 years and older with a four-year college degree or higher
  • Race/Ethnicity, % non-white population
  • Outdoor workers, % of population employed and aged 16 years or older working outdoors
  • Households without vehicles, % of occupied households with no vehicle ownership
  • Linguistic isolation, % of households with no one age > 14 years or older speaking English
  • Physical or mental disability, % of total population with a disability
  • Health Insurance (uninsured), % of population without health insurance
  • Violent crime rate, number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents
  • Air Conditioning, % of households without air conditioning
  • Tree canopy, % of the land area not covered by tree canopy (population weighted)
  • Impervious surfaces, % of the land area covered by impervious surfaces (population weighted)
  • Population near public transportation, % of population residing within ½ mile of a major transit stop

      How to Read Tables, Charts, and Maps

  • If a county has a value of N/A the data are not available for that county
  • The 95% confidence interval (CI) is the range of values that likely contains the true rate in the population
  • PM2.5 is measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3)
  • Ozone is measured in parts per million (ppm)
  • Sea Level Rise data list the year as 2009, which refers to the year the data projections were done; there is no actual year corresponding with a 55 inch sea level rise because that could happen at various times depending on climatic changes.
  • For more information on these data, visit CalBRACE:  . 

Data Sources

  • For more detailed information on data sources and descriptions, visit CalBRACE:
  • Extreme Heat Days: Cal-Adapt
  • PM2.5: California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • Ozone: California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • Wildfires: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
  • Sea Level Rise: Cal-Adapt, Pacific Institute, United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Children: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Elderly: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Poverty: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Education: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Race and Ethnicity: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Outdoor Workers: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Vehicle Ownership: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Linguistic Isolation: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Physical and Mental Disability: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Health Insurance: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Violent Crime Rate: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Air Conditioning: California Energy Commission, Residential Appliance Saturation Survey (RASS)
  • Tree Canopy: National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
  • Impervious Surfaces: National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
  • Public Transit Access: San Diego Association of Governments, Southern California Association of Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Sacramento Council of Government


Limitations of the Data

  • For detailed information on the limitations of Climate Change & Health Vulnerability Indicators, visit CalBRACE:
  • Data for extreme heat days and sea level rise are based on future projections
  • Geographic coverage of air monitors is limited, and the uncertainty of interpolated values increases with distance from the nearest monitor
  • Poverty levels are not adjusted for cost of living
  • Some data from the U.S. Census Bureau are shown for single-, three-, and five-year estimates; caution should be taken when comparing various time periods
  • Some indicator data may be limited in geographic scope

Suggested Citation

Tracking California, Public Health Institute. CalBRACE Climate Change & Health Vulnerability Indicators. Accessed [Month/Day/Year] from 

Download Query Results