Climate change affects all Americans—regardless of socioeconomic status—and many impacts are projected to worsen as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, snow and rainfall patterns shift, and some extreme weather events become more common. A growing body of literature focuses on the disproportionate and unequal risks that climate change is projected to have on communities that are least able to anticipate, cope with, and recover from adverse impacts. Many studies have discussed climate change impacts on socially vulnerable populations, but few have quantified disproportionate risks to socially vulnerable groups across multiple impacts and levels of global warming.
This report contributes to a better understanding of the degree to which four socially vulnerable populations—defined based on income, educational attainment, race and ethnicity, and age—may be more exposed to the highest impacts of climate change in six categories: Air Quality and Health; Extreme Temperature and Health; Extreme Temperature and Labor; Coastal Flooding and Traffic; Coastal Flooding and Property; and Inland Flooding and Property.
US Environmental Protection Agency, "CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOCIAL VULNERABILITY IN THE UNITED STATES A Focus on Six Impacts" (2021). Federal Documents. 40.