GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (7): 1153-1162.doi: 10.11821/yj2010070001

• Earth Surface Processes •     Next Articles

The assessment of regional vulnerability to natural disasters in China based on DEA model

LIU Yi1,2, HUANG Jian-yi1,2,3, MA Li1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China
  • Received:2010-04-18 Revised:2010-05-30 Online:2010-07-20 Published:2010-07-20


As one of world's worst natural disasters inflicting countries, China is frequently suffered by the ravages of natural disasters,which have had a negative effect on people's lives and caused huge economic losses annually. Presently, the study of vulnerability has played an important part in the research on natural disasters, which emphasizes the relationship between human society and the effects of disasters, and measurement of the capability to overcome natural disasters in different regions with distinctive economy. The purpose of the vulnerability analysis is to identify appropriate actions that can be taken to reduce the potential natural disaster damages, so it is of great practical significance to study China's vulnerability to natural disasters. Traditional methods for vulnerability analysis calculate sub-indices based on disaster frequency, loss, the economic impact and the population of each region, and then use the sub-indices to obtain a composite index for regional vulnerability. However those methods has a shortcoming, which are sensitive to weight set for sub-indices and the selection of the vulnerability functions. As a result, the analytic results are less convincing, so a data envelopment analysis (DEA)-based model for analysis of regional vulnerability to natural disasters is presented here to improve the traditional methods, and data from 2001 to 2008 of China are analyzed. Under the framework of the regional natural disaster system, this paper firstly constructs an input-output DEA model for the regional disasters system from three aspects, including the danger of regional disasters, the exposure of regional soc-economy and the regional natural disaster losses, using the efficiency calculated by the DEA to imitate the regional vulnerability to natural disasters, and then it makes an analysis of the differentiation of the regional vulnerability to natural disasters. The result shows that the overall level of vulnerability to natural disasters of China is high, and the geographical pattern for vulnerability is Western Region > Central Region > Eastern Region. In addition, there is a negative correlation between the level of regional vulnerability and regional economic level, that is, the more economically developed regions has lower regional vulnerability.

Key words: natural disasters, regional vulnerability, DEA model