The Relationship Between Socio-Economic Development and Social and Economic Vulnerability Levels of Cities in Turkey

Dilek Özceylan, Erman Coşkun


Disasters occur frequently, and people suffer because of consequences of these disasters. Both the recent disasters in our country (1999 earthquake), and disasters in the World (South Asia earthquake and tsunami in 2004, Pakistan Earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in the USA in 2005, humanitarian crisis in Darfur, earthquakes in China in 2009 and Haiti and Chile in 2010, flood in Pakistan and, lately earthquake and following tsunami in Japan and drought in Africa) have revealed the many sides and size of the losses which are caused by disasters.

Losses which occur after a disaster may differ from one country to another. Especially underdeveloped or developing countries suffer much more comparing to developed countries. Thus, it can be claimed that there is some correlation between development level and disaster vulnerability. However, in some cases this argument may not be true and sometimes some developed cities or countries might be more vulnerable.

The purpose of this study is to analyze whether there is a correlation between development level of a city and economic and social vulnerability and if the answer is yes then to find the direction and measure of this correlation. The study uses statistics for 81 cities in Turkey and analyzes data with different approaches. The results show that although there is some correlation between development level and social and economic vulnerability, some differences also exist. Social and economic vulnerability is partly a problem of undevelopment or underdevelopment, but to reduce the possible losses of disasters, detailed analysis of vulnerability is necessary.


C. Vogel, S.C. Moser, R.E. Kasperson, G.D. Dabelko, Linking Vulnerability, Adaptation, and Resilience Science to Practice: Pathways, Players, and Partnerships, Global Environmental Change, 17, 349-364, 2007.

K. Thywissen, Componenets of Risk: A Comparative Glossary, No.2, UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany, 2006.

Z.D. Willison, R. Willison, Vulnerability Reduction: A Task for the Vulnerable People Themselves, in Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People, (G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, D. Hilhorst, Eds.), London, Earthscan, 2004.

S. Yodmani, Disaster Risk Management and Vulnerability Reduction: Protecting the Poor, Asia Pacific Forum on Poverty, Asia Development Bank. (,2001.

M. Fordham, Disaster and development research and practice: a necessary eclecticism?, in Handbook of Disaster Research (H. Rodriguez, E.L. Quarantelli, R.R. Dynes, Eds.), Springer, 2006.

D.S. Mileti, Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States, Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DC, 1999.

K. Hewitt, Regions of Risk: A Geographical Introduction to Disasters, Harlow: Longman, 1997.

B. Wisner, H.R. Luce, Disaster Vulnerability: Scale, Power and Daily Life, GeoJournal, 30(2), 127-140, 1993.

B. Wisner, P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, I. Davis, At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability, and Disaster (2nd ed.), London, Routledge, 2004.

P. Blakie, T. Cannon, I. Davis, B. Wisner, At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters, London, Routledge, 1994.

V. Garcia-Acosta, Historical disaster research, in Catastrophe & Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster (S. M. Hoffman, A. Oliver-Smith, Eds.), School of American Research Press: Santa Fe, NM, 2002.

UNDP (United Nations Development Programs), Reducing Disaster Risk, A Challenge for Development, A Global Report, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, New York, 2004.

D. Hilhorst, G. Bankoff, Introduction: mapping vulnerability, in Mapping Vulnerability, Disasters, Development & People (G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, D. Hilhorst, Eds.), Earthscan, London, 2004.

H. Eakin, A.L. Luers, Assessing the Vulnerability of Social-Environmental Systems, Annu.Rev.Environ.Resour., 31, 365-94, 2006.

M.B. Anderson, P.J.Woodrow, Rising from the Ashes: Development Strategies in Times of Disaster, Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner,1998.

A. Yasir, The Political Economy of Disaster Vulnerability: A Case Study of Pakistan Earthquake 2005, Munich Personal RePEc Archive, Paper No: 20762, 2009.

T. Cannon, Vulnerability, Innocent Disasters and the Imperative of Cultural Understanding, Disaster Prevention and Management, 17 (3), 350-357, 2008.

G. Bankoff, Cultures of Disasters: Society and Natural Hazards in the Philippines, Routledge, London, 2002.

K.A. Borden, Natural Hazards Mortality in The United States. Ph.D. Thesis, University of South Carolina, 2008.

S.L. Cutter, C. Finch, Temporal and Spatial Changes in Social Vulnerability to Natural Hazards, PNAS, 105 (7), 2301-2306, 2008.

K. A. Borden, M.C. Schmidtlein, C.T. Emrich, W.W. Piegorsch, S. L. Cutter, Vulnerability of U.S. Cities to Environmental Hazards, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 4(2), 2007.

S.L. Cutter, Hazards, Vulnerability, and Environmental Justice, Earthscan, Sterling, VA, 2006.

E. Enarson, A. Fothergill, P. Lori, Gender and disaster: foundations and directions, in Handbook of Disaster Research (H. Rodriguez, E.L. Quarantelli, R.R. Dynes, Eds.), Springer, 2006.

S.L. Cutter, C.T. Emrich, Moral Hazard, Social Catastrophe: The Changing Face of Vulnerability along the Hurricane Costs, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 604: 102-112, 2006.

J.C. Villagran de leon, Vulnerability: A Conceptual and Methodological Review, SOURCE -Publication Series of UNU-EHS, United Nations University, Bonn, 2006.

S.L. Cutter, B.J. Boruff, W.L. Shirley, Social Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards, Social Science Quarterly, 84(2), 242-261, 2003.

S.L. Cutter, J.T. Mitchell, M.S. Scott, Revealing the Vulnerability of People and Places: A Case Study of Georgetown County, South Carolina, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 90(4),713–737, 2000.

D. Özceylan, Afetler İçin Sosyal ve Ekonomik Zarar Görebilirlik Endeksi Geliştirilmesi: Türkiye’deki İller Üzerine Bir Uygulama. Ph.D. Thesis, Sakarya Üniversitesi, 2011.

T. Cannon, Vulnerability analysis and the explanation of natural disasters, in Disasters, Development and Environment (A. Varley, Ed.), London, John Wiley, 1994.

A. Lavell, Prevention and mitigation of disasters in Central America: vulnerability to disasters at the local level, in Disasters, Development and Environment, (A. Varley, Ed.), London, John Wiley, 1994.

P. Winchester, Power, Choice and Vulnerability: A Case Study in Disaster Management in South India, London: James and James Publications, 1992.

B. Dinçer, M. Özaslan, T. Kavasoğlu, İllerin ve Bölgelerin Sosyo-Ekonomik Gelişmişlik Sıralaması Araştırması, Yayın No. DPT 2671, Mayıs, 2003.

N.Z. Üstünışık, Türkiye’deki İller ve Bölgeler Bazında Sosyo-Ekonomik Gelişmişlik Sıralaması Araştırması: Gri İlişkisel Analiz Yöntemi ve Uygulaması, Ph.D. Thesis, Gazi Üniversitesi, 2007.

E.B. Yıldız, U. Sivri, M. Berber, Türkiye’de İllerin Sosyo-Ekonomik Gelişmişlik Sıralaması, Uluslararası Bölgesel Kalkınma Sempozyumu, Bozok Üniversitesi, 7-9 Ekim, 2010.

H. R. Bernard, Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA, SAGE, 2000.

Full Text: PDF









Managed by Baris Kiremitci