Risks of Exposure and Vulnerability to Cyclones for World’s Major Coastal Cities

Danan Gu , United Nations
Patrick Gerland, United Nations Population Division
Sara Hertog, United Nations
Frank Swiaczny, United Nations

Using the data from the 2018 Revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects (WUP) and the spatial hotspot data on cyclone risk, we show that 169 of 616 world's major coastal cities with 300,000 inhabitants or more on mid-2018, or 1.1 billion people, face a relatively high risk of exposure to cyclones. This represents 27% of 616 coastal cities and 33% of 1.1 billion people in these cities. About 40-44% of coastal cities and 48% of city populations are highly vulnerable to cyclone-related deaths and economic losses. Overall, we show that cyclones have been a major threat to many major coastal cities worldwide and that the population in cyclone highly affected areas has grown faster than that in non-affected areas and such a growth trend is likely to continue in the coming decades. Improving risk reduction management and capacity is a challenge, especially for fast growing cities most at risk.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography