Interactive Heat Vulnerability Index
Hot weather is dangerous. In New York City – and across the country – more people die from heat than from all other natural disasters combined. As our climate continues to warm, we expect more heat events that can put people’s lives at risk.
In New York City, the risk of death from heat is unfairly distributed across neighborhoods. We identified neighborhood environmental and social factors associated with increased risk to create a heat vulnerability index. This can identify neighborhoods at highest risk and help inform neighborhood-level policies and programs that can protect people - sending resources to where they're needed the most.
Use this Heat Vulnerability Explorer to look up your neighborhood's heat vulnerability and the neighborhood characteristics that affect it.
Read more at A Case-Only Study of Vulnerability to Heat Wave-Related Mortality in New York City (2000-2011).
This is a Neighborhood Tabulation Area. Read about NTAs.
Neighborhoods are ranked from 1 (lowest risk) to 5 (highest risk).
The Heat Vulnerability Index
The Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) shows neighborhoods whose residents are more at risk for dying during and immediately following extreme heat. It uses a statistical model to summarize the most important social and environmental factors that contribute to neighborhood heat risk. The factors included in the HVI are surface temperature, green space, access to home air conditioning, and the percentage of residents who are low-income or non-Latinx Black. Differences in these risk factors across neighborhoods are rooted in past and present racism.
Neighborhoods are scored from 1 (lowest risk) to 5 (highest risk). The neighborhood you selected is outlined in blue. Hover over the map to see each neighborhood's heat vulnerability score.
Remember, all neighborhoods have residents at risk for heat illness and death. A neighborhood with low vulnerability does not mean no risk.
What factors affect heat vulnerability in your neighborhood?
Daytime summer surface temperature is different from air temperature, and varies more by neighborhood: some neighborhoods are hotter than others. A higher surface temperature is associated with a higher risk of death from heat waves. Citywide average: 98.6° F
Green space is tree, grass, or shrub cover. Green space helps cool a neighborhood. Less green space in a neighborhood is associated with a greater risk of death during heat waves. Citywide average: 38%
Air conditioning is as necessary during extreme heat as heating is in winter. A neighborhood with a high percentage of households with air conditioners means that more of its residents can be protected from extreme heat. Citywide average: 91%
Poverty is a social factor that places people at risk of death during heat waves for many reasons. One reason is that people living in poverty may be less likely to afford owning or using an air conditioner during heat waves. Citywide average: 19.6%
Racial disparities in heat vulnerability
In NYC, Black people die of heat-related illness at a disproportionately high rate. Because of this, neighborhoods with more Black residents are more greatly impacted by extreme heat.
Black New Yorkers suffer these disproportionate health impacts from heat due to social and economic disparities. These disparities stem from structural racism, which includes neighborhood disinvestment, racist housing policies, fewer job opportunities and lower pay, and less access to high-quality education and health care.
Overall, these systems limit access to resources that protect health. While many factors affect a neighborhood’s heat risk, Black New Yorkers are subjected to higher rates of poverty and lower access to air conditioning, green space, and neighborhood cooling resources.
Heat stress happens when your body’s temperature increases quickly: The body can no longer control its temperature to cool itself down, which can quickly lead to death. Hospitalizations for heat-related illness are an indicator of serious heat stress.
You can learn more about what the City is doing to address extreme heat and how the HVI is guiding that work at Cool Neighborhoods NYC. Communities can also use the index to advocate for services and resources.
In NYC, an extreme heat event is 2 or more days with a heat index reaching 95 °F, or 1 or more days reaching 100 °F.
To learn more about heat and health, visit Extreme Heat and Health. To stay safe in the heat, visit Beat the Heat.