Revisiting the COVID-19 vulnerability index in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title Revisiting the COVID-19 vulnerability index in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 1-18
This study uses the Census 2011 and Community Survey 2016 data, adopts the Alkire-Foster multidimensional poverty index (MPI) approach and addresses numerous shortcomings of the original Statistics South Africa method by including numerous indicators from four dimensions (socio-economic, demographic, housing and hygiene, health) to derive a revised COVID-19 vulnerability index. The empirical findings indicate the index was relatively higher for African female individuals living in rural areas of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces, coming from households headed by elderly aged 55 years or above. Alfred Nzo, Amathole, Harry Gwala, OR Tambo and Umzinyathi are the five district councils that are most vulnerable to COVID-19 (the first four were declared COVID-19 hotspot areas by the South African government in December 2020). The results of the index decomposition found that indicators from the housing and hygiene dimension contributed most to the COVID-19 vulnerability.

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