CDC/ATSDR SVI: Educational Resources

The CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index (CDC/ATSDR SVI) is a place-based index, database, and mapping application designed to identify and quantify communities experiencing social vulnerability. All of our information is publicly available and freely accessible, and we want the CDC/ATSDR SVI to be used and shared. Please see the Educational Resources below to promote awareness and adoption of the CDC/ATSDR SVI.

CDC/ATSDR SVI Training Video

Introduction to the CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index
This video explains the significance of the CDC/ATSDR SVI, its purpose, contents, and how to access the information.
(2:09 in length)

CDC/ATSDR SVI Academic Toolkit

The CDC/ATSDR SVI Academic Toolkit is a collection of resources specifically created for students, professors, and other public health enthusiasts who are interested in learning or teaching the CDC/ATSDR SVI in academic settings. The CDC/ATSDR SVI Academic toolkit includes several items that a student or instructor may use in classroom settings or for self-paced learning. See below for a description of these resources.

CDC/ATSDR SVI Academic Lecture

Academic Toolkit Presentation [PPT – 9 MB] | 508-compliant PDF Version [PDF – 3 MB]

The CDC/ATSDR SVI Academic Lecture features a slide deck and script featuring speaker notes. The content of the slide deck includes an introduction to the CDC/ATSDR SVI and its history, findings from scientific publications that have used the CDC/ATSDR SVI, examples on how the CDC/ATSDR SVI is used in public health settings, and an interactive discussion exercise featuring concept mapping. The concept mapping exercise can be used to brainstorm project ideas for the CDC/ATSDR SVI Student Research Project.

CDC/ATSDR SVI Student Research Project

Academic Toolkit – Student Research Project Overview [PDF – 461 KB]

The CDC/ATSDR SVI Student Research Project outlines several benchmarks that lead to the completion of a practicum or thesis research project. The benchmarks for this project include the completion of a literature review, the development of a research question, an analytic plan, description of results, discussion, and conclusions. Moreover, students are encouraged to create a deliverable such as a PowerPoint for an oral presentation or poster presentation.

CDC/ATSDR SVI RStudio Exercises

Academic Toolkit RStudio Assignment Overview and Analytic File Description [PDF – 245 KB]

Academic Toolkit RStudio – Exercise 1 [PDF – 1 MB]

Academic Toolkit RStudio – Exercise 1 Dataset [ZIP – 48 MB]

Each of the CDC/ATSDR SVI RStudio exercises provides trainees with R code to complete specific tasks relevant to conducting spatial epidemiologic research with the CDC/ATSDR SVI. These exercises can be used for classroom assignments by instructors or can be completed by trainees independently. RStudio exercises use an analytic RDS file that includes CDC/ATSDR SVI 2020 estimates for all U.S. counties. These estimates were obtained in a geodatabase format from the CDC/ATSDR SVI website. Additionally, the analytic file includes an example health outcome and crude depression prevalence. This allows trainees to practice analyzing the data with the CDC/ATSDR SVI and a health outcome. The crude depression prevalence estimates were obtained from the CDC PLACES website. We strongly encourage trainees to create their own analytic files based on their own research interests. They can then use these files along with the code from the exercises for the CDC/ATSDR SVI Student Research Project. More detail on each of the RStudio exercises is provided in the RStudio Exercise Overview document.

Questions or Comments? Contact the CDC/ATSDR SVI Coordinator (