Reefs at Risk Revisited (Social Vulnerability Data)

Under the Reefs at Risk Revisited project, WRI and its partners have developed a new, detailed assessment of the status of and threats to the world’s coral reefs. This information is intended to raise awareness about the location and severity of threats to coral reefs. These results can also catalyze opportunities for changes in policy and practice that could safeguard coral reefs and the benefits they provide to people for future generations.

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This shapefile features the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) for 108 coral reef countries and territories classified according to an index of their reef dependence, adaptive capacity, and social vulnerability. Results are presented as quartiles, with 27 countries/territories classified in each of four categories (low, medium, high, and very high for Reef Dependence and Social Vulnerability; very low, low, medium, and high for Adaptive Capacity). The Reef Dependence index is based on the following inputs: reef-associated population, reef fisheries employment, reef-associated exports, nutritional dependence on fish and seafood, reef-associated tourism, and shoreline protection. The Adaptive Capacity index is based on the following inputs: economic resources, education, health (life expecancy), governance, access to markets, and agricultural resources. The Social Vulnerability index is based on the combination of the Reef Dependence index, Adaptive Capacity index, and exposure to reef threats (i.e., the Reefs at Risk integrated local threat index). The EEZs for uninhabited and sparsely inhabited territories with coral reefs are also included in this shapefile, but are not included in the indices.

The purpose of this dataset is to provide a comparative analysis of coral reef countries and territories according to their reef dependence, adaptive capacity, and social and economic vulnerability to reef loss. Results were compiled at the national level, or in some cases the sub-national level where data were available.

The data files include GIS data sets and KML files for use in Google Earth and other map applications that support KML.

See the README file for source information.


The analysis relies on available data and predicted relationships but cannot capture all aspects of the dynamic interactions between people and coral reefs. The indicators gauge current and potential levels of vulnerability. A strength of the analysis lies in its use of nationally consistent data sets to develop globally consistent indicators of vulnerability to reef loss and degradation. However, the model is not perfect, and omissions and other errors in the data sets are inevitable.


World Resources Institute, Reefs at Risk Revisited, 2011.

Access & Use Information

License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Full license text available at Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Project: Reefs at Risk

Page Last Updated: August 19, 2016

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