ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —The U.S. Census Bureau released experimental data on how resilient communities were in the wake of economic, health, and social disasters like the COVID pandemic or a natural disaster like a tornado or hurricane. The bureau says because of its popularity, it will now make this information available more regularly.

Why does this matter? A community’s ability or inability to rebound from disasters can help identify potential needs after a crisis, helping federal, state, and local governments better assist communities trying to bounce back, said the Census Bureau.

“When disasters occur, recovery depends on the community’s ability to withstand the effects of the event. In order to facilitate disaster preparedness, the Census Bureau has developed new small area estimates, identifying communities where resources and information may effectively mitigate the impact of disasters,” they said.

To identify an area’s resiliency, the Census Bureau has a list of risk factors. Using three categories (no risk factors, one to two risk factors, three or more risk factors) they determine what percentage of the population fits into each category. Areas with more risk factors could find themselves unable to recover quickly after a disaster.

Risk factors

  • Income to poverty ratio
  • Single or zero caregiver household
  • Crowding
  • Communication barrier
  • Households without full-time, year-round employment
  • Disability
  • No health insurance
  • Age 65+
  • No access to a vehicle
  • No access to broadband Internet

In the Capital Region, the two counties with the highest percentage of populations without any risk factors were Albany (41.37%) and Saratoga (46.93%). Counties with the highest percentage of populations with three or more risk factors were Greene (23.27%), Montgomery (25.42%), and Schoharie (23.49%).

CountyTotal populationNo risk factors1-2 risk factors3+ risk factors
Albany292,48941.37% (121,013)38.86% (113,647)19.77% (57,829)
Columbia58,94834.60% (20,394)43.29% (25,518)22.11% (13,036)
Fulton52,90734.76% (18,390)42.40% (22,435)22.84% (12,082)
Greene44,71334.07% (15,233)42.66% (19,075)23.27% (10,405)
Montgomery49,11334.59% (16,989)39.99% (19,641)25.42% (12,483)
Rensselaer154,55839.45% (60,969)39.94% (61,733)20.61% (31,856)
Saratoga227,73146.93% (106,864)38.75% (88,243)14.33% (32,624)
Schenectady152,95839.46% (60,359)39.87% (60,979)20.67% (31,620)
Schoharie29,84736.03% (10,753)40.48% (12,083)23.49% (7,011)
Warren63,80439.90% (25,458)40.00% (25,520)20.10% (12,826)
Washington58,74739.33% (23,108)39.82% (23,391)20.85% (12,248)
U.S. Census Bureau

Overall, the state fared slightly better than the U.S. as seen in the table below.

No risk factors1-2 risk factors3+ risk factors
New York37%41%22%
United States32%43%25%
U.S. Census Bureau

Don’t see your county on the table? Go to the Census Bureau’s website to search any county within New York or the rest of the nation.