Report links flood risk with economic vulnerability

People living in two thirds of UK cities showing economic decline are exposed to greater that average risk of flood and consequent loss according to recent research funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The study report suggested that in cities including Belfast, Grimsby, Glasgow and Hull “flood risk could undermine economic growth in areas that need it most.” It found that the “relative economic pain” was greatest in 16 of the 24 cities in economic decline reflecting low incomes and low levels of insurance.

Other findings included a higher level of expected annual damage from flooding for vulnerable people in rural areas due to their greater exposure to frequent flooding.

The report, Present and future flood vulnerability, risk and disadvantage: A UK assessment’ found that 1.5 million of the 6.4 million people living in flood prone areas included people on low incomes, with poor health and subject to other factors that stepped up the impact of flooding.

It found also that more than half of the population exposed to flooding in the most socially vulnerable neighbourhoods are under ten local authorities.