Home Database Indicators Population vulnerability to extreme heat in Europe

Population vulnerability to extreme heat in Europe


Heat negatively affects human health. Age, pre-existing medical conditions and social deprivation together with working and living conditions co-determine the vulnerability of people and the severity of adverse health outcomes.


There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. This indicator does not include the existence of heat early warning systems, or prevalence of cooling devices. Neither does it include the prevalence of green areas in cities.

Reference information



van Daalen, K. R., et al., 2022, ‘The 2022 Europe report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: towards a climate resilient future’, The Lancet Public Health 7(11), pp. E942-E965. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00197-9

Data sources:

  1. Population data, DALYs and deaths: GBD 2019 - Disease and Injuries Collaborators. Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, Lancet 396:1204-1222 (2020)
  2. Urban population: UNDP. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2018)

Additional reading:

Li, M., et al., 2015, Heat waves and morbidity: current knowledge and further direction-a comprehensive literature review, International journal of environmental research and public health 12(5), 5256-5283. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fijerph120505256

Lancet Countdown in Europe

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jan 19 2021   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Jan 30 2023

Document Actions