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.


Since no consistent and universally accepted standard exists for distinguishing urban from rural areas, urban classification mostly based on the size or characteristics of settlements can differ between countries. In addition, this indicator does not capture the effect of adaptation measures in place, such as heat early warning systems, cooling devices, and 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. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis 5th Generation monthly averaged data on single levels from 1959 to present. Copernicus Climate Change Service Climate Data Store. Accessed in 2022.
  2. Gridded Population of the World Version 4, 2021. Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  3. Historical, Gridded Population dataset, 2021. The Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project.
Lancet Countdown in Europe

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jan 19 2021   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Nov 30 2022

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