Who bears the burden of earthquakes in California and how has this changed from 1990 to 2000?
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New Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis shows that there are different demographics in California that suffer more in the event of an earthquake. Earthquakes are a threat to the livelihood of many Californians and by identifying which group is suffering the most, policy can be implemented to improve the livelihood of this population. Since the risk of earthquakes could de-value a property it is predicted that low income, poorly educated minority residents living in urban areas are bearing the burden. Using risk factors such as liquefaction, landslides, proximity to active fault and building loss estimate to measure earthquake risk and comparing these to the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of race, income, property values and education, it was found that educated Caucasians living in urban areas suffered the most in the event of an earthquake. Introduction of new zoning and building codes may reduce the burden on urban centers but further research is required to develop policy that lessens the burden on educated Caucasians.