Sociology Index

INDEX - An index of socio-economic status

Many of the concepts social scientists study are quite complex and cannot adequately be measured by a single indicator. In these cases researchers develop several indicators and in some case will give different weights to each indicator. This combination of indicators and weights is an index. Socioeconomic status is difficult to measure and typically the indicators of income, occupation and education are used.

If occupation is seen as more central it may be given more weight. An index of socio-economic status is developed based on income, education, and occupation. An index of socio-economic status was modelled as a linear combination of parents' education, previous and present family social class based on fathers' occupation.

We undertook an ecological study to investigate differences in coronary heart disease mortality within Nottingham health authority, England, to establish whether coronary mortality varied according to socio-economic status, and how mortality rates changed over a decade. An index of socio-economic status was developed from Census variables.

Development of a Socio-Economic-Status Index Using United States Census Data.
Grosset, Jane M.; Hawk, Thomas R.
The study reported here employed a quasi-factorial ecological approach to explore the possibility of using economic and social indicators available from the 1980 census to construct a socio-economic status (SES) index.

Creating and Validating an Index of Socioeconomic Status
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Over the years, there has been considerable empirical evidence accumulated that indicates in the US that health status, mortality, and health services use differ by what has been referred to variously as socioeconomic status. (Braveman et al. 2005).

Some examples of usage of index of socio-economic status: