Indian Journal of Public Health

: 2015  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 156--157

Updating income ranges for Kuppuswamy's socio-economic status scale for the year 2014

Sukhvinder Singh Oberoi 
 Reader, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sudha Rustagi College of Dental Sciences and Research, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Sukhvinder Singh Oberoi
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sudha Rustagi College of Dental Sciences and Research, Faridabad, Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University, Rohtak, Haryana

How to cite this article:
Oberoi SS. Updating income ranges for Kuppuswamy's socio-economic status scale for the year 2014.Indian J Public Health 2015;59:156-157

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Oberoi SS. Updating income ranges for Kuppuswamy's socio-economic status scale for the year 2014. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 17 ];59:156-157
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Socioeconomic status (SES) is an important determinant of the health, nutritional status, mortality, and morbidity of an individual. SES also influences the accessibility, affordability, acceptability, and actual utilization of available health facilities. [1]

There are many different scales to measure the SES of a family. The B. G. Prasad classification proposed in the year 1961 is a scale based on per capita monthly income and has been used extensively in India. It can be applied to assess the SES in both rural and urban areas, as it takes into consideration only the income as a variable and is simple to calculate. In rural areas, the Pareek classification based on nine characteristics, namely, caste, occupation, education, level of social participation of head of the family, landholding, housing, farm power, material possession, and total members in the family, is widely used.

The modified Kuppuswamy scale is commonly used to measure SES in urban communities. This scale includes the education, occupation of head of the family, and income per month from all sources. The Government of India in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS - II) had used the Standard of Living Index (SLI) scale, which contains 11 items, namely, house type, source of lighting, toilet facility, main fuel for cooking, source of drinking water, separate room for cooking, ownership of the house, ownership of agricultural land, ownership of irrigated land, ownership of livestock, and ownership of durable goods, for measuring SES in both urban and rural areas for the entire country. [2] However, each of these scales available for measurement has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Kuppuswamy scale was devised by Kuppuswamy in 1976 and is based on a composite score considering the education and occupation of the head of the family along with monthly income of the family, which yields a score of 3-29. This scale classifies the study populations into high, middle, and low SES, as shown in the [Table 1]. [3] {Table 1}

Revision of the original scale to bring the income subscale up to date is done as required. This was necessitated as monetary inflation means that the rupee does not retain the same value each year in terms of the goods/services that may be purchased with the same amount. The revision is linked to the All India Average Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW). [4]

The family income per month (in rupees) for 1976 was calculated according to base year 1960 = 100 (using the price index for 1976 as 296), [5] and this rose to 490 in the year 1982. [6] Mishra [7] revised the Kuppuswamy index in 1998 as per the price index year 1998 using base year 1982 = 100, which was again later revised by Kumar et al. [8] for the year 2007 by keeping 2001 as the base year according to the 1982 base. The price index was 88.42 for 1998 and 244 for 2014. [9] Thus the conversion factor with 2001 as the new base will be 244 χ 88.428 = 2.759 [Table 2] and [Table 3]. {Table 2}{Table 3}

The major issue of concern is that the income part is considered to be the total income of the family and no consideration is given to size of the family: a small family with a particular income will have higher SES status than a bigger-sized family with similar income.


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