Kuppuswamy’s Socio-economic Status Scale: Updating Income Ranges for the Year 2015
Community and hospital based studies require assessment of socio-economic status of an individual/family. 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: Rahudkar scale 1960, Udai Parikh scale 1964, Jalota Scale 1970, Kulshrestha scale 1972, Kuppuswamy scale 1976, Shrivastava scale 1978, Bharadwaj scale 2001. (2,3,4,5,6,7,8) However, social transition and fast growing economy have reduced these scales effectiveness in measuring the SES over the years. Kuppuswamy’s socio-economic status scale is an important tool to measure socioeconomic status of families in urban areas. It was first proposed by Kuppuswamy in the in the year 1976. (6) (Table-1) This scale takes into account education, occupation of the head of the family and total income of the family per month from all the sources to categorise families into 5 groups; namely upper, upper middle, lower middle, upper lower and lower socioeconomic status. It is used by students and researchers in India for hospital and community based research. Mishra D and Singh HP (9) in their article on revision of Kuppuswamy’s Socio-economic status scale have pointed that an income scale usually has relevance only for the period under study. They further clarified that due to the steady inflation and consequent fall in the value of the rupee, the income criteria in the scale lose their relevance. There is an unprecedented demand from researchers for the updated version of this because changes in inflation rate change the monetary values of the monthly income range scores. Attempts to revise the original scale to bring the income subscale up to date are done by various authors. The year wise reference indices are shown in Table -2. It tell us how index and base year have seen changes for reference index and has been used to calculate inflation based conversion factor. Mishra D therefore worked on this issue of revision of family’s monthly income in rupees for the year 1976, when the price index was 296 according to base year 1960=100. Then he revised it for the year 1998 using base year 1982=100.The base year has been changed from 2001. Kumar N et al. (10) took into account the new base year 2001= 100 for revision of family’s monthly income in rupees for the year 2007. Conversion factor for 1982, base year has changed with considering 2001 as base year. To get the updated conversion factor the following exercise is adopted as follows For calculating the conversion factor for the year 2007, the All India Average Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) has to be divided by 88.428. All India Average Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial Workers (Base 2001=100) shows general index as 128 on April 2007 (http : // labourbureau.nic.in/indexes.htm – Labour Bureau Government of India, as per survey done in 1999-2000). The conversion factor for year 2007= 128/88.428=1.45. The income ranges for the year 2007 was obtained by multiplying 1998 income ranges by the conversion factor 1.45 to get the revised Kuppuswamy Socioeconomic status scale for the year 2007. Kumar N et al. (11) again revised the socioeconomic status in the year 2012 taking the base year 2001= 100 for revision of monthly income in rupees for the year 2012.