Original Article

The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 349-352

First online:

A tool for rapid socioeconomic assessment

  • Archana B. PatelAffiliated withIndira Gandhi Government Medical CollegeLata Medical Research Foundation Email author 
  • , Atul S. PrabhuAffiliated withIndira Gandhi Government Medical College
  • , Michael J. DibleyAffiliated withCentre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of New Castle
  • , L. R. KulkarniAffiliated withDepartment of Statistics and Demography, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College

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To validate a simple wealth index scale (WIS) based assessment of socioeconomic status and compare it with existing kuppuswamy(KUP) scale.


Families of 300 children aged 6 to 59 months of acute diarrhoea enrolled in a cross-sectional study were interviewed for socio economic status using both 8 item ownership scale (WIS) and Kuppuswamy (KUP) scale, validated against a reference standard Income Scale (IS).


Out of 111 people classified as low based on Income scale (IS), 17% were identified by WIS, and 21% by KUP. In the upper low, 69.4% were identified by WIS and 84.3% by KUP. Amongst the low middle group the WIS identified 27.6% while KUP identified 10.6% and amongst upper middle patients 30% were identified by WIS and 15% by KUP. There were none in the upper income of WIS or KUP category. The WIS performed well in all income categories whereas the KUP was better for upper low and low income categories. The agreement between WI and KUP was 55.56%.


KUP scale is lengthy and difficult to administer by pediatric students and biased towards professional qualifications and education, rather than actual standard of living. It can be replaced by a simple 8 item ownership scale (WI) which is robust for all income groups and also shows good agreement with KUP.

Key words

Kuppuswami scale Wealth index Socioeconomic status