The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 349–352

A tool for rapid socioeconomic assessment

  • Archana B. Patel
  • Atul S. Prabhu
  • Michael J. Dibley
  • L. R. Kulkarni
Original Article



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 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kuppuswami B. Manual of Socioeconomic scale (Urban), New Delhi, Manasayan, 32, Netaji Subhash Marg, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mahajan BK, Gupta MC, Textbook of preventive and social medicine. Delhi 2nd edn. Jaypee Brothers, 1995; 134–135.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mishra D, Singh H. Kuppuswamy socioeconomic status scale — a Revision. Indian J Pediatr 2003; 70: 273–274.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    National Family Health Survey-2, 1998–1999. International Institute of Population Sciences, MumbaiGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    The World Bank Participation Sourcebook, Appendix I, Methods and Tools, Available from URL:
  6. 6.
    Social Impact Assessment Tools and Methods available from URL:
  7. 7.
    Mack J, Lansley, S. Poor Britain. London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd. available from URL:
  8. 8.
    Understanding Poverty, Overview. Available from URL.,pdf.
  9. 9.
    Background Document, unedited draft, 23-01-05 Unedited Working Paper, 14-07-2005 Global health promotion scaling up for 2015 — A brief review of major impacts and developments over the past 20 years and challenges for 2015. Available from URL:
  10. 10.
    Aggarwal OP, Bhasin SK, Sharma AK, Chhabra P, Aggarwal K, Rajoura OP. A new instrument (Scale) for measuring the socio economic status of a family: Preliminary Study. Indian J Commun Medicine 30(4): 10–12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Archana B. Patel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Atul S. Prabhu
    • 1
  • Michael J. Dibley
    • 3
  • L. R. Kulkarni
    • 4
  1. 1.Indira Gandhi Government Medical CollegeNagpurIndia
  2. 2.Lata Medical Research FoundationNagpurIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of New CastleNew CastleAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Statistics and DemographyIndira Gandhi Government Medical CollegeNagpurIndia
  5. 5.NagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations