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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-163

Updating the Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale for the year 2019

MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, MMDU, Mullana, Ambala, India

Date of Submission22-Jun-2019
Date of Decision22-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance05-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
M. A. Bashar
Department of Community Medicine, MMIMSR, MMDU, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana - 133 203
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCFM.IJCFM_50_19

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How to cite this article:
Bashar MA. Updating the Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale for the year 2019. Indian J Community Fam Med 2019;5:162-3

How to cite this URL:
Bashar MA. Updating the Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale for the year 2019. Indian J Community Fam Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Sep 18];5:162-3. Available from: https://www.ijcfm.org/text.asp?2019/5/2/162/273526

The socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the vital components affecting the health status of an individual or a family. It is pertinent to develop scales utilizing few essential criteria that would best designate the SES of an individual/family, and this need has been felt since long. Composite scales are used generally to measure the SES which combines social and economic variables. There have been several scales which were developed and described in the literature that seek to assess SES of families in urban or rural settings.

Kuppuswamy scale, first proposed in 1976, is the most widely used scale for determining the SES of an individual or a family in urban areas. It measures the SES based on three variables: the level of education and occupation of head of the family along with the total income of the family in a month and classifies the study populations into high, middle, and low SES [Table 1].[1] Among these, the level of education and occupation of head of the family hardly change with time. However, inflation and resultant depreciation of currency demands periodic revision and updating of the income variable. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was initially used by Kumar[2] to update income ranges of Prasad's scale. The revision of the Kuppuswamy scale using the CPI was done subsequently in the years 1998, 2007, 2010, and 2012.[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Here, we present the revised and updated Kuppuswamy scale for the year 2019 using the latest value of CPI Numbers for Industrial Workers (CPI–IW). CPI-IW is released on the last working day of the succeeding month and is available on the same day on the website of the labor bureau.[8] This revision would make the scale more meaningful and relevant and would help in further updating of the scale in future.
Table 1: Original Kuppuswamy classification of socioeconomic status (1976)[1]

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CPI-IW values are interpreted to a particular base year. The previous base years were 1960, 1982, and 2001. We calculated the updated income ranges of the scale using the latest CPI (IW), i.e., for April 2019, taking the base year as 2001. A previous update of the Kuppuswamy scale by Patro et al.[6] has calculated the income ranges for the base years 1982 and 2001 by applying the appropriate multiplication factors on original scale. Similarly, Bairwa et al.[7] have updated the scale for the year 2012.

The monthly income of the family (in rupees) for 1976 was calculated according to the base year 1960 = 100 (using the price index for 1976 as 296), and this rose to 490 in the year 1982.[4],[8] Mishra firstly revised the Kuppuswamy index in 1998 as per the price index year 1998 (using the price index for 1998 as 405) using the base year 1982 = 100, which was again later revised by Kumar et al. by keeping 2001 (price index 458) as the base year according to the 1982 base.[3],[4]

We obtained the conversion factor to update the scale for the year 2019 by dividing the latest available CPI (IW) value available from the website of labor bureau by 100 (CPI value at the base year 2001 = 100).[8] The income ranges of the scale of 2001 were then multiplied with this conversion factor to finally update the scale for the year 2019. As the CPI-IW value was 312 in April 2019,[8] the conversion factor obtained was 312/100 = 3.12. After multiplying the income ranges of the scale in the year 2001 with this conversion factor, we finally obtained the updated income ranges [Table 2].
Table 2: Updated income ranges in the Kuppuswamy's scale as per the Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial Workers values

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However, the updated scale suffers from some limitations. The revision of education and occupation should also be performed using suitable survey methods.[3] The total family income used in the scale does not take into consideration the family size, which is an important determinant of SES. A small family with the same income level as a large family will certainly have better living standards.

The current update of the scale will help the researchers in ascertaining the true SES of an individual based on the latest available CPI (IW) value. Further, the researchers should take note of regular update of the CPI values before exercising socioeconomic classification of their study population as per the Kuppuswamy scale.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kuppuswamy B. Manual of Socioeconomic Status Scale (urban). Delhi: Manasayan; 1981. p. 66-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kumar P. Social classification – Need for constant updating Indian J Community Med. 1993;18:60-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
Mishra D, Singh HP. Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale-a revision. Indian J Pediatr 2003;70:273-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kumar N, Shekhar C, Kumar P, Kundu AS. Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale-updating for 2007. Indian J Pediatr 2007;74:1131-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kumar N, Gupta N, Kishore J. Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic scale: Updating income ranges for the year 2012. Indian J Public Health 2012;56:103-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
Patro BK, Jeyashree K, Gupta PK. Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic status scale 2010-the need for periodic revision. Indian J Pediatr 2012;79:395-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Bairwa M, Rajput M, Sachdeva S. Modified Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic scale: Social researcher should include updated income criteria, 2012. Indian J Community Med 2013;38:185-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Available from: https://http://labourbureau.nic.in/indexes.htm. [Last accessed on 2019 May 13].  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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