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Socioeconomic Classification

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Socioeconomic classification refers, in broad terms, to the arrangement, categorization, or assignment of individuals of a population (and, by extension, other population-based elements such as families, households, neighborhoods, geopolitical units, etc.) to predesignated classes, orders, subgroups, or continuous scale or gradient on the basis of perceived common social, societal, and/or economic attributes, characteristics, conditions, relations, or affinities. The goal of any socioeconomic classification is to provide a valid, relevant, and meaningful organization of the population into separate, discrete social classes or, conversely, all along a hierarchical continuum of socioeconomic position. Ample evidence supports the assertion that social and economic resources shape the health of individuals and communities; indeed, socioeconomic status is regarded as a fundamental macrodeterminant of population health. Socioeconomic classification is at the core ...

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