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socioeconomic status


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(SES)

A descriptive term for the position of persons in society, based on a combination of occupational, economic, and educational criteria, usually expressed in ordered categories, that is, on an ordinal scale. Many classification systems have been proposed, from a simple division according to occupation, which usually relates closely to income and educational level, to more complex systems based on specific details of educational level, income, occupation, and sometimes other criteria, such as whether the usual place of dwelling is owned or rented and the ratable value of the dwelling. Other factors, including ethnicity, literacy, and cultural characteristics, influence socioeconomic status, which is an important determinant of health.


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