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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-9

Modified BG prasad socio-economic classification, update – 2021

Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, India

Date of Submission15-May-2021
Date of Decision03-Jun-2021
Date of Acceptance05-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication31-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Pradeep Aggarwal
Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh – 249203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JIMPH.JIMPH_1_21

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One of the most key determinant of a person’s nutritional condition, health, illness, and death is their socioeconomic level. When conducting community-based studies, it is vital to determine the socio-economic level of the study participants, as this determines the incidence and prevalence of numerous health disorders. Modified BG Prasad socioeconomic classification is most widely used scale to determine the socioeconomic status of study subjects in health studies in India. This scale is based on the per capita income of an individual and has to be constantly updated by taking into account the inflation and depreciation of rupee, because the rupee’s value will depreciate owing to inflation, and economic variables will lose their significance. It is calculated by using the consumer price index (CPI) for industrial workers (IW). The monthly updated values of Consumer Price Index are available at the Labour Bureau of India website on the last day of every month.

Keywords: Incidence, inflation, prevalence, social class

How to cite this article:
Sharma N, Aggarwal P. Modified BG prasad socio-economic classification, update – 2021. J Integr Med Public Health 2022;1:7-9

How to cite this URL:
Sharma N, Aggarwal P. Modified BG prasad socio-economic classification, update – 2021. J Integr Med Public Health [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 27];1:7-9. Available from: http://www.jimph.org/text.asp?2022/1/1/7/346303

  Introduction Top

Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most important determinants of nutritional status, health, morbidity and mortality of an individual. While conducting community-based studies, it helps us know the socio-economic status of the study participants which is an important factor for knowing the standard of living, as it influences the incidence and prevalence of various health conditions.[1]

Socioeconomic status influences the social security in terms of acceptability, accessibility, affordability and actual utilization of various health facilities available.[2] As a result, there is a need to design a universal system of socioeconomic classification of the people based on income that is scientifically conceived and can be applied to all strata of the population with ease.[3]

SES is defined as a measure of an individual’s economic and social position in relation to others, based on variables like occupation, family affluence, income, education, physical assets, social position, social participation, political influence, etc. According to some researchers, the best indicator for socioeconomic status are education, income, and occupation but others suggest that changes in family structure, family affluence etc should also be considered.[4]

In India, there are various scales which are used to determine the socioeconomic status like B.G Prasad classification 1961, Uday Pareekh scale 1964, Kulshrestha scale 1972, Kuppuswamy scale 1976, Shrivastava scale 1978, Bharadwaj scale 2001, S.C Tiwari et al. 2005, O.P Aggarwal et al. 2005, Gaur scale 2013, and Sataya priya et al. 2015 etc.[4]

Pareekh classification which is based on nine characteristics viz. caste, occupation, education, level of social participation of head of the family, landholding, housing, farm power, material possession and total members in the family is widely used in rural areas.[5]

The socioeconomic status scale developed by Kuppuswamy has been used to assess the socioeconomic level of families in urban areas. It was created in 1976 by Kuppuswamy. This scale is comprised of the head of the family’s composite scores in terms of education and occupation, as well as the family’s monthly income from all sources.[6]

B G Prasad classification which was proposed in the year 1961 is a scale based on per capita monthly income (modified in 1968 and 1970), and has been used extensively for both rural and urban Indian population.[5]

Expenditure was linked with income, education, occupation, and living standard in Gaur’s classification. Housing, material possession, education, occupation, economic profile, cultivated land, and social profile were all included in Tiwari SES’s scale for both urban and rural communities.[2]

However, the two most extensively used socioeconomic status scales for classifying people by socioeconomic status are the Kuppuswamy SES scale and the B.G. Prasad SES, both of which are dynamic and based on the consumer price index (CPI).[7]

Because both of these scales are based on income levels, they are usually only applicable for the time period under consideration, as the rupee’s value will depreciate due to inflation, and economic variables will lose their significance. As a result, in order to maintain their validity, these scales must be updated.[8]

[Table 1] and [Table 2] show the Calculation of Consumer Price Index and Linking Factors between 2001 and 2016, and Calculation of New Income Value for the Revised BG Prasad Socioeconomic Classification 2021, respectively.
Table 1: Calculation of Consumer Price Index and linking factors between 2001 and 2016

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Table 2: Calculation of new income value for the revised BG Prasad socioeconomic classification 2021

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Table 3: Revision of BG Prasad’s Socio-economic status classification for April 2021

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Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the changes over time in the level of retail prices of a fixed set of goods and services consumed by an average family of a defined population group in a given area with reference to base year.[9]

CPI is further categorized into CPI for Industrial Workers, Agricultural Laborers, Rural Laborers, CPI for Rural, Urban, and Combined based on the target group. The Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) is a key economic indicator that tracks the relative changes in retail prices over time for a fixed set of products and services used by an average working-class household in a given location, with a base year. Changes in consumer prices affect the real purchasing power of households’ money incomes, and thus their standard of living or wellbeing.[10]

For revision of socioeconomic classifications, CPI(IW) is most commonly used and is apt because it represents the expenditure of a normal working-class family.[9]

Consumer Price Index (CPI) is released on the last working day of the succeeding month which is updated on the same day on their website. The current consumer price index is obtained from the labour bureau website of India.[11]

Therefore, through this article we aim to give a brief description of the BG Prasad classification with its modifications and the latest All India average Consumer Price index April 2021, which will be helpful for researchers using SES as one of the study variables.

  B.G Prasad’s Classification 1961 Top

The B. G. Prasad scale, which was based on the consumer price index of 1960, was originally published in the Journal of the Indian Medical Association in 1961.[1] Prasad’s classification (1961) was linked to the All-India Consumer Price Index because they both shared the same base year (1960–61)[3] It was later modified in 1968 and 1970 respectively by B G Prasad.[1]

Due to the inflation in economy in 1993–94, the classification was again modified by Kumar. Currently year 2016 is taken as the base year by the ministry of labour, Govt of India. Linking factors which link the All-India Consumer Price Index (AICPI) between the years i.e., between 1961 and 1982, between1982 and 2001 as well as between 2001 and 2016 are available from the website of labour bureau.

BG Prasad’s classification is based on the following factors:

  1. Per capita monthly income = total monthly income of the family/total members of family.

  2. All India Average Consumer Price Index.[4]

The linking factor between 2001 and 2016 = 2.88[13]

The linking factors have been obtained from the website of Labour Bureau.[13]

  Advantages and Disadvantages of B. G. Prasad SES Top

The simplicity of the B.G. Prasad SES is its greatest asset. Unlike other SES, there aren’t many variables or values to memorise in order to apply it, as only per capita income is considered. Furthermore, after we have the most recent suitable CPI figure from the Labour Bureau website, it is quite simple to generate the table of income groups. Because there are multiple CPIs for different types of employees, such as agricultural workers, industrial employees, and so on, the scale can be adjusted to meet the population of interest.[1]

The downsides of utilising this scale include that, due to the fluctuations of the rupee’s value, it must be updated on a monthly basis according to the most recent CPI values. Another disadvantage is that it oversimplifies things by focusing just on per capita income while ignoring other factors such as education, occupation, housing conditions, and material goods.[1]

  Conclusion Top

Socioeconomic classification is an important predictor of the health status of an individual. Due to inflation, there occurs continuous changes in the value of goods and services in the country making it necessary to regularly update the income-based socioeconomic scales. Therefore, by the existing exercise, the BG Prasad scale used widely to determine the socioeconomic status in health studies has been updated for the most recent CPI (IW) for April 2021. The current exercise will help in increasing the legitimacy of use of classification with relevance to the current price levels and enabling a real time update for a considerable time in the near future.[14]

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Vasudevan J, Mishra AK, Singh Z. An update on BG Prasad’s socioeconomic scale: May 2016. Int J Res Med Sci 2016;4:4183-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Debnath DJ, Kakkar R. Modified BG Prasad socio-economic classification, updated–2020. Indian J Comm Health 2020;32:124-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kumar P. Social classification - need for constant updating. Indian J Community Med 1993;XVIII:60-1.  Back to cited text no. 3
Chinta A, Srivatava BK, Eshwar S, Jain V, Rekha K, Swamy MN. Overview of socio economic status scales in India. Int J Innov Res Dent Sci 2016;1:6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ramesh Masthi NR, Gangaboraiah , Kulkarni P. An exploratory study on socio economic status scales in a rural and urban setting. J Family Med Prim Care 2013;2:69-73.  Back to cited text no. 5
Holyachi S, Santosh A. Socioeconomic status scales-An update. Ann Community Health 2013;1:24-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
Dalvi TM, Khairnar MR, Kalghatgi SR. An update of B.G. Prasad and kuppuswamy socio-economic status classification scale for indian population. Indian J Pediatr 2020;87:567-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Sharma R. Revision of prasad’s social classification and provision of an online tool for real-time updating. South Asian J Cancer 2013;2:157.  Back to cited text no. 8
Pandey VK, Aggarwal P, Kakkar R. Modified BG Prasad socio-economic classification, update-2019. Indian J Community Health 2019;31:150-2.  Back to cited text no. 9
Labourbureaunew.gov.in. Available from: http://labourbureau.gov.in/Report_CPI_IW_New_Series_Base_2016.pdf. [Last accessed on 1 Jun 2021].  Back to cited text no. 10
Mathiyalagen P, Davis P, Sarasveni M. Updated Bg prasad socio-economic classification: The 2020 update. Indian J Pediatr 2021;88:76-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
Labourbureau.gov.in. 2021. Index Numbers Page. Available from: http://www.labourbureau.gov.in/LBO_indnum.htm. [Last accessed on 12 Apr 2021].  Back to cited text no. 12
Labourbureaunew.gov.in. Available from: http://www.labourbureaunew.gov.in/UserContent/Linking_factor_CPI_IW.pdf?pr_id=Y8Rtw%2bX75%2bA%3d. [Last accessed on 12 April 2021].  Back to cited text no. 13
Pandey VK, Pradeep A, Rakesh K. Modified BG Prasad’s socio-economic classification-2018: The need of an update in the present scenario. Indian J Community Health 2018;30:82-4.  Back to cited text no. 14


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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