Healthy People Consortium Meeting and Public Hearing
"Building the Next Generation of Healthy People"
November 12 and 13, 1998
Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.

Select Populations:
Socioeconomic Status and
Educational Attainment

Key Themes Emerging from Discussion Groups
  1. Greater precision in assessing SES is obtained by measuring income as a 3-step (or more) gradient, rather than as a dichotomous configuration of two groups, one above, the other at or below the official poverty level.
  2. Of all questions on survey forms, respondents show most reluctance in answering those about SES.
  3. Controlling for SES in data collection does not account for all disparities among population groups; some racial and ethnic differences still persist.
  4. The greatest difficulty in assessing SES by gradient levels comes in separating out the lower levels. Eligibility requirements for public assistance complicate the picture.
  5. The draft 2010 document makes heavy demands for additional data collection and should serve to drive research, but it largely ignores health policy implications.
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