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15 Examples of Socioeconomic Status

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Socioeconomic status is an indicator of the economic power, position, potential and stability of a family, household or individual. This is similar to socioeconomic class such as working class, middle class or upper class, that is the same type of indicator for social groups. The following are common elements of an individual's socioeconomic status.
Wealth & Assets
Authority & Influence
Education Level
Social Capital
Social Class
Social Position & Support
Social Status
Cost of Living
Social Safety Net
Standard of Living
Quality of Life


It is common for academic research, social and demographic analysis to use three categories of socioeconomic status as follows. These definitions are largely based on level of discretionary income from labor or invested capital.

Additional Categories

The following are examples of common descriptors of socioeconomic status.


Socioeconomic status includes current income and wealth and indicators of future earning potential such as occupation, education level and social capital. It also considers the defacto quality of life of an individual. For example, nations with a robust social safety net where people may not be experiencing poverty despite a relatively low income due to public benefits such as free housing and healthcare.

Socioeconomic Status vs Social Status

Socioeconomic status pertains only to economic and hard power such as political authority. Social status includes intangible things such as popularity, coolness or intelligence that attract respect, admiration or social opportunities.


Celebrities have fame that can potentially converted to income. In some cases, celebrities have financial problems but are still viewed as having a high socioeconomic status.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners may have low paper wealth but have something invested in a business that is difficult to assess but potentially valuable.
The wealthy who don't have a job aren't viewed as unemployed but would typically be described as being a philanthropist or some similar term.
Variable income workers are workers such as freelancers or seasonal workers that face income insecurity.
The distinction between white-collar and blue-collar workers is more relevant to the 1970s than the modern economy where it is common for blue-collar workers in areas such as trades to outearn office workers such as customer service reps.
You are viewed as having high socioeconomic status if you have political or institutional power.
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Socioeconomic Factors
Socioeconomic Status
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