Race, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Other Demographics

Disentangling the role of socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in health and health care is critical to understanding race/ethnic health disparities. Uniformity in collecting SES and other sociodemographic variables would enhance our ability to compare results across studies. The CADC Analysis Core has developed a multidimensional conceptual framework that attempts to deconstruct complex sociodemographic factors into specific components that are relevant to health disparities research. It includes the following concepts, each with subdomains:

  • Age
  • Race/ethnicity
  • National origin, immigration generation
  • Language and language proficiency
  • Acculturation (for immigrants)
  • Education
  • Family and household configuration
  • Financial status
  • Financial strain or hardship
  • Subjective social status
  • Health insurance
  • Occupation
  • Employment

The framework is presented in a table that includes the rationale for each domain and measurement strategy. It is a “work in progress” as there are many opportunities for further development of each concept.


We have compiled a set of recommended survey items (from internal and external sources) to help researchers measure these factors. We also present an excel file that includes the numerous external and internal resources from which we gathered the items. We thus provide:

  • Downloadable survey of items (English and Spanish versions)
  • Downloadable items in excel format with sources and modifications