Recommendations on SES questionnaires

Socioeconomic differences in health are ubiquitous across age groups, cultures, and health domains. However, variation in the size and pattern of health inequalities appears to relate to the measure of socioeconomic status (SES). Therefore, it is essential to have a SES questionnaire included in the standardisation process of IDD monitoring studies.

For adults:

The recommended questionnaire items were extracted from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS wave 2) and include core social variables. In addition to the short description of each item included in the questionnaire a methodological manual containing detailed instructions for each item can be found here.

The translations published are in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 141/2013 of the 19th February 2013: implementing Regulation (EC) No 1338/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work. Full details of this Commission Regulation can be found here.


For children:

The recommendation is based on the ‘Family Affluence Scale’ (FAS) of the ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ (HBSC) Study conducted by the WHO. The updated 6-item version of the FAS contains two new items and one revised item that were designed to better differentiate medium and high socioeconomic position (SEP). These questionnaire items were used by the 45 countries participating in the HBSC Study in the most recent data collection in 2013/2014.


Additional translations will be continuously published.