NEWS4 May 2011

Indian research bodies publish new social classifications

Asia Pacific

INDIA— A new system of socio-economic classifications has been unveiled by the Media Research Users’ Council (MRUC) and the Market Research Society of India.

It is designed to be more precise in identifying the upper social segments than the old system, which dated from the 1980s, and to apply to both rural and urban households as well as being easier to administer.

The new system classifies households into twelve groups according to the educational qualifications of the chief wage earner and the assets owned. The classifications were formulated using the MRUC’s Indian Readership Survey database, as well as household panel data from research agency IMRB.

The top class, A1, makes up 0.5% of Indian households, more than half of which are in the country’s six largest cities. The lowest class represents about 10% of households, of which more than 90% are in rural areas.

Thomas Puliyel, president of IMRB International was quoted by Indian media news site BestMediaInfo as saying: “The new socio-economic classification system is the culmination of many years of hard work by some of the best brains in the industry.”