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Table 1 Proportions of individuals in each socioeconomic status (SES) category and percent of tracts and counties in the category relative to the US median, Mortality Disparities in American Communities study

From: Comparisons of individual- and area-level socioeconomic status as proxies for individual-level measures: evidence from the Mortality Disparities in American Communities study

  Individual-level (n ≈ 3,471,000) Census tract-level (n = 2,830,000) County-level (n = 2,854,000)
  Proportion SD Proportion compared to the US median SD Proportion compared to the US median SD
Household income       
 Above US median 0.47 0.50 0.51 0.50 0.49 0.50
Poverty level       
 ≤ 100% FPL 0.10 0.30 0.49 0.50 0.46 0.50
Education       
 Has high school degreea 0.86 0.35 0.50 0.50 0.52 0.50
 Has college degreeb 0.26 0.44 0.47 0.50 0.48 0.50
Employment/occupation       
 Is unemployedc 0.04 0.18 0.49 0.50 0.48 0.50
 Employed in blue-collar industryd 0.37 0.48 0.52 0.50 0.53 0.50
Other characteristics       
 Owns home 0.74 0.44 0.55 0.50 0.53 0.50
 Foreign born 0.13 0.33 0.46 0.50 0.46 0.50
  1. Individual-level SES categories are binary variables based on individual-level values, while census tract- and county-level SES categories reflect whether the areas were at or below versus above the US median for that characteristic. For household income, education, and owns home, having a value of 1 was considered low risk for health outcomes, while having a value of 0 was considered high risk; in contrast, for poverty, employment/occupation, and foreign born, having a value of 1 was considered high risk, while having a value of 0 was considered low risk
  2. SD standard deviation, US United States, FPL federal poverty level
  3. aHaving a high school degree was measured among participants who were 18+ years old
  4. bHaving a college degree was measured among participants who were 25+ years old
  5. cUnemployment was measured among participants who reported being in the workforce (e.g., excluding retirees)
  6. dEmployment in a blue-collar industry was measured among participants who reported being employed (i.e., excluding unemployed participants)