Socioeconomic Status

Background

Socioeconomic status is defined as the social standing or class of an individual or group. It is often measured as a combination of education, income, and occupation. Examinations of socioeconomic status often reveal inequities in access to resources and issues related to privilege, power, and control. Disparities in socioeconomic status have been shown to contribute to health inequities that lead to lower educational attainment and lower wage earnings which contributes to increased barriers to health access. This in turn leads to worse health outcomes in comparison to the higher wage earnings and higher educational attainment associated with higher socioeconomic status.

Socioeconomic Status Data Overview

Check out the points below for the main takeaways from this page. 

• In Nashua, the median household income in 2017 was 66.8k. 

• In regards to educational attainment, 26% of Nashua residents have a high school diploma or equivalent, 21% have a bachelors degree, and 13% have a graduate degree or higher. 

• Social sciences, engineering, and biological, agricultural, and environmental studies are the most popular bachelors degree fields in both Hillsborough County and New Hampshire (NH).

• Poverty rates differ by age, race/ethnicity, and gender. In Nashua, approximately 19% of the people below poverty level are under 5 years of age. 31% of the Nashua residents below poverty level are American Indian/Alaskan Native. 

• The majority of the Nashua workforce works in office/administrative support (13%), followed by computer/engineering/science (11.3%).

Income

Median Household Income

Income is an important factor to consider when determining the overall health and well-being of a population. Many adverse health outcomes have been shown to be associated with poverty and low income status.

Gini Index

Income inequalities occur across different race, ethnicity, and gender groups. Gaps in income result in increased health inequities and exacerbate the impact of social determinants of health.

The Gini Index is an indication of the distribution of wealth in a population. A high Gini Index (1) indicates that the highest income individuals are receiving a disproportionate amount of the population's total income. A low Gini Index (0) indicates that every individual is receiving the same income and therefore is 100% equal.

Poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).

We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods, safe neighborhoods, and stable housing. 

"Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings." - Nelson Mandela

Social Vulnerability

Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, such as natural or human-caused disasters or disease outbreaks. Reducing social vulnerability can decrease both human suffering and economic loss.

The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) includes socioeconomic factors such as poverty, unemployment, income, and high-school graduation rates. Census tracts are ranked within each state to enable mapping and analysis of relative vulnerability in individual states. Values given are percentiles of percentage estimates. Percentile ranking values range from 0 to 1, with higher values indicating greater vulnerability.

Education

Educational attainment is an important aspect of socioeconomic status and overall social determinants of health. More education has been shown by CDC researchers to be a predictor of better health.

Occupational Safety and Health

A person's occupation plays a large role in their overall health and well-being. Some occupations are disproportionately impacted by work-related injuries and illnesses. 

Length of Work

Length of work (number of hours worked per day and number of consecutive shifts worked) and shift-work (evening and night work) also can impact health and well-being.    

The map to the right shows the average usual hours worked per person in Hillsborough County by census tract. This number is impacted by people experiencing unemployment, which is why areas of higher social vulnerability may experience less average working hours compared to areas with low social vulnerability.

Industry and Occupation

Industry and occupation is a strong predictor of workplace injury and illness type. For example, the majority of employed Nashua citizens work in the office and administrative support field. This would suggest that we should focus general occupational safety and health messaging on ergonomics, mental health, and job stress.

Health Equity & Socioeconomic Status

A person's health can be seriously impacted by their race, ethnicity, gender, income level, education, and other socioeconomic factors. In regards to socioeconomic status...

• In NH, those who are Asian, identifying with two or more races, or born outside the U.S. experienced higher poverty rates from 2014 to 2018. The overall poverty rate in NH between 2014 to 2018 was lowest for non-Hispanic white individuals than any other race. Approximately one in five Black or African Americans were living with incomes below poverty levels, nearly three times the poverty rate of non-Hispanic white individuals (NHFPI).

• The average male salary is approximately $20k higher compared to the average female salary in NH (Data USA).

Click the buttons below to explore other pages related to Socioeconomic Status

Do you have questions or comments about the information on this site? Contact us.

Looking for resources in Greater Nashua? Get Connected. Get Help. Visit 211nh.org or dial 2-1-1.