Socioeconomic Status and the Health of Racial Minority Populations

  • David R. Williams
  • Toni Rucker
Part of the The Plenum Series in Culture and Health book series (PSCH)


This chapter considers the role that socioeconomic status (SES) plays in racial and ethnic variations in health status in the United States. The Office of Management and Budget’s standard for federal statistics recognizes four racial groups (black, white, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander) and one ethnic category (Hispanic). However, because this directive is without scientific basis, because race and ethnicity are socially constructed categories, and because the distinctions between race and ethnicity are unclear in health research, we treat all of these categories as “racial” groups.


Prenatal Care Racial Difference Pacific Islander County Health Department Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Williams
    • 1
  • Toni Rucker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Survey Research Center, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

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