The DHS Program User Forum
Discussions regarding The DHS Program data and results
Home » Topics » Wealth Index » Understanding wealth index
Understanding wealth index [message #27582] Wed, 06 September 2023 06:37 Go to next message
Kanika is currently offline  Kanika
Messages: 8
Registered: February 2023

I am new to the DHS datasets and hence, this very basic query.

I am working on the DHS dataset for India, and have a few doubts regarding the wealth index. I see that the DHS data already includes the wealth index, but I am confused about the following points:

1. I have come across a few papers which use the DHS dataset, and construct their own wealth index instead of using the one already given in the DHS dataset. Often, there is not much explanation on why and how they construct a new index. I can guess that this may be because the newly constructed index is more suited to their specific analysis. I was wondering if there are any papers that guide on when and when not to construct a new wealth index or use the one given in the DHS dataset.

2. The DHS dataset consists of many types of wealth indices. If at all one plans on using the wealth index given in the DHS index- how should one decide on going about which wealth index among the plethora given in the dataset to use? (wealth index combined, wealth index factor score combined (5 decimals), wealth index for rural/urban, wealth index factor score for urban/rural combined (5 decimals), wealth index within state, wealth index factor score within state (5 decimals), wealth-index urban within state, wealth index factors score (5 decimals)-urban, wealth-index rural within state, wealth index factors score (5 decimals)-rural)

Is there a guiding paper on the same?

I would be grateful for any guidance on the above.

Thank you,
Re: Understanding wealth index [message #27594 is a reply to message #27582] Thu, 07 September 2023 17:17 Go to previous message
Janet-DHS is currently offline  Janet-DHS
Messages: 497
Registered: April 2022
Senior Member
Following is a response from DHS staff member, Tom Pullum:

You can find some discussion of these issues on the DHS website: You can also look at the final report on the latest India survey, the NFHS-5: to see how the wealth index is used in the tabulations. Let us know if you have other questions after reviewing this information. Mostly you will want to use the wealth quintiles rather than the continuous score, and you only use the state-specific versions for analyses of specific states.
Previous Topic: Wealth Index for Indonesian Adolescents Survey 2017
Next Topic: RWI
Goto Forum:

Current Time: Tue Sep 26 16:09:59 Coordinated Universal Time 2023