Grade Class

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 125
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Definition: Grade Class

Grade class refers to the division of the population in various market segments based on certain parameters. Each division is given one grade. It is done to get to know about various market segments, the consumer behaviors, spending patterns etc. Generally the parameters by which the division is income level, education and occupation. UK has its own grading class known as NRS (National Readership Survey) social grade. The parameter used by NRS is the occupation of the head of the family. There are 6 grades: A, B, C1, C2, D, and E.


Similarly in India, the survey is conducted by Market Research Society of India (MRSI) and based on the market survey, the grades are finally defined. This kind of grading system is called Socio Economic classification (SEC) in India. The first grading was done by MRSI in the year 1988 and it was based on two parameters: occupation and educational qualification of the head or the chief wage earner of the family.

MRSI proposed two sets of SEC in its initial phase, they were:

• Urban SEC grid: There were seven groups in total starting from A1 to E2.

• Rural SEC grid: The rural classification used education and type of house to classify rural masses into four categories, they were: R1, R2, R3, R4.

This SEC grading was a reference used by marketers for years until MRSI came up with the new set of classification in 2011. The new system of grading was called the new SEC and it comprised of 12 grades starting from A1 to E3.


There were no different set of grades for urban and rural population. The new set of grading was based on the following parameters:

• Educational qualification of head of family.

• Number of consumer durables owned by the family: There were 11 consumer goods in the list.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Grade Class along with its overview.

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