Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Socioeconomic Factor Index (SEFI) - Version 2 (SEFI-2)

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2016-04-14


The SEFI is a factor score derived from Census data that reflects non-medical social determinants of health and is used as a proxy measure of socioeconomic status (SES). The SEFI-2 uses the following variables to calculate an overall score:

  • average household income,
  • percent of single parent households,
  • unemployment rate for those age 15 and older, and
  • high school education rate.

SEFI-2 is calculated at the geographic level of the dissemination area and is then assigned to residents based on their postal codes. SEFI-2 scores less than zero indicate more favourable socioeconomic conditions, while scores greater than zero indicate less ideal socioeconomic conditions. SEFI-2 is a simplified version of the original SEFI, which utilizes prior factor scores of multiple education variables and multiple employment variables, an additional measure of single parent families, and an age-dependency ratio. Importantly, due to data restrictions of prior censuses, the original SEFI does not include a measure of income in its calculation of socioeconomic risk. The SEFI-2 was developed to take advantage of this data.

NOTE: In MCHP research since 2009, the term SEFI and SEFI-2 have been used interchangeably, but the definition in use reflects the SEFI-2 methodology.

Related concepts 

Related terms 


  • Metge C, Chateau D, Prior H, Soodeen R, De Coster C, Barre L. Composite Measures/Indices of Health and Health System Performance. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2009. [Report] [Summary] (View)

Term used in 

  • Chateau D, Metge C, Prior H, Soodeen RA. Learning from the census: The socio-economic factor index (SEFI) and health outcomes in Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2012;103(Suppl 2):S23-S27. [Abstract] [Report] (View)
  • Fransoo R, Martens P, Prior H, Chateau D, McDougall C, Schultz J, McGowan K, Soodeen R, Bailly A. Adult Obesity in Manitoba: Prevalence, Associations, and Outcomes. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2011. [Report] [Summary] (View)
  • Fransoo R, Mahar A, The Need to Know Team, Anderson A, Prior H, Koseva I, McCulloch S, Jarmasz J, Burchill S. The 2019 RHA Indicators Atlas. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2019. [Report] [Summary] [Updates and Errata] [Additional Materials] (View)

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