The Handmaid's Tale Wiki
The Handmaid's Tale Wiki

Use of the Term "Econopeople"[]

The term "Econopeople" is used by June in Baggage, referring to the part of the populace who "played their cards right," in reference to the fate of her own family due to her husband's "ungodly" marital status. This suggests the term "Econopeople" includes all former U.S. citizens without a too "profane" social background who aren't explicitly reassigned into a more specific social class. In The Testaments, "Econofamily" is the term used for a family of Econopeople[1]

Social Classes with Econopeople[]

The legal Gileadean gender discrimination (as seen in Late) implies the effective distinction in male and female social classes of adult Econopeople: Econowives and Economen.

Female Econopeople vs. Econowives[]

See also: Econowife (main article)
Since young females in Gilead are expected to marry when reaching menarche,[2] the social class of "Econowives" from the novel[3] can be seen as a (factual) synonym to female econopeople as portrayed in the show (unless being Widows or assigned elsewhere).

Young girls from Econofamilies[]

Young girls born to Econofamilies wear multicolored striped dresses even before marriage, as well as grey cloaks. They learn a smaller range of "domestic arts" than Daughters do. If they are attractive enough, they may be married to the Commanders or their sons when they grow older, but most simply marry other Economen.

Social Situation[]

The housing situation of Econopeople can range from household to household. A family of Econopeople may be confined to a small apartment (Baggage), while other, presumably more affluent Econopeople can have relatively large houses, as seen in Liars.

Notable Econopeople[]


  1. X Spring Green, section 25.
  2. Episode 3.9, Heroic
  3. II Shopping