Codebook assigning 1931 occupations to social classes and other categorisations

Table ID:
OCC_1931_CODEBOOK     (6566477)
Codebook assigning 1931 occupations to social classes and other categorisations
Approx. number of rows:
Table type:
Documentation Author:
Humphrey Southall
The data are for the single year 1931.


  1. The list of 'Occupation Units, and the associated levels, comes from Table 16, 'Occupations of Males and Females aged 14 years and over showing also the total "Operatives" and the total "Out of Work" for England and Wales, Regions, Administrative Counties, County Boroughs and other Urban Areas with Populations exceeding 50,000', pp. 154-425 in: Census, 1931: Classification of Occupations, (London: HMSO, 1934). A full transcription of this table is held as 'occ_1931_lg_t'.
  2. The codes for Social classes 1 to 5, and the national total numbers in each occupation unit, were taken from "Table 1, "Aggregate mortality in each Occupation Unit distinguished at the census and in Social Classes providing a comparison of actual and standard deaths in respect of the age period 20-65 for Males and Single Women ad shewing the mortality of Legitimate and Illegitimate Infants under 1 year of age.", pp.191-210 in The Registrar General's Decennial Supplement: England and Wales, 1931, Part IIa, Occupational Mortality (London: HMSO, 1938). NB there is much other information of interest in this table, including some regional break-downs.


  1. This table was created to assist in computing social class statistics from the 1931 occupational statistics (see 'soc_1931'). In particular, it enables the "Occupational Units", meaning the most detailed level of the occupational classification used by the 1931 census, to be assembled not only into the order and sub-orders used by the census, but also into the most detailed mutually exclusive categories used by the summary occupational table for small towns and Rural Districts, and into the Registrar General's Social Classification.
  2. This table contains only the most detailed categories, so the rows are a subset of those appearing in 'occ_1931_lg_t'.
  3. This table currently (January 2017) matches all relevant occupations appearing in the England and Wales table for counties and large towns, occ_1931_lg_t, but does not include all values of row_id in the table for Scotland, occ_1931_s.


  1. The values of 'pop_1931' were summed for each occupational order and checked against the overall total for the order.
  2. The values of 'soc_class' were subject to very careful visual checking.


IndexTypeColumn(s) indexed
occ_1931_codebook_pkey Primary key row_id
occ_1931_codebook_idx1 Unique row_id, lev_3, occ_group, soc_class
occ_1931_codebook_idx2 Unique occ_group, soc_class, row_id, lev_3


The table has the following associated constraints:

occ_1931_codebook_pkey Primary Key See details above for primary key index

Columns within table:

row_id Floating point number. Numeric field identifying and placing in order the different rows of information as they are usually listed. These IDs were created by the project, and exactly match those used in occ_1931_lg_t.
lev_1 Floating point number. Occupational Order, i.e. level 1 occupational category, given in roman numerals in the original report.
occ_order Text string (max.len.=116). Name of the Occupational Order (level 1 occupational category).
lev_2 Floating point number. Occupational sub-Order, i.e. level 2 category. This does not appear for all level 1 categories.
sub_order Text string (max.len.=88). Name of the Occupational sub-Order (level 2 occupational category).
lev_3 Floating point number. Occupation Unit (level 3 occupational category); a three digit number running from 0 to 962, with 998 and 999 used by us to identify rows originally un-numbered.
occup Text string (max.len.=110). Name of the Occupation Unit. This is the full text as used in the source tables.
occ_group Text string (max.len.=26). Mutually exclusive occupational group for men. These are based on the occupations used in 'occ_1931_sm_m', but identifying residual orders (such as 'XXV_PROFESSION_EX') excluding those more detailed groups which also appear (such as 'XXV_800_TEACHER').
fem_group Text string (max.len.=26). Mutually exclusive occupational group for women. These are based on the occupations used in 'occ_1931_sm_f', but identifying residual orders (such as 'XXV_PROFESSION_EX') excluding those more detailed groups which also appear (such as 'XXV_800_TEACHER').
soc_class Floating point number. Social class These run from 1 to 5, but 6 is used to identify Occupational Units listed by the census report but ignored by the Decennial Supplement. This covers: Students in Educational Institutions, etc. Persons following an Occupation outside the United Kingdom, in the Irish Free State or elsewhere. Retired from Previous Gainful Occupation. Other Persons (no Gainful Occupation stated).
pop_1931 Floating point number. Number of males in the occupation unit in England and Wales, as listed in the Decennial Supplement.