1861 occupational statistics for males and females over 20 in Registration Districts in England and Wales.

Table ID:
OCC_1861_EW     (61578)
1861 occupational statistics for males and females over 20 in Registration Districts in England and Wales.
Approx. number of rows:
Table type:
Raw Data
Documentation Author:
Humphrey Southall
Reporting units are identified by:
   Registration County
   Registration District
   Registration District Number
   Suffix to Registration District Number
The data cover the period 1881 to 1911.


  1. This is a complete transcription of the tables 'Occupations of Males aged 20 Years and upwards in Districts' and 'Occupations of Females aged 20 Years and upwards in Districts', in Volume II of the Population Tables published by the 1861 Census of Population. We have treated these as being tables 17 and 18 in that report, but the actual number varies between Registration Division.
  2. This volume is organised first into sections covering the eleven Divisions, running from London to Wales, which are spread over two "Parts" (i.e. volumes). Within each Division, there are nine different tables covering Occupation, including tables giving occupation by age group for the Division and its Counties. However, this data for Districts provides a simple count of males aged over 20 in each occupation, i.e. the table has rows for occupations and a single column for each District.
  3. All these data were originally transcribed by David Gatley of the University of Staffordshire, but the male and female data sets have different histories:
    • The data for Males were worked on by CDDA in Belfast, presumably doing similar work to that described below for females, but creating a large number of separate text files. These data were then loaded into GBHDB on Oracle in May 2001. In January 2016 Humphrey Southall went back to the the multiple text files and assembled them into a single Excel workbook prior to loading into Postgres. He checked the various occupational labels against the original reports, and made a number of corrections to make them more closely match the labels given for the first district listed, i.e. Kensington in London. In March 2016 he added the total number of males over 20 for each district, enabling consistency checking.
    • Females: CDDA never loaded the female data into Oracle, and a Zip archive on the old server was unreadable. We therefore, in January 2016, contacted David Gatley directly, and he sent an SPSS system file containing the data. This had one row per district, and a very large number of columns holding the individual occupations. This was loaded into a temporary table in Postgres and repeatedly queried to covert to the current structure. This data set of course contained no occupational labels, only very short but descriptive column identifiers. The table for Division 2, starting with extra-metropolitan Surrey, was scanned and OCR'd to capture most of the labels, most of the remainder being added from the start of the London table; at the same time, the transcription of male occupational labels was re-checked, partly to ensure that details such as italicization were correct for table reconstructions within VoB.


  1. This is a very large transcription, providing several hundred occupational categories for each of over six hundred districts. However, note that:
    • The occupational classification is similar to the very first one which was designed for the 1851 census, which means it tries to group people according to the substances they worked with, leading to some unlikely groupings. For example, sub-Order 15.2, 'Persons working and dealing in Minerals'/'In Coal', includes 'Coal Merchant, Dealer', 'Coke Burner, Dealer', 'Chimney Sweeper' and 'Gas Works Service'.
    • The printed tables provide no data for the classes, orders and sub-orders, only the overall total and the individual occupations. However, various sub-totals can now easily be calculated using our codebook.
    • The occupations listed for men and for women are substantially different. There are generally fewer listed for women, but the list for women is not just a sub-set. However, the tables use the same systems of Orders and sub-Orders, and the differences clearly reflect gendered differences in the nature of work.
    • The exact occupations listed also vary somewhat between Division, and even within a county. The way in which we received the data means that a zero may indicate an actual count of zero in the published data, or that this occupation was not listed for the current district. However, these differences are fairly small, mostly amounting to some of the occupations listed for London not being listed in counties with simpler economies.
  2. The original District-level tables include the numbers of the Classes, Orders and sub-Orders into which the individual Occupations are arranged, but not their names. They are similarly not included in the transcription held here, but can be looked up in the occ_1861_codebook table.


  1. The data seem to have been fairly thoroughly checked by David Gatley. In March 2016, they were re-checked to ensure that the sums of the individual occupations matched the reported overall totals. The female data exactly matched for all districts. Five districts failed this check for males, all differences being ten or less: Alverstoke (Hampshire; sum 9 more than reported total), Droxford (Hampshire; 3 less), Reading (Berkshire; 1 more), Windsor (Berkshire; 10 less) and Plymouth (Devon; 2 more).
  2. The male data were checked on loading to ensure all districts had exactly 432 rows of data, and that each combination of the occupational variables (i.e. class_num, class_name, order_num, order_name, suborder_num, suborder_name and occupation) appears exactly 636 times, once for each District. Similar checking was not relevant to the female data given its much simpler structure.


We are extremely grateful to the following:

  1. David Allan Gatley: These data were computerised by David Gatley. His written permission is required before they may be used.


IndexTypeColumn(s) indexed
occ_1861_ew_pkey Primary key gender, regd_unit, row_seq


The table has the following associated constraints:

occ_1861_ew_pkey Primary Key See details above for primary key index

Columns within table:

gender Text string (max.len.=6). 'M' or 'F', indicating whether the data from the tables for males or for females.
cnty_num Integer number. Number of the registration county.
reg_cnty Text string (max.len.=28). Name of the registration county.
reg_num Integer number. Number of the registration district as given in the printed table.
reg_sfx Text string (max.len.=5). Alpha suffix to number of registration district.
reg_dist Text string (max.len.=34). Name of the registration district.
class_num Text string (max.len.=8). Occupation Class number (in roman numerals) extracted from the original table.
order_num Integer number. Occupation Order number as given in the original table.
suborder_num Integer number. Occupation Sub-order number as given in the original table.
occupation Text string (max.len.=64). Specific occupation as stated in the census table. NB the values held here are taken from the codebook, and sometimes differ from those added by CDDA.
persons Integer number. Total persons, i.e. males or females, in the specified occupation.
notes Long text. Notes.
regc_unit Integer number. ID number of the Registration County, as defined in the AUO.
regd_unit Integer number. ID number of the Registration District, as defined in the AUO.
row_seq Integer number. Number placing occupations in the correct order, and linking to the codebook.
rec_num Integer number. Sequence number added on loading, keeping rows in correct order.