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Activity status (employment status), Britain

Codes and Frequencies

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EMPSTATGB indicates the respondent's employment status at the time of the census and distinguishes unemployed individuals from different groups of economically inactive individuals (retired, pauper, etc.).


EMPSTATGB was constructed by the I-CeM project and classifies economic activity status based on responses to the "Rank, Profession, or Occupation" census questions. The distinction between the unemployed (those who reported a profession or occupation but were not working at the time of the census) and the inactive was not always clear.


  • Great Britain 1851: All persons
  • England and Wales 1861 (100%): All persons
  • Scotland 1861 (100%): All persons
  • Great Britain 1871: All persons
  • Scotland 1881 (100%): All persons
  • England and Wales 1881 (100%): All persons
  • England and Wales 1891 (100%): All persons
  • Scotland 1891 (100%): All persons
  • Scotland 1901 (100%): All persons
  • England and Wales 1901 (100%): All persons


  • Great Britain: 1851, 1861a, 1861b, 1871, 1881a, 1881b, 1891a, 1891b, 1901a, 1901b