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Occupation, 1950 US basis

Codes and Frequencies

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OCC50US applies the 1950 Census Bureau occupational classification system to occupational data, to enhance comparability across years. The alphabetic responses supplied by enumerators were directly coded into the 1950 classification. This variable is similar to OCC1950 of IPUMS-USA.

In 1850-1880, any laborer with no specified industry in a household with a farmer is recoded into farm labor. In 1860-1900, any woman with an occupational response of "housekeeper" enters the non-occupational category "keeping house" if she is related to the head of household.

Further detail about our classification of occupation and industry responses is provided in C Ronnander. 1999. "The classification of work: Applying 1950 census occupation and industry codes to 1920 responses." Historical Methods, 32: 151-155.


This variable is fully comparable with the IPUMS-USA variable OCC1950.
In the 1891 and 1911 censuses of Canada, respondents reported their primary and secondary occupation. Only the primary occupation of the individual is coded into this variable. Users should refer to CA91A452 and CA11A441to identify secondary occupations.


  • Canada 1891: All persons
  • Canada 1911: All persons
  • United States 1850a: Free males age 15+
  • United States 1850b: Free males age 15+
  • United States 1860: Free persons age 15+
  • United States 1870: All persons
  • United States 1880a: All persons
  • United States 1880b: Persons age 10+ and others with a regular occupation
  • United States 1900: Persons age 10+ and others with a regular occupation
  • United States 1910: All persons


  • Canada: 1891, 1911
  • United States: 1850a, 1850b, 1860, 1870, 1880a, 1880b, 1900, 1910