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Status information in occupation string

Codes and Frequencies

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OCSTATUS preserves inconsistently available information in responses to occupational questions. It is similar to the HISCO subsidiary coding scheme "STATUS". The purpose of OCSTATUS is to preserve information about the social status of an occupation.

Correct usage of OCSTATUS is critical to proper interpretation of the occupation codes.

In modifying the HISCO system we faced the challenge of classifying industrial workers who often gave information on the industry they were employed in and less specific information on the tasks and functions they performed. We have grouped people of varying statuses in similar occupational codes.

To differentiate between skilled workers, people who "worked in" a particular industry (skill level indeterminate), and laborers, you must use OCSTATUS.

OCSTATUS has been applied to all occupations. Thus, a person indicating that they are an "Assistant Superintendent" receives the occupational code for Superintendent (22xxx), and the OCSTATUS code 34 for assistant.

Changes from the HISCO STATUS codes
We have changed the HISCO STATUS codes for ownership to


Changes from the HISCO RELATION codes
We have removed the "temporal relationships" category from the OCRELATE codes and moved them to OCSTATUS. We felt that "former or retired" and "future" relationships to work were better described as status designators. Future relationships to an occupation were often people describing themselves as students or apprentices in specified professions and trades.


This variable is available for Iceland, Sweden, the 1881 and 1901 censuses of Canada, and the 1865-1910 censuses of Norway.


  • Canada 1881: All persons
  • Canada 1901: All persons
  • Iceland 1703: All persons
  • Iceland 1729: All persons
  • Iceland 1801: All persons
  • Iceland 1901: All persons
  • Iceland 1910: All persons
  • Norway 1865: All persons
  • Norway 1875: All persons
  • Norway 1900: All persons
  • Norway 1910: All persons
  • Sweden 1880: All persons
  • Sweden 1890: All persons
  • Sweden 1900: All persons
  • Sweden 1910: All persons


  • Canada: 1881, 1901
  • Iceland: 1703, 1729, 1801, 1901, 1910
  • Norway: 1865, 1875, 1900, 1910
  • Sweden: 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910