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* ns-sec
- introduction
- contents
- history, origins and conceptual basis
- ns-sec categories, sub-categories and classes
- how to derive the ns-sec
- household level ns-sec
- continuity issues: sc, seg and ns-sec
- references
- glossary of terms
- publication and contact details
- return to methods and quality
* introduction



From 2001 the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) will be used for all official statistics and surveys. It will replace Social Class based on Occupation (SC, formerly Registrar General's Social Class) and Socio-economic Groups (SEG).

This change has been agreed by the National Statistician following a major review of government social classifications commissioned in 1994 by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (now the Office for National Statistics) and carried out by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The NS-SEC is an occupationally based classification but has rules to provide coverage of the whole adult population. The information required to create the NS-SEC is occupation coded to the unit groups (OUG) of the Standard Occupational Classification 2000 (SOC2000) and details of employment status (whether an employer, self-employed or employee; whether a supervisor; number of employees at the workplace). Similar information was previously required for SC and SEG.

The version of the classification, which will be used for most analyses (the analytic version), has eight classes, the first of which can be subdivided.

The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification
1 Higher managerial and professional occupations
   1.1 Large employers and higher managerial occupations
1.2 Higher professional occupations
2 Lower managerial and professional occupations
3 Intermediate occupations
4 Small employers and own account workers
5 Lower supervisory and technical occupations
6 Semi-routine occupations
7 Routine occupations
8 Never worked and long-term unemployed

For complete coverage, the three categories Students, Occupations not stated or inadequately described, and Not classifiable for other reasons are added as 'Not classified'.

Researchers in ONS are developing a self-coded version of the NS-SEC which will be suitable for use in situations such as postal surveys where the collection and coding of detailed occupation information is not justified. The results of this research will be available towards the end of 2001.

In the development of this user manual for the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification the Office for National Statistics acknowledges the work undertaken by
Professor David Rose and David Pevalin of the
Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, on behalf of the Economic and Social Research Council.

  Contents Page  


To download a Word file (358Kb) describing the NS-SEC please click here.

This page last revised: Friday, 16 March 2001

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