Derived variables: economic activity


The principal LS variables for economic activity at each Census are ECONP7 (1971), ECONACT8 (for 1981), ECONPO89 and ECONPO9 (for 1991) and ECOP80 or ECOP0 (for 2001).

ECONPO89 (for 1991) and ECOP80 (for 2001) are compatible with ECONACT8 (for 1981) in that working students are always coded as students. In ECONPO9 and ECOP0, working students are coded as economically active.

These variables are derived from questions on employment status, student status, employment type and hours worked; these questions change somewhat from Census to Census and therefore care is needed when making comparisons over time. (More detail is available in the training module on socio-economic classifications.) The classification for economic activity is based on the International Labour Office definition.


Link to 1971 Census form (private households)
Link to 1981 Census form (private households)
Link to 1991 Census form (private households)
Link to 2001 Census form (private households)

Applied to cases from:
1981 Census Combined economic activity and social class
1991 Census Combined economic activity and social class
2001 Census Combined economic activity and social class
1991 and 2001 Censuses Economic activity in 1991 versus 2001
1991 Census Household employment status
2001 Census Occupational social status of household reference person
2001 Census Note on economic activity for those not aged 16-74 years

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Last modified 12 October 2010