Teachers, journalists & builders – Top jobs since 1841 revealed
Historic census data reveals the UK’s most popular occupations of the past 170 years – Ancestry.co.uk
- More than 196 million historic census record indexes FREE TO VIEW this Census Day on Sunday the 27th March
- Research charts the modern era's boom and bust occupations, including the rise of the White Van Man and Cabbie and decline of Egg Merchants and Lunatic Keepers
As the nation prepares to fill out the 2011 Census this weekend, new research into the UK’s historic censuses reveals the fastest growing occupations of the past 170 years – finding that historically, teachers,journalists and builders are among the UK’s top jobs.
To celebrate 2011 Census Day, the UK Census Collection, which comprises all England, Wales and Scotland censuses from 1841 to 1901, will be FREE to view at Ancestry.co.uk on Sunday the 27th March1.
The findings have been released by Ancestry.co.uk, the UK’s favourite family history website2, and were collated by comparing the number of UK workers in each profession from the historic censuses3dating back to the very first census in 1841 with current employment data4.
'Teacher'is the occupation that has grown the most in popularity, with the number of teachers employed increasing by an enormous 131,000 per cent between 1841 and 2010 – in real numbers from 1,105 to 1,449,000.
Next are journalists, increasing by 42,000 per cent (520 people to 217,000) between 1841 and 1901, while the number of builders has increased by 9,000 per cent (9,188 people to 821,000).
Other professions that have also grown in popularity range from high flying stockbrokers, dentists, accountants, medical professionals and solicitors to the more modest builders and hairdressers. Even the much maligned estate agents have shot up in number by 748 per cent since the 1840s.
The censuses also highlight the birth of certain professions, with what would become the modern motor cabbie and white van man both first appearing in 1911.5
Occupations that have declined or disappeared entirely include Egg-merchant and Dealer (283), Lunatic Keeper (616), Ice Dealer (five) and a single Bee Dealer - all detailed in the 1841 census. Sadly, the number of British butchers and publicans hasdeclined - by 52 per cent and 63 per cent respectively – as supermarkets replace independent meat sellers and local pubs close.
In fact, it would appear that 'Booze Britain' might have been a more appropriate term in the 1840s than today, as an impressive 68,000 publicans were recorded, compared to just 42,000 in 2010.
The mixed fortunes of bankers can also be seen in the censuses, which as a profession was in decline before booming in 1911, after which their numbers increased by more than a third. This sudden explosion took place as banks started to grow into the large financial institutions we know today.
Ancestry.co.uk has all UK censuses for England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, from 1841 through 1901. They list everybody who was in each household on the day these nationwide surveys were conducted and enable those with ancestors in the records to discover a host of information about their forbears', including names, addresses, occupations and relationships.
Ancestry.co.ukInternational Content Director Dan Jones comments: “The census is the single most detailed and comprehensive source of documentation about our country and its people, and in 100 years' time, our descendants will be able to discover more about us based on the information we provide this Sunday."
Top five professions, 1841 – 2010
- Teacher – increased by 131,031 per cent (from 1,105 to 1,449,000)
- Journalist – increased by 41,630 per cent (from 520 to 217,000)
- Builder / Construction – increased by 8,835 per cent (from 9,188 to 821,000)
- Stockbroker – increased by 8,618 per cent (from 562 to 49,000)
- Dentist – increased by 5,567 per cent (from 600 to 34,000)
Some professions that have disappeared since the 1841 Census
- Bee Dealer – one in 1841
- Ice Dealer – five in 1841
- Egg merchant – 283 in 1841
- Well-sinker – 318 in 1841
- Lunatic Keeper – 616 in 1841
Click hereto start searching Ancestry.co.uk'sUK Census Collection.
1. Record indexes only will be free to view
2. Source: .comScore, 2010, based on genealogy related websites selected from the Family and Parenting sub-category under the Community category
3. Only professions that can be traced in the 1841 census or soon after were included. Photographer first appeared in 1861
4. 2010 Labour Force Survey
5. While there will be a natural and proportional increase in the number of people employed in each profession over the period as the UK population grew from 18.8 million in 1841 to 62.6 million in 2010, these findings are useful in comparing how certain occupations have increased when jobs are compared against each other. As the population growth over the period was an increase of just over 233 per cent – any increase in the number of people in any profession above this proportion reveal a genuine swell in the popularity of that occupation, regardless of population increase
6. In 1901 works involved in motors professionally were grouped together. In 1911 they are separated out, 15,487 – Cabbies. 4,456 – White Van Man
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