Type: Derived variable
This socio-economic classification is used by the market research and marketing industries to analyse spending habits and consumer attitudes. It is not possible to assign social grade precisely from Census 2021, although the Market Research Society’s method provides a good approximation.
Total number of categories: 5
|1||AB Higher and intermediate managerial/administrative/professional occupations|
|2||C1 Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial/administrative/professional occupations|
|3||C2 Skilled manual occupations|
|4||DE Semi-skilled and unskilled manual occupations; unemployed and lowest grade occupations|
|-8||Does not apply*|
*Household Reference Persons aged 15 years and under, and Household Reference Persons aged 65 years and over.
As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using Labour Market data for planning purposes.
Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.
Comparability with the 2011 Census
In 2021, an improved methodological approach was used to create this variable. However, as social grade was modelled using different algorithms and variables in 2011 and 2021, it would be misleading to use census outputs to examine trends over this period.
What does broadly comparable mean?
A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.
England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons
Census 2021 data that uses this variable
- Approximated social grade of Household Reference Persons aged 16 to 64 years
- Approximated social grade
- Approximated social grade by adult lifestage – Household Reference Persons
- Approximated social grade by adult lifestage (detailed)
- Approximated social grade by country of birth
- Approximated social grade by ethnic group
- Approximated social grade by household family composition – Household Reference Persons
- Approximated social grade by passports held
- Approximated social grade by tenure and car or van availability
- Approximated social grade by sex and age (detailed)
- Dependent children's ability to speak Welsh by household composition and approximated social grade
- Approximated social grade by adult lifestage
- Approximated social grade by sex and age
- Workday population by approximated social grade
- Workplace population by approximated social grade
- Location of usual residence and place of work by approximated social grade
- Location of usual residence and place of work by approximated social grade by sex by student employment status