National Statistics Socio-economic Classification

National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification

National Statistics Socio-economic Classification

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The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (often abbreviated to NS-SEC) is the primary social classification in the United Kingdom. Its first major use was on the 2001 UK census. The classification replaced two previous social classifications: Socio-economic Groups and Social Class based on Occupation.

The full version of NS-SEC has 17 main categories and is collapsible down to three categories. Only the three-category version is intended to represent any form of hierarchy. The version intended for most users (the analytic version) has eight categories:

  1. Higher managerial and professional occupations
  2. Lower managerial and professional occupations
  3. Intermediate occupations (clerical, sales, service)
  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

The three-category version is reduced to following categories:
  1. Higher occupations
  2. Intermediate occupations
  3. Lower occupations

See also


  • Rose, D. and O'Reilly, K. (eds) (1997) Constructing Classes: Towards a New Social Classification for the UK. Swindon: ESRC/ONS.
  • Rose, D. and O'Reilly, K. (1998) . London: The Stationery Office.

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