2010 Census to OCC2010 cross-walking


I need to translate 2010 SOC codes into OCC2010 codes. (As background, I have data at the SOC level that I need to aggregate to the OCC2010 level.) From the Census Bureau, I found a crosswalk between 2010 SOC codes and 2010 Census codes. I thought this would be useful for translating from SOC to Census Bureau to OCC2010 since IPUMS says that OCC2010 is based on the Census Bureau’s 2010 ACS occupation scheme.

However, it appears that the 2010 Census coding scheme in the above crosswalk differs somewhat from the OCC2010 scheme in that some OCC2010 codes are aggregates of 2010 Census codes with 2002 Census codes and labels. (The second post in this thread seems to be saying this.) For example:

  • The 2010 Census scheme has four computer occupation codes (1005: Computer and information research scientists, 1006: Computer systems analysts; 1106: Computer network architects; and 1107: Computer occupations, all other), whereas OCC2010 appears to aggregate these codes into 1000: Computer scientists and systems analysts, which is a 2002 Census code.

  • The 2010 Census scheme has 0325: Funeral Service Managers, but OCC2010 has 0320: Funeral Directors, a 2002 Census code, which was broken out into two more detailed codes in 2010 Census.

I’d be grateful to know:

  1. Is my understanding of the difference between the 2010 Census and OCC2010 schemes correct? Are there any other pertinent differences? (IPUMS says the creation of OCC2010 was similar to OCC1990 and points to a BLS paper on OCC1990, but I didn’t find a similar reference for OCC2010.)

  2. Can you suggest a way to create a crosswalk between 2010 Census codes and OCC2010 codes as an intermediate step to cross-walking 2010 SOC to OCC2010 codes? I’m guessing that IPUMS doesn’t have such a crosswalk, and that my best bet might be manually reviewing the Census Bureau’s 2010-Census-code-to-2010-SOC-code crosswalk and adding a column for OCC2010 codes that match up to 2010 Census codes using the OCC2010 codes listed in the IPUMS codebook.

Thanks very much for making IPUMS such a wonderful resource!

Thanks for your very clear questions. I will answer each in turn.

  1. Your understanding of the OCC2010 versus 2010 Census Codes is correct. I will note that now that the 2018 Census Occupation codes are available, we are considering updates to the OCC2010 variable as the later samples with similar detail in growing occupations (e.g., 1000: Computer scientists and systems analysts) may warrant more detail in the OCC2010 codes.
  2. This blog post outlines how to crosswalk different occupation and industry variables with IPUMS data. I will also draw your attention to the OCCSOC variable, which may be very helpful in your goal to crosswalk OCC2010 onto the SOC codes.

I hope this helps. Please follow up with further questions.

Hi @KariWilliams,

Thanks for your reply! I reviewed the blog post you linked and it looks very helpful for mapping OCC2010 (through OCCSOC) to SOC codes. Also, I read your 2019 paper on extending the 1990 occupation codes to the full 1950-2019 period and found that it provided very helpful background.

I’d be grateful to ask a couple follow-up questions to help me use OCC2010 and OCCSOC:

  1. For my project, it would be beneficial to have a balanced panel of occupations and industries over 2003-2020. Although OCC2010 codes all sample members in this period using the same scheme, it appears from this table that some OCC2010 codes are not available in some sample years (e.g., 320: Funeral Directors, mentioned in your paper; 5165: Financial Clerks, NEC; and 8340: Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders; I count 19 total OCC2010 codes not available in all years). To achieve a balanced panel, I’m considering combining these occupations with similar occupations that are available in all years. However, I’d like to understand more about why these codes aren’t available in all years. Could you provide a brief explanation for some example codes? (I’m guessing it might have to do with differences between Census vs ACS PUMS occupation codes.) Also, are you aware of ways that other researchers have constructed a balanced panel using IPUMS harmonized variables? (David Dorn does this with occ1990 in A.1.2 of this paper but the method is unclear to me.)

  2. To map SOC codes to OCCSOC codes in each year, it appears I’ll need to take the intermediate step of aggregating some SOC codes (e.g., 2010 SOC includes 11-1010: Chief Executives and 11-1031: Legislators, whereas OCCSOC rolls them into 1110XX: Chief Executives and Legislators). I think this is because some ACS PUMS occupation codes are aggregations of SOC codes. The ACS PUMS crosswalks from the Census Bureau appear to provide mappings from more granular SOC codes to ACS PUMS / OCCSOC codes. Can you tell me if that’s correct?

Thanks again for your helpful reply and thanks in advance for your help with these questions!

OCC2010 codes fall out of the data in cases where the Census Bureau changes occupation codes by aggregating or renaming occupations that causes occupations that could be previously identified with their own OCC code to no longer be identifiable. For example, the code for funeral directors (OCC = 320) was eliminated in 2010 when funeral directors were grouped with morticians and undertakers under a new occupation code (OCC = 4465). Since the OCC2010 code 320 no longer could identify respondents who were funeral directors, there are no observations of the code from 2010-onwards. Instead, as part of OCC code 4465, funeral directors are grouped into OCC2010 code 4460 (funeral service workers and embalmers) from 2010-onwards. They are put into this group since the majority of respondents with OCC = 4465 would have been coded to OCC2010 = 4460 if OCC = 4465 had existed prior to 2010.

A similar pattern is followed by gaming managers (OCC2010 = 330) when they are renamed entertainment and recreation managers and grouped into OCC2010 code 430 (managers, not elsewhere specified, including postmasters); geological and petroleum technicians, and nuclear technicians (OCC2010 = 1930) provide another example when they are renamed to environmental science and geoscience technicians; a final example is when counter attendant, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop workers (OCC2010 = 4060) are grouped with food preparation and serving workers, including fast food. You can chart these changes by creating your own crosswalk from the blog post as well as the occupation crosswalks available on the Census Bureau website.

To create a balanced panel, you may try to further aggregate occupations with 0’s with the occupation codes that they will eventually join. For example, adding all observations of OCC2010 = 320 to OCC2010 = 4460 and dropping the former code entirely.

Yes, some ACS PUMS OCCSOC codes are aggregations of SOC codes. This is because the SOC classification system is more detailed than Census is able to publish in the microdata due to privacy concerns. The crosswalks provided by Census should help you figure out which SOC codes map into the reported OCCSOC codes.