Definitions of occupation (variables OCC' OCC1950 and OCC1990)

Hello, I would like to know if there are definitions available the occupations listed under variable OCC, OCC1950 and OCC1990? Thank you.

The codes for OCC are specific to each sample year and are available on the codes tab for OCC. You might consult the appropriate Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) manual used to develop the OCC classification scheme for more details about each occupation group. Note that in Multi-Year ACS files, OCC codes are based on the final year included in the sample. Unfortunately, material offering detailed descriptions of occupational tasks before 2000 is scant.

For harmonized occupation measures (i.e. OCC1950 and OCC1990), IPUMS simply iterates occupation code assignments from the Census Bureau through a series of crosswalks to associate them with the most probable occupation in a different coding scheme. This process is described in further detail, with links to cited working papers, in chapter 4 of the IPUMS USA user guide. For more detail on the occupations in the harmonized occupation variables, researchers should consult the contemporaneous occupation coding scheme (e.g., OCC codes for 1990 for OCC1990). You might also try creating a crosswalk between OCC for your sample year of interest, OCC1950, and OCC1990 to observe how harmonized occupations map to their year specific counterpart(s). For example, farm managers (OCC1990 = 475) may map to multiple OCC codes in the 1940 census, giving more insight into who is included in this category in 1990. If you can map these occupations to a sample year after 2000, you will also be able to use the SOC manual to look at the description for each mapped occupation.

Thank you very much. This is helpful.