Saturday, July 21, 2007

1930 Census Occupation Codes

Have you noticed the code numbers next to the occupation listings on the census records? Have you been unable to read what the enumerator wrote down? Luckily, there is a way to figure out what you can't read for the 1930 census.

On the APG mailing list, Richard Pence wondered what the codes meant, and Drew Smith provided a link to Steven Morse's One-Step 1930 Occupation Codes page at

Richard was asking about occupation code 8885 - which is "insurance agent."

There are two sets of numbers - one with two inputs of two numbers each (number beings with 0 to 7, or V), and the second with one input of four numbers (number begins with 8 or 9). The first group seems to be people who work in an industry, and the second group are people who are self-employed.

OK, here's a test. What are:

1) 63 X2

2) 6V 0V

3) 927V

While looking through these occupations, it struck me just how few of them are still in existence today in this country. A 2007 list of occupations would be nearly completely different (would a pornographer be XX XX?).

I'm glad that Richard asked the question, Drew was able to answer it, and Steve has a web page for it. Steve's page points out that the really hard work of listing these occupations was done by C. Marie Taylor of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

1 comment:

Janice said...


You are just amazing! I've wondered for a while what those numbers and letters stood for!